Tag Archives: Nebraska

LINCOLN – Today, Governor Pete Ricketts announced more good news in Nebraska’s number one industry, agriculture.  In 2017, Nebraska increased its total beef exports by 12 percent and its total pork exports by 20 percent, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Global Agricultural Trade System (GATS).

“This impressive growth in Nebraska’s beef and pork exports shows how effective international trade is to growing our state,” said Governor Ricketts.  “Nebraska producers always deliver high-quality products at competitive prices, and we will continue to open new markets and strengthen existing business so the producers in this state can keep feeding the world and growing Nebraska’s ag economy.”

Beef production is Nebraska’s largest industry.  Nebraska’s 2017 total beef exports of $1.26 billion make it the largest beef exporting state in the U.S. for the second year in a row.  This is Nebraska’s fourth year in a row with more than $1 billion in beef exports.  Nebraska is a national leader in every aspect of the beef industry:  cow/calf, backgrounding, corn, cattle feeding and processing.

The 2017 total pork exports of $479 million make Nebraska the fifth largest state in the U.S. in terms of pork exports.

“We are seeing steady gains in the beef trade and even larger gains in pork growth,” said Nebraska Department of Agriculture Director Steve Wellman.  “Nebraska farmers and ranchers take great pride in the beef and pork they produce.  Consumers around the world expect high-quality ag products from Nebraska and the increase in export numbers show that Nebraska producers are exceeding expectations.”

LINCOLN – Governor Pete Ricketts issued a statement following a United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) report showing Nebraska has grown in the total number of cattle in the state.  The report also notes that Nebraska leads the nation in cattle on feed.

“Congratulations to Nebraska’s cattle producers on achieving the distinction of the most cattle on feed of any state.  Consistent focus on opening new markets, like China, and telling the story of Nebraska beef through international promotion efforts are supporting growth in the industry.  We look forward to continued partnership with industry leaders to help create more opportunities to grow our state’s number one industry and the Beef State.”

“Nebraska beef producers are second to none, weathering challenges while continually growing the herd statewide.  Our 6.8 million cattle demonstrate our commitment to the industry we love and continue to grow.  Nebraska agriculture as a whole enables the state’s cattle industry to flourish,” said Galen Frenzen, Nebraska Cattlemen President.

“I am pleased that the number of cattle in Nebraska continues to grow.  Nebraska is known around the world for producing high-quality beef products, so it is only fitting that we lead the nation in this category,” said Nebraska Department of Agriculture Director Steve Wellman.  “The dedication of Nebraska cattlemen in producing top-quality beef products works hand in hand with the synergy of the state’s corn and ethanol sectors.”

LINCOLN, Neb. – All sheep and lamb inventory in Nebraska on January 1, 2018 totaled 80,000 head, down 3,000 from last year, according to the USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service.

Breeding sheep inventory totaled 67,000 head, down 4,000 from last year. Ewes one year and older totaled 55,000 head, down 3,000 from the previous year. Rams one year and older totaled 3,000, unchanged from last year. Total replacement lambs totaled 9,000 head, down 1,000 from last year.

Market sheep and lambs totaled 13,000 head, up 1,000 from last year. A total of 1,000 head were mature sheep (one year and older) while the remaining 12,000 were under one year. Market lamb weight groups were estimated as follows: 3,100 lambs were under 65 pounds; 1,900 were 65-84 pounds; 2,400 were 85-105 pounds; 4,600 were over 105 pounds.

The 2017 lamb crop totaled 70,000 head, up 5,000 from 2016. The 2017 lambing rate was 121 per 100 ewes one year and older, compared with 118 in 2016.

Sheep deaths totaled 3,700 head, up 200 from last year. Lamb deaths totaled 8,000 head, down 500 from last year.

Sheep and lambs slaughtered on farm totaled 700 head, up 200 from last year.

Shorn wool production during 2017 was 440,000 pounds, down 10,000 from 2016. Sheep and lambs shorn totaled 62,000 head, down 2,000 from 2016. Weight per fleece was 7.1 pounds, up 0.10 from last year. The average price paid for wool sold in 2017 was $0.79 per pound, compared with $0.94 in 2016. The total value of wool produced in Nebraska was 348,000 dollars in 2017.

