SIKESTON - Gov. Matt Blunt on Tuesday signed House Bill 741 an economic development bill aimed at promoting agriculture in Southeast Missouri's Bootheel region.
"Missouri's Bootheel has for generations relied on agricultural practices best suited to their distinctive land and resources," Blunt said. "I am pleased to sign this legislation enabling Bootheel farm families to continue to take advantage of their unique and valuable resources. Missouri's agriculture industry is strong and now even stronger because of the successes of the previous two years. We must continue to build on our past accomplishments to ensure Missouri's farm families remain successful."
The legislation allows bio-diesel facilities to qualify for the state's bio-diesel producer incentives with feedstock purchased from out of state. The change ensures Southeast Missouri bio-diesel facilities are not required to purchase feedstock from hundreds of miles away in order to qualify for the bio-diesel incentives. After the change, these facilities can purchase feedstock from nearby facilities in Illinois or Kentucky, where many Bootheel soybeans are processed, and still qualify for the incentives.
The legislation also creates the Missouri Rice Advisory Council. The Council will work to ensure that Missouri rice remains a competitor in the global marketplace by introducing measures to help balance the equally important interests of rice production and rice bio-research.