Who exactly is the first purchaser?
The entity that first buys the soybeans from a farmer.

Why does the first purchaser have to pay the checkoff assessment?
Through the checkoff, soybean farmers contribute one-half of 1% (.005) of the price of each bushel at the first point of sale for farmer-driven research and promotional activities to maximize profit opportunities. The federal Soybean Promotion, Research and Consumer Information Act requires the assessment to be collected by the first purchaser and reported quarterly.

Do I assess the one-half of 1% (.005) before or after discounts, storage and drying costs?
The net value of the soybean is calculated after quality discounts have been taken, including moisture or quality grade. Other fees such as storage, trucking and drying are services provided by the elevator and are deducted after the assessment has been calculated.

Who sets the percentage that is collected by first purchasers from the soybean farmers?
This was established at the federal level by the United States Department of Agriculture. States do not have the ability to adjust the percentage collected.

Where does the money go that is collected and submitted to the South Carolina Soybean Board?
The funds are split evenly between the South Carolina Soybean Board and the United Soybean Board. The funds are used for research, education and domestic and foreign markets, including new uses for soybeans and soybean products.

Is there a penalty for submitting the assessment form/check late?
Yes. If the checkoff assessment was not postmarked by a first purchaser by the due date, the entity must be charged a late fee of 2% for each month they are late in remitting. The late fee is compounded monthly until paid.

What about soybeans I buy that were raised in another state?
First purchasers will be required to collect on out-of-state soybeans just as they would on in-state soybeans, as this is a national program. Because this is a national program, such soybeans are to be listed by state of origin on the remittance reports. State of origin is the state in which the soybeans were grown.

What if I don’t collect from the grower?
This is a federal law, and funds must be collected. First purchasers who do not collect the assessments or producers who do not pay will be in violation and subject to a civil penalty of not more than $1,100 for each violation and an additional penalty for willful failure to pay equal to the amount of such assessment.

Is anyone exempt from the assessment fee?
All first purchasers are required to collect and report the assessment fee unless the farmer’s farm is 100% organic and has filed papers stipulating they grow organic soybeans on a certified organic farm.

Can a producer get a refund on their soybean checkoff?
As of October 1, 1995, refunds from the national checkoff were eliminated.

The First Purchaser Remittance Form can be found here
The Remittance Schedule can be found here