Tag Archives: Nebraska

The U.S. Grains Council (USGC) in conjunction with the Nebraska Corn Board and the Iowa Corn Promotion Board will soon bring a Japanese trade team of feed milling professionals to the United States. While here, the team will visit Nebraska, Iowa and Washington to better understand the U.S. corn marketing system and pave the way for continued growth in grain, ethanol and co-product sales to the country.

The team of five, including feed milling decision makers, are in the United States to see firsthand U.S. corn, co-products and ethanol production, meeting directly with U.S. suppliers and exporters.

“Prospective corn buyers from any country want to experience every point in the value chain. That’s why the Council strives to bring buyers together with sellers to facilitate trade around the world,” said Ryan LeGrand, president and CEO of the U.S. Grains Council. “Japan has been a longstanding trading partner with the U.S. and is our second largest buyer of grains in all forms. We are excited to educate these newer, less-experienced Japanese feed corn millers, showcase major production facilities and farms in our country and demonstrate just how proud we are of the corn quality in the U.S., so we can continue to cement these relationships for U.S. farmers and Japanese end-users for years to come.”

Japan ranks as the second largest buyer of U.S. corn and U.S. sorghum, the third largest market for U.S. barley and the ninth largest buyer of U.S. DDGS.

Japan more than doubled U.S. ethanol imports to 934,000 gallons (331,000 bushels in corn equivalent) in 2017/2018, the most since 2010/2011. Using information provided by the Council, the Japanese Ministry of Economy (METI) modified its policy in 2018 to allow U.S. corn-based ethanol in the market based on technological advancements that raised the greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction level of U.S. corn-based ethanol and allowed near-term imports of ethyl tertiary butyl ether (ETBE) made with nearly 100 million gallons of ethanol.

“Nebraska has a long-standing tradition and reputation of producing quality ag products,” said David Bruntz, chairman of the Nebraska Corn Board. “We’re appreciative of Japan’s business and we’re working to strengthen this relationship well into the future. I’m excited for this group to be in our great state.”

During their time in Iowa and Nebraska, participants will visit a corn farm operation, grain elevator with a rail terminal, ethanol plant and feed mill before flying to Washington to stop in at an export terminal where they will see how grain is sampled and goes through grain inspection before making its way to Japan.

 

 

Over the last several years, Nebraska Corn has provided real-world experiences and opportunities for college interns. These students work directly with Nebraska Corn cooperating organizations including the U.S. Grains Council, the U.S. Meat Export Federation and the National Corn Growers Association.

Each year, Nebraska Corn offers several internship opportunities. Six of the internships are located outside of the state and the other two are located in the offices of the Nebraska Corn Board and the Nebraska Corn Growers Association, both in Lincoln, Nebraska. All eight opportunities are paid internship experiences. Applications for these internships are now available at www.nebraskacorn.gov! Descriptions and applications deadlines can be found below.

2020-2021 Internship Opportunities

Communications and Outreach Internship
Host: Nebraska Corn Growers Association
Location: Lincoln, Nebraska
Duration: May 2020 – May 2021
Application Due Date: Nov. 1, 2019

**New Option for 2020**
International Relations Internship (Deadline quickly approaching!)
Host: U.S. Grains Council
Location: Washington, D.C.
Duration: Jan. 2020 – May 2020 (with option to continue for a full year)
Application Due Date: Oct. 4, 2019

Communications and Market Development Internship (Deadline quickly approaching!)
Host: Nebraska Corn Board
Location: Lincoln, Nebraska
Duration: September 2019 – May 2020
Application Due Date: Sept. 20, 2019

Communications and Market Development Internship
Host: Nebraska Corn Board
Location: Lincoln, Nebraska
Duration: May 2020 – May 2021
Application Due Date: Nov. 1, 2019

Marketing and Communications Internship
Host: National Corn Growers Association
Location: St. Louis, Missouri
Duration: Summer 2020
Application Due Date: Nov. 1, 2019

Public Policy Internship
Host: National Corn Growers Association
Location: Washington, D.C.
Duration: Summer 2020
Application Due Date: Nov. 1, 2019

Promotion and International Relations Internship
Host: U.S. Meat Export Federation
Location: Denver, Colorado
Duration: Summer 2020
Application Due Date: Nov. 1, 2019

International Relations Internship
Host: U.S. Grains Council
Location: Washington, D.C.
Duration: Summer 2020
Application Due Date: Nov. 1, 2019

International Agricultural Relations Internship
Host: U.S. Grains Council
Location: Panama City, Panama
Duration: Summer 2020
Application Due Date: Nov. 1, 2019

 

 

LINCOLN – Governor Pete Ricketts and Nebraska Department of Agriculture (NDA) Director Steve Wellman issued statements following news that radical anti-agriculture groups had called for a moratorium on livestock production in Nebraska.

“Let’s be clear: The out-of-state environmental lobbying groups rallying opposition against our family farmers in Nebraska are anti-agriculture,” said Governor Ricketts.  “Left unchecked, they would destroy our way of life.  This attempt to stop livestock development in Nebraska is a part of the ‘meat is murder’ movement led by radical groups who want to end livestock production around the globe.  I urge Nebraskans in our local communities to rise up and protect family farms and stand with our livestock producers across our state.”

“Agriculture is the backbone of Nebraska’s economy, and it is extremely disheartening to learn that there are groups of citizens in our own state that are working to essentially eliminate the livestock