( The Packer staff )

The National Pecan Federation has petitioned the U.S. Department of Agriculture to establish a research and promotion program to expand markets for pecans.

The USDA, which oversees marketing orders and research and promotion programs for specialty crops through its Agricultural Marketing Service, is analyzing the request, according to a news release. If the USDA finds the request is justified, it will accept comments through the Federal Register.

As with other similar organizations it would be funded by an assessment from growers based on their production. The National Pecan Federation has suggested an assessment of two cents per pound of inshell and four cents per pound of shelled pecans. The proposal includes domestic and imported pecans.

“Handlers would collect assessments from producers based on the pounds of pecans received and importers would pay assessments on pecans when they enter the U.S. for consumption,” according to a release from the USDA. “Domestic producers and importers of less than 50,000 pounds of inshell pecans (25,000 pounds of shelled pecans) on average for four fiscal periods would be exempt from paying assessments.”

The National Pecan Foundation is proposing a 17-member board.

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