North Carolina’s peach growers have approved an assessment to fund marketing and research programs to be conducted by the North Carolina Peach Growers Society.

The assessment takes effect in January and remains in place through 2020, according to a news release.

Growers voted in the referendum via mail in April and the question received the necessary two-thirds majority vote from eligible peach growers, according to the release.

The Raleigh-based North Carolina Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services is designated to collect the funds which will be distributed to the Raleigh-based society which plans to determine how to invest the money on improving peach production and marketing, according to the release.

The yearly assessment will be based on the number of peach trees in commercial orchards.

Growers with 100-500 trees will be assessed $100; those of 501-2,500 trees, $250; growers with more than 2,500 trees will be assessed $350, according to the release.

North Carolina is the 13th-largest U.S. peach grower and in 2012, the state’s growers produced 5,300 tons of peaches, according to the release.

Most of the state’s peaches are sold directly to consumers at farmers markets and roadside stands, according to the release.