The U.S. Department of Agriculture's Agricultural Marketing Service has announced that peanut producers voted in an August-September referendum to continue their Peanut Promotion, Research and Information Order.

In the referendum, 81.78 percent of those who voted favored continuance of the program. To continue the program, a simple majority of the voting peanut producers was needed.

The National Peanut Board administers the peanut research and promotion program. It is funded by an assessment of 1 percent of the price paid for all farmers stock peanuts sold. The Commodity Promotion, Research and Information Act of 1996 authorizes the order. AMS conducted the referendum by mail ballot.

Research and promotion programs help to expand, maintain and develop markets for individual agricultural commodities in the United States and abroad. These industry self-help programs are requested and funded by the industry groups that they serve. The secretary of agriculture appoints national boards to carry out these programs. The boards conduct promotion, market research, production research and new product development under the supervision of AMS. The programs are funded by assessments collected by the board and, for import assessments, by the U.S. Customs Service.

More information about these programs is at http://www.ams.usda.gov/repromo.htm.