Active State Supervision of Grass Seed Price Negotiations
(1)All parties involved in supervised negotiations shall sign a pre-negotiation agreement, developed by the department, which provides that each party will:
(a)Negotiated in good faith, considering all relevant data presented;
(b)Develop, share, or document all information requested by the department for consideration and deliberation by the Bargaining Council, to include, but not limited to: acres under contract, inventory, yields, import/export information, and market issues;
(c)Pay the $100 participation fee as outlined in Section 9(b); and,
(d)Agree to have a preliminary negotiated price established by a date certain prior to fall planting; exceptions to the date by which a price is established may be modified by the department in order to accommodate special circumstances at the director’s discretion.
(2)The Director or the director’s designee shall attend all meetings between the grower association and seed dealer representatives pursuant to the regulatory program and shall monitor and, if necessary, mediate the price negotiations between the representatives at these meetings.
(3)Minutes of all meetings between representatives of the growers association and the seed dealers will be created and maintained by the Department. Bargaining Council sessions supervised by the department are not subject to public meeting laws; however, the minutes of the Bargaining Council are a public document.
(4)Within two (2) days after the final meeting of the Bargaining Council between the representatives of the growers association and seed dealers, the Bargaining Council shall either:
(a)Submit to the Director, prior to October 1 of each year, for review and approval, a preliminary negotiated price effective for the upcoming crop year; or
(b)Notify the Director that the bargaining representatives cannot arrive at a negotiated price, and either: (1) ask for a suggested price from the Director which the representatives may further consider, or (2) suggest to the Director a specified price range for consideration, from which the Director shall determine the price that represents the interests of the state and the industry based on the information and facts available.
(5)Within two (2) days after the parties’ submission under section (4), the Director shall approve an established price, or reject the parties’ negotiated price and direct the parties to continue their negotiations. The Director may request any information deemed necessary from the parties to understand, review and approve the established price. The Director shall immediately notify the parties of the decision under this section in writing.
(6)In approving the established price, the Director shall consider the negotiated price reached by the representatives of the growers association and the seed dealers. The Director may also consider grass seed inventories for the respective type of seed under consideration, acres contracted, production factors, competitive factors, local, national and world market prices, the influence of imported product on prices, and any other factors the Director deems necessary to approve the established price.
(7)The Director must approve the established price and any adjustments to established prices previously approved by the Director before the established prices shall be implemented by the parties.
(8)Pricing adjustments after October 1 of any year, as approved under Section 4(A), will be based on objective data, and may include a pricing formula agreed to by the Bargaining Council. The final price will be established by October 1 of the harvest year. The final price of year(x) may become the preliminary price of the following year(x+1).
(9)The authorizing legislation establishes that the parties to the negotiations shall reimburse the Department for costs associated with supervising and administering the regulatory program. The Department will provide the parties with an itemized list of costs associated with program supervision, and cost recovery shall be as follows:
(a)Department consultative fees for Attorney General counsel directly related to supervising the regulatory program shall be divided evenly between the parties and reimbursed to the Department;
(b)All parties to the negotiations will be assessed a fee of $100 towards the cost of state supervision of the negotiations at the onset of the supervised pricing provided by the department. Costs above the total collected from the parties for this $100 flat fee will be evenly divided between all parties for payment to the department;
(c)Total costs for the department’s supervisory role will include: $45.00 per hour for time devoted to administration and supervision of the regulatory program, plus associated travel costs (mileage at state rates, and travel time) and expenses (copies, etc.).
Rule 603-076-0016 — Active State Supervision of Grass Seed Price Negotiations,