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HF 652

as introduced - 85th Legislature (2007 - 2008) Posted on 12/15/2009 12:00am

KEY: stricken = removed, old language. underscored = added, new language.

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A bill for an act
relating to agriculture; providing for a checkoff for fertilizer, soil amendment,
and plant amendment; establishing a Minnesota Agricultural Fertilizer Research
and Education Council and program; exempting on-farm storage from fertilizer
facility safeguarding and permitting; appropriating money;amending Minnesota
Statutes 2006, section 18C.305, by adding a subdivision; proposing coding for
new law in Minnesota Statutes, chapter 18C.

BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MINNESOTA:

Section 1.

Minnesota Statutes 2006, section 18C.305, is amended by adding a
subdivision to read:


Subd. 3.

Exemption.

A permit and safeguard is not required for a person who
stores on the person's own property and for the person's own use up to 6,000 gallons
of liquid commercial fertilizer.

Sec. 2.

[18C.70] MINNESOTA AGRICULTURAL FERTILIZER RESEARCH
AND EDUCATION COUNCIL.

Subdivision 1.

Establishment; membership.

(a) The Minnesota Agricultural
Fertilizer Research and Education Council is established. The council is composed of
12 voting members as follows:

(1) two members of the Minnesota Crop Production Retailers;

(2) one member of the Minnesota Corn Growers Association;

(3) one member of the Minnesota Soybean Growers Association;

(4) one member of the sugar beet growers industry;

(5) one member of the Minnesota Association of Wheat Growers;

(6) one member of the potato growers industry;

(7) one member of the Minnesota Farm Bureau;

(8) one member of the Minnesota Farmers Union;

(9) one member from the Minnesota Irrigators Association;

(10) one member of the Minnesota Grain and Feed Association; and

(11) one member of the Minnesota Independent Crop Consultant Association or the
Minnesota certified crop advisor program.

(b) Council members shall serve three-year terms. After the initial council is
appointed, subsequent appointments must be staggered so that one-third of council
membership is replaced each year. Council members must be nominated by their
organizations and appointed by the commissioner. The council may add ex-officio
members at its discretion. The council must meet at least once per year, with all
related expenses reimbursed by members' sponsoring organizations or by the members
themselves.

Subd. 2.

Powers and duties.

The council must review applications and select
projects to receive agricultural fertilizer research and education program grants, as
authorized in section 18C.71. The council must establish a program to provide grants to
research, education, and technology transfer projects related to agricultural fertilizer,
soil amendments, and plant amendments. For the purpose of this section, "fertilizer"
includes soil amendments and plant amendments, but does not include vegetable or animal
manures that are not manipulated. The commissioner has authority over all deposits to
and withdrawals from the program account authorized in subdivision 4, but after January
1, 2008, the council may select the commissioner or any other person it considers fit
to perform all other administrative duties related to the program. The commissioner
is responsible for all fiscal and administrative duties in the first year and may use up
to eight percent of program revenue to offset costs incurred. No later than October 1,
2007, the commissioner must provide the council with an estimate of the annual costs the
Department of Agriculture would incur in administering the program.

Subd. 3.

Checkoff fees.

Any person, whether in Minnesota or elsewhere, that
sells fertilizer to producers must collect a checkoff of 40 cents per ton of fertilizer sold
and forward the checkoff funds at least semiannually to the commissioner along with
forms provided by the commissioner. For the purposes of this section, "producer" means
a person who owns or operates an agricultural producing or growing facility for an
agricultural commodity, shares in the profits and risk of loss from the operation, and
grows, raises, feeds, or produces the agricultural commodity in Minnesota during the
current or preceding calendar year.

Subd. 4.

Program account.

There is established in the state treasury an agricultural
fertilizer research and education program account in the agricultural fund. The checkoff
funds raised under this section must be deposited in the account. Money in the account,
including interest earned, is appropriated to the commissioner to carry out the program
and to provide refunds under subdivision 5.

Subd. 5.

Refunds.

A producer may, by use of forms provided by the commissioner
and upon presentation of proof the commissioner requires, have the checkoff fee refunded
if the checkoff fee was remitted on a timely basis. The producer must submit refund
requests to the commissioner by February 28 each year for checkoff fees paid in the
previous calendar year. For checkoff fees paid between January 1, 2007, and January 1,
2008, refunds must not be issued until January 15, 2008.

Subd. 6.

Rules.

The commissioner's duties under this section and section 18C.71
are not subject to the provisions of chapter 14.

Subd. 7.

Expiration.

This section expires on January 8, 2017.

EFFECTIVE DATE.

This section is effective January 1, 2008.

Sec. 3.

[18C.71] MINNESOTA AGRICULTURAL FERTILIZER RESEARCH
AND EDUCATION PROGRAM.

Subdivision 1.

Eligible projects.

Eligible project activities include research,
education, and technology transfer related to the production and application of fertilizer,
soil amendments, and other plant amendments. Chosen projects must contain a component
of outreach that achieves a timely dissemination of findings and their applicability to the
production agricultural community.

Subd. 2.

Awarding grants.

Applications for program grants must be submitted in
the form prescribed by the Minnesota Agricultural Fertilizer Research and Education
Council. Applications must be submitted on or before the deadline prescribed by the
council. All applications are subject to a thorough in-state review by a peer committee
established and approved by the council. Each project meeting the basic qualifications is
subject to a yes or no vote by each council member. Projects chosen to receive funding
must achieve an affirmative vote from at least eight of the 12 council members or
two-thirds of voting members present. Projects awarded program funds must submit an
annual progress report in the form prescribed by the council.

Subd. 3.

Annual audit.

The program must have an annual audit of financial
activities, which the council must file with the commissioner on or before June 1 for the
immediately preceding year ending December 31.

Subd. 4.

Expiration.

This section expires January 8, 2017.

EFFECTIVE DATE.

This section is effective January 1, 2008.

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