Announcement to the Pecan Industry Regarding FMO Assessments
As you know the American Pecan Council Nomination period has been completed and the USDA is preparing for the “Vote on the Nominees” to commence. The appointment by the Secretary of Agriculture of the American Pecan Council should be accomplished in October with meetings of the American Pecan Council to begin shortly thereafter.
What we all need to consider and prepare for is that the American Pecan Council’s assessment on Pecans for the 2016 crop will not be officially published in the Federal Register until early in 2017 but likely will be retroactive to October 1, 2016. What this practically means is that Handlers of Pecans will be required to pay assessments on Pecans for the entire 2016 crop, even though the assessments themselves may not need to be paid to the American Pecan Council until early next year.
Although the American Pecan Council must recommend and the USDA must confirm the actual assessment, it is very likely that the assessment rates on Pecans for the 2016 crop will be $.02 (two cents) per inshell pound on native and seedling and substandard Pecans and $.03 (three cents) per inshell pound on improved Pecans.
Many handlers are already prepared to track their purchases and pay the assessments to the American Pecan Council. Some are looking for more guidance.
In an effort to give this guidance, leadership and counsel from the American Pecan Board and the National Pecan Shellers Association have prepared, or commented on, two forms which Handlers and
producers may review and wish to incorporate into their purchasing and transfer of Pecans this year.
The first form, 2016 Pecan Handler Assessment Receipt should be considered for use at buying points between handlers and pecan producers. Although two pages, we recommend that it be copied two sided on one sheet of paper and used as a receipt between the parties. Again, if a Handler has a tracking and receipt ability and can calculate the appropriate assessment when called on to do so by the American Pecan Council or the USDA, this form may be unnecessary. For those Handlers that do not have this ability now, please consider using this form to track your assessment obligations.
The second form, Inter-Handler Transfer of Pecans Receipt which should be considered for use between Handlers when transferring Pecans. The assessment on Pecans is only owed once but it will be necessary for Handlers to clearly identify who is responsible for paying the assessment. Again, if Handlers have another means for tracking the responsibility for assessments between themselves and can prove who is responsible for the assessment to the American Pecan Council and the USDA, then this form may not be needed. For those Handlers that cannot track assessment payments, please consider using this form to track the assessment obligations you share with other Handlers.
We are all excited about how far the Pecan Industry has come in organizing itself so that we can sell this healthy food product to more Americans. Let’s work hard to “track our Pecans” this year and be prepared to pay the assessment once the assessment rule has been published. We wish you all the best this season in your harvest and purchasing of Pecans!