The legislative act known as the Check Off Program is no longer in effect. A small group of rice producers had issues with the program and decided to challenge it legally. Ultimately, the Louisiana Supreme Court ruled the program unconstitutional. That means the funding to the rice research station will cease. "
This has been a very very important program. It funds most of the rice research that goes on in the state. It's also very important for funding rice promotion, so it's critical that this program get back on-line so our producers can continue to contribute to these important efforts", said Steven Linscombe, Director of the Rice Research Station.
Officials rewriting the program.
In the mean time, producers have established a voluntary check off program that they hope will maintain some of the funding until the program is brought back to legislature and ruled constitutional. Linscombe says this station has developed a lot of technology that has been very beneficial to the rice industry. In fact, we've heard the comment made many times that the rice industry remains viable in South Louisiana in part because of the research that is conducted here. It's (the Check Off Program) a very small percentage and it's a very very valuable investment.