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Tag Archives: Agriculture

State’s list of livestock friendly counties reaches 28

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Northeast Nebraska’s Knox County is the latest county in the state to be named a “livestock friendly” county. Governor Dave Heineman made the presentation this week at the county courthouse in the town of Center. The governor says the designation follows a statewide trend. “We’re now the #1 cattle-feeding state in America and we want […] Read More »

Drought-stricken livestock producers get a break from the IRS

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A policy change by the Internal Revenue Service gives Nebraska farmers and ranchers who were hit by drought more time for recovery. IRS spokesman Christopher Miller says the agency has changed the rules when it comes to livestock losses. Miller says farmers often sell off more livestock than usual during a drought and in order […] Read More »

Nebraska’s winter wheat crop off to a fast, healthy start

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Planting of winter wheat in Nebraska is all but wrapped up for the season. Royce Schaneman, executive director of the Nebraska Wheat Board, says timely rainfall helped producers get the crop in the ground and conditions are very favorable. “We’re off to a fast start,” Schaneman says. “We’ve had good germination and the crop’s getting […] Read More »

Push for more use of E-85 as ethanol industry faces obstacles

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State and agriculture officials are pushing for the expansion of bio-fuel use in Nebraska even as the industry attempts to weather a couple of obstacles. Oil prices have dropped, bringing the price of gas closer to the break-even point for ethanol profitability. More oil is being produced domestically as well, which hold prices down. Nebraska […] Read More »

“Father” of GMOs says opponents are a minority, extremists

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The debate over genetically modified organisms — or GMOs — in food has been heating up in Nebraska and nationwide in recent months. Robert Fraley, a top researcher at crop-seed maker Monsanto, is often referred to as “the father of agricultural biotechnology.” Fraley says he’s convinced opponents of GMOs represent a small percentage of consumers. […] Read More »

Former NDEQ Director raises questions about “Waters of US” proposal (AUDIO)

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A former director of the Nebraska Department of Environmental Quality says the Environmental Protection Agency is trying to fix something that isn’t broken in its controversial proposal to expand the Clean Water Act. Former NDEQ Director Mike Linder has analyzed the EPA move to update the Clean Water Act, called “Waters of the United States” […] Read More »

USDA to survey Nebraska farmers on chemical use

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A sample of Nebraska corn growers will soon be asked to report on their use of pesticides and fertilizer. The Agricultural Resource Management Survey is conducted on different crops each year and 2014 is a corn year. Greg Thessen, the regional director of the National Agricultural Statistics Service, says once the data is collated and […] Read More »

Bridge repairs & unfunded mandates among top issues for county leaders

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County leaders from across the state will gather in Kearney this week for the annual legislative conference of the Nebraska Association of County Officials. Executive director Larry Dix says several issues are on the agenda, including the zoning debate that’s underway in the state. “There’s a number of reports that are somewhat concerning in the […] Read More »

Supreme Court to decide dispute over Republican River usage (AUDIO)

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A dispute between Nebraska and Kansas over use of water flowing from the Republican River is now in the hands of the United States Supreme Court. Attorney General Jon Bruning is confident the Supreme Court will validate the decision reached by a special master it appointed, who rejected Kansas’ claim Nebraska owed it $80 million […] Read More »

Farmers – mark you calendar

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Nebraska farmers have a few deadlines coming up regarding two new programs included in the Farm Bill.   The first date that farmers can sign up for Agricultural Risk Coverage or the Price Loss Coverage programs is November 17th. FSA Administrator Val Dolcini says farmers have until March 31st to make a selection. Dolcini says they […] Read More »

County leaders struggle to keep bridges passable as harvest begins

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Many Nebraska counties face the dilemma of having to repair or replace dozens of crumbling rural bridges, especially as farmers ramp up traffic during the harvest. The Nebraska Legislature’s Transportation Committee is hearing testimony on an interim study of the problem. Saunders County Highway Superintendent Steve Mika says his county has more than 400 bridges and […] Read More »

Nation’s ag boss blasts rail lines for not anticipating bumper harvest

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The nation’s top agriculture official is raising alarms about the looming shortage of rail cars to carry grain from Midwestern fields to market. U.S. Ag Secretary Tom Vilsack says railroad officials should have anticipated the coming bumper harvest and been ready with sufficient cars for delivery. Vilsack says, “The reality is that we’re behind, the […] Read More »

Sales tax “penalty” for state’s farmers & ranchers vanishes

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A sales tax exemption is now in effect in Nebraska on repair and replacement parts for farm machinery and equipment. The Nebraska Farm Bureau worked with the Unicameral in getting legislation passed that removed that tax burden on farmers and ranchers. Jay Rempe, the bureau’s vice president of government relations, says the savings will bring […] Read More »

USDA grants and loans bring cash infusion to rural Nebraska

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The U.S. Department of Agriculture is awarding more than $1.7-million dollars in loans and grants to a host of projects across rural Nebraska. Doug O’Brien, the agency’s Under Secretary for Rural Development, says the infusion of capital comes from the Rural Micro-entrepreneur Assistance Program and it’ll go initially to five Nebraska-based agencies. O’Brien says, “Southeast […] Read More »

Transportation Secretary sees no quick solution to rail car shortage

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Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx can’t promise any solution this fall to a rail car shortage threatening harvest season. Farmers need rail cars to move crops, but rail has been diverted to hauling oil from the Bakken oil fields in Montana and North Dakota. “I don’t think the trend is going to change abruptly any time […] Read More »