Notice of Hearings
Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection
[CR 03 -094]
(Reprinted from 10/15/03 Register)
The State of Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection announces that it will hold public hearings on a proposed rule to amend ch. ATCP 143
, relating to production and sale of corn. The department will hold three hearings at the time and places shown below. The department invites the public to attend the hearings and comment on the proposed rule. Following the public hearing, the hearing record will remain open until December 15, 2003, for additional written comments.
You may obtain a free copy of this rule by contacting the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection, Division of Agricultural Development, 2811 Agriculture Drive, P.O. Box 8911, Madison WI 53708, or by calling (608) 224-5140. Copies will also be available at the hearings.
Hearing impaired persons may request an interpreter for these hearing. Please make reservations for a hearing interpreter by October 30, 2003, by writing to Noel Favia, Division of Agricultural Development, P.O. Box 8911, Madison, WI 53708-8911, telephone (608) 224-5140. Alternatively, you may contact the Department TDD at (608) 224-5058. Handicap access is available at the hearings.
Hearings are scheduled at:
Monday, November 17, 2003, 1:00 p.m. until 3:00 p.m.
Lafayette County Courthouse
646 Main Street
County Board Room
Darlington, WI 53530
Tuesday, November 18, 2003, 1:00 p.m. until 3:00 p.m.
WDATCP State Office Building
2811 Agricultural Drive
Madison, WI 54708-8911
Wednesday, November 19, 2003, 1:00 p.m. until 3:00 p.m.
Portage County Courthouse
1516 Church Street
Stevens Point, WI 54481
Analysis Prepared by the Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection
Statutes interpreted: ch. 96
This rule modifies Wisconsin's current corn marketing order, ch. ATCP 143
, Wis. Adm. Code. This rule increases marketing order assessments, and changes the coverage of the marketing order. This rule must be approved in a referendum of affected producers before it can take effect. Producers affected by the current marketing order or by the proposed changes will be eligible to vote in the referendum.
Under ch. 96
, Stats., the Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP) may adopt marketing orders for agricultural commodities. Marketing orders impose assessments on affected producers. Assessments may be used to finance market development, research and educational programs. Affected producers must, by referendum, approve the marketing order. A marketing board, elected by affected producers, collects and spends assessments for purposes authorized in the marketing order. DATCP regulates marketing boards to ensure that that they comply with the law and the marketing order.
Current Corn Marketing Order
DATCP adopted the current corn marketing order in 1983, and has not amended the marketing order since then. Under the current marketing order, "affected producers" must pay an assessment of 1/10th of one cent per bushel on corn produced in this state, if that corn is sold into commercial channels in this state or another state.
Handlers who buy corn from "affected producers" must collect the assessments from the producers, and remit payment on behalf of the producers to the Corn Marketing Board. Handlers must keep records, and report to each producer the assessments collected from that producer and remitted to the marketing board. "Affected producers" who sell corn to an out-of-state handler must pay assessments to the marketing board (if the out-of-state handler fails to collect and remit the assessments on behalf of the producers).
The Corn Marketing Board is a 9-member board elected by "affected producers" who are subject to assessment under the corn marketing order. "Affected producers" are currently defined as producers who grow corn in this state and sell that corn in commercial channels this state or another state. Members of the Corn Marketing Board are elected to represent 9 separate districts in the state. Board members must reside in the districts they represent (even if they grow corn in another district). "Affected producers" must reside in the district in which they vote (even if they grow corn in another district).
This rule increases the assessment paid by "affected producers" under the corn marketing order, from 1/10th of one cent per bushel (current assessment) to 1/2 cent per bushel (proposed assessment).
Producers Subject to Assessment
This rule changes the basis on which assessments are collected, and changes the set of producers who are subject to assessment. Under this rule, an "affected producer" must pay an assessment on corn that the producer sells in this state, regardless of where the corn is grown. As a result of this change, a producer who grows corn in this state for sale in another state will no longer pay assessments on that corn. A producer who grows corn in another state, for sale in this state, will for the first time pay assessments on that corn.
Current rules exempt some corn from assessment. This rule retains and clarifies the current exemptions. Under this rule, an affected producer is not required to pay assessments on any of the following:
• Corn that the producer produces for his or her own use (does not sell).
• Corn sold for seed.
Corn sold directly to a buyer, other than a grain dealer who is required to be licensed under ch. 126
, Stats., who uses the corn to feed the buyer's own livestock.
Under this rule, handlers in this state must collect assessments on grain that the handlers purchase in this state from in-state or out-of-state producers, and must remit those assessments to the marketing board on behalf of those affected producers. This rule clarifies that the handler's obligation to the marketing board accrues when the handler takes title to the grain, regardless of the date of grain pricing or payment, and regardless of the form in which the handler pays the affected producer for the grain.
Under this rule, as under the current rule, the handler must pay an assessment to the marketing board within 15 days after the end of the month in which the handler's obligation to the marketing board accrues. Under this rule, as under the current rule, DATCP or the marketing board may require the handler to provide relevant records and reports to DATCP or the marketing board.
Under this rule, as under the current rule, a handler must report to an affected producer each assessment that the handler collects from that producer. Handlers typically include these reports in their grain transaction settlement statements to producers. This rule clarifies that a handler who reports assessments as part of the normal settlement reporting process is not required to provide a separate annual statement to an affected producer.
Marketing Board Elections
This rule changes voter eligibility requirements in marketing board elections, to correspond with changes in marketing order coverage. Under this rule, all producers who are required to pay assessments to the marketing board will be eligible to vote in marketing board elections. Thus, in-state and out-of-state producers who pay assessments on corn that they sell in this state will be eligible to vote in marketing board elections, and run for election to the marketing board. Producers who grow corn in this state, but sell all of their corn in other states, will no longer pay assessments as "affected producers" and hence will not be eligible to participate in marketing board elections.
Under this rule, an "affected producer" may vote or run for election in a marketing board district in which the producer resides or, if the "affected producer" resides outside this state, in a district where the "affected producer" sells corn in this state. An out-of-state producer who sells corn in more than one district in this state may vote and run for election in only one of those districts.
This rule clarifies, per current provisions of ch. ATCP 140
, Wis. Adm. Code, that the marketing board may reapportion districts only with the approval of DATCP secretary. This rule clarifies, but does not substantially alter, other procedures for nominating, electing and ensuring the eligibility of marketing board members.
This rule would have no fiscal impact on DATCP or local units of government, beyond the estimated $24,000 cost of adopting the rule. The Wisconsin Corn Promotion Board (CPB) would reimburse this cost.
This rule would increase revenues to the Wisconsin Corn Promotion Board (CPB). The CPB currently collects approximately $183,000 per year in producer assessments. Under this rule, CPB would collect approximately $915,000 per year in producer assessments.
Initial Regulatory Flexibility Analysis
This rule would affect approximately 23,000 corn producers, and approximately 300 handlers who collect and remit marketing order assessments on behalf of corn producers. Many of these producers and handlers are "small businesses."