The U.S. Department of Agriculture has announced that it has received petitions from 25 percent of active flue-cured tobacco producers in Georgia and Florida requesting a referendum in each of the states. The referenda — which will be conducted from Oct. 15 through Oct. 19 — will determine whether or not USDA will permit the sale of flue-cured tobacco quota across county lines within the states of Florida and Georgia beginning with the 2002 crop.

The referenda will be conducted in both states by mail vote, and the eligibility to vote will be the same as the eligibility standards for votes taken on the triennial marketing quota referendum. The voting is limited to active flue-cured producers.

Other tobacco program provisions — such as the disaster lease and transfer of marketing quotas, tobacco prices support and USDA's inspection activities — will not be affected by the referenda.