With anticipated higher retail beef prices on the horizon, prompted by shorter supplies and higher input costs for producers resulting from drought and related feed and forage shortages, the need for better marketing strategies will become increasingly important to make certain demand for beef products remain strong among consumers.

One way to increase marketing resources is through an additional state-level beef checkoff program in Texas.

Texas beef producers will have a chance to weigh-in and vote the first week of June on a proposed maximum assessment of $1 per head of cattle in addition to the current National Beef Checkoff, collected at each transfer of ownership. The last day for cattle producers in Texas to vote will be June 6, 2014.

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The Texas Beef Checkoff assessment will be used for promotion, marketing, research and educational efforts regarding beef and beef products in Texas. The Beef Promotion and Research Council of Texas (BPRCT) will set the assessment rate each year, not to exceed the maximum assessment rate of $1.

The Texas Department of Agriculture (TDA) has been promoting the referendum since June last year on the establishment of a refundable assessment on cattle sales or ownership transfer in Texas. TDA says the proposed new assessment was requested by the Texas cattle industry and is in conformance to TDA rules and the Texas Agriculture Code.

If approved, collection of the assessment will begin October 1, 2014, and will continue until the BPRCT notifies cattle collection points to cease collection. Each collection point that makes payment to a producer for cattle purchased shall collect the assessment by deducting the applicable assessment from the final amount paid to the producer. No later than the 15th day of each month, the collection point shall remit the amount collected during the previous month to the BPRCT, along with a completed form prescribed by the BPRCT reflecting the amount.