Milk goats and kids inventory in Nebraska totaled 3,500 head, down 200 from last year.

Access the national report at:

Access the National Livestock Executive Briefing at:

Find agricultural statistics for your county, State, and the Nation at www.nass.usda.gov

Governor Pete Ricketts: “This year, the Legislature has an opportunity to deliver major property tax relief for hardworking Nebraskans.  The time is now.  I am very willing to work with this committee and all senators who are genuinely interested in providing the needed tax relief provided by this proposal.”

 Senator Jim Smith: “The Nebraska Property Tax Cuts and Opportunities Act provides a road map for major property tax relief and reasonable income tax rate reductions to help grow our state.  I appreciate the continued commitment of all senators and groups who are working together to deliver tax relief for Nebraskans this legislative session.”

 Department of Economic Development Director Dave Rippe: “Business recruitment between states is highly competitive and the tax rate reductions in LB 947 will help targeted companies create long-term models that demonstrate Nebraska as a top state for conducting business.  We must constantly be innovating to maintain a competitive edge, and our tax policy is a critical strategy to growing our state.”

Department of Agriculture Director Steve Wellman: “Our farm families need relief now.  This proposal helps solve the problem in a manageable way with major property tax relief stepped up as the economy grows.  LB947 is the best opportunity to bring senators together to do tax relief this session.  It can unite urban and rural.  It fits within the budget.  And it truly delivers tax relief rather than simply shifting taxes around.”

 Nebraska Farm Bureau and Major Ag Groups: “I want to thank Senator Smith, Governor Ricketts, and other Senators – including those of you on this committee –  for your ongoing efforts to work towards property tax relief for all Nebraskans.  In short, we are generally supportive of the concepts outlined to amend LB 947 in a manner that would statutorily increase refundable income tax credits for agricultural land and farm and livestock buildings.  Furthermore, our support is contingent upon such refundable income tax credits reaching a tax credit equal to 30% of the total property tax burden over time.”

Nebraska State Chamber and Lincoln Chamber of Commerce: “The Chambers have long supported making the maximum tax rates for individuals and corporations equal, as reflected in LB947.  It is commonly repeated that plus or minus 90% by number of Nebraska businesses report their taxable income to Nebraska through the owners’ individual returns.  The Chambers are also very supportive of the workforce development focus of LB947.  The bill would provide an additional $10 million over two years for job training programs.  Currently, there are no job training dollars available for the state’s key programs, including Intern Nebraska.”

 Americans for Prosperity-Nebraska: “During the State of the State address, Governor Ricketts outlined a pathway for meaningful tax reform which would also balance the state budget.  We applaud the Governor’s forward-thinking approach to the state budget that ensures state priorities such as: public safety, transportation infrastructure, workforce development and protection of the state’s most vulnerable are properly funded while simultaneously making the difficult decisions to promote another top priority: relief for Nebraskans who pay some of the highest taxes in the country.”

Platte Institute for Economic Research: “If there’s no significant action in this legislative session, Nebraskans could force a property tax ballot initiative. If it passes, the state would likely be forced to significantly cut spending on services and increase state tax rates at the same time.  LB947 offers a reasonable path to steer the state away from this kind of uncertainty.  It would have the state taking a greater role in property tax relief for Nebraskans in the years ahead, while safeguarding the state budget from unrealistic promises.”

Tax Foundation: “Your neighbors are making their tax codes more competitive.  The federal government has changed the rules of the game. Nebraska’s 1967 tax code is out of date, and its rates are out of line with peer states.  Nebraska has an opportunity to make the tax code more competitive, and LB 947 offers a way forward.  Tax reform isn’t easy, but neither is continuing to operate under a tax system that is falling behind other states.  This committee has an opportunity for a robust debate about tax reform.  It is a challenge worth embracing.

Greater Omaha Chamber of Commerce: “Like the Governor and Senator Smith, the Chamber’s number one priority is growing our state.  It is imperative that we look for every opportunity to advance that agenda.  This entails many elements, but certainly that includes a tax policy that fosters growth—one that does not discriminate between business models; one that imposes the reasonably lowest tax rates; one that provides for a competitive business environment in an ever more competitive world.  LB 947 is a good first step in that direction.”

Nebraska Bankers Association: “LB 947 is designed to provide true property tax relief for residential and agricultural property owners.  In addition, the proposed reductions in individual and corporate income tax rates will benefit individuals and businesses, the majority of which operate on a ‘pass-through’ tax basis.  We believe that the combined property and income tax relief proposed under LB 947 will serve to grow our state’s economy and make Nebraska more competitive with surrounding states.”

 National Federation of Independent Businesses: “Nebraska, by all measures, is a high-tax state, with only Iowa, from among our bordering states, imposing a higher income tax rate on its citizens.  The current individual income tax rates hinder our long-term ability to expand our economy.  The small business owner members of NFIB also favor a significant and meaningful property tax relief.  We support the provisions of LB 947 which would provide property tax relief to residential and agricultural land owners.”

LINCOLN, Neb. – As U.S. policy makers rethink the nation’s trade relationships around the world, a group of U.S. farmers recently visited South Korea to celebrate the 45th anniversary of one of the most successful trade relationships for American farmers.

Lynn Chrisp, a Hastings corn farmer and first vice president of the National Corn Growers Association, was part of the mission that recognized the 45-year presence of the U.S. Grains Council in South Korea. The delegation to South Korea included leaders from the National Corn Growers Association and the U.S. Grains Council. The U.S. Grains Council represents the interests of U.S. corn, barley, sorghum and their co-products around the world.

The joint mission met with top level officials and buyers, including the Korean Trade Minister and local cooperatives. Other stops included a local farm using U.S. grains, a grocery store and a major port.

South Korea recently jumped to become the third largest buyer of U.S. corn, with 8.32 million metric tons in the 2016/17 marketing year. South Korea is also the third largest export customer for U.S. distillers grains, setting a record for a second year.

During meetings, the team members discussed the importance of the United States-Korea Free Trade Agreement (KORUS) as well as grain quality and promotion.

Chrisp said that South Korea is very interested in continuing a strong trade partnership with the U.S. “They’re not wanting to upset the applecart at all. They are in a position where they are wanting to maintain the agreements that are in place and establish new ones,” he said. “From their perspective, you can understand that. They have huge food requirements that their country just can’t keep up with. That’s primarily the interest of the United States’ agricultural sector…to do business and export to those folks.”

Chrisp noted there is significant opportunity for growth in exports to South Korea. “Their agriculture land there is predominantly utilized for vegetables, rice, beef, poultry and pork. We’re looking to supply them even more of the feed grain they need for their livestock operations,” Chrisp added. “That was one of the reasons why we were over there and why the U.S. Grains Council has done business with them for 45 years.”

Chrisp said the group had a very positive conversation with South Korea’s Chief Negotiating Officer, who was a Harvard graduate. “He was very, very, very pro-trade,” Chrisp said. “He was against anything that was protectionist. He saw the value of doing business around the world, because the needs of his country dictate that they establish good trade relationships.”

The Nebraska State Fair Board made official Friday the announcement of Lori Cox as the new Nebraska State Fair Executive Director. Cox comes from the Big Sky Country State Fair in Montana and an agricultural background.

In visiting with the Rural Radio Network Cox says she’s glad to be a part of Nebraska now and excited about all of the history that Nebraska has in agriculture.

Cox will assume duties immediately.

“The first thing that’s very important to me is being able to really develop that team dynamic with my staff and making sure I’m really listening to where they’re at already in the programming. Certainly on the events and competitive side of the fair and finding where the holes are. I’m a big believer in discovering holes and filling those holes.” said Cox. “I don’t have any expectations that there are a lot of things that need to be changed right away and quite frankly, this is Nebraska’s fair and I’m going to be doing a lot of listening.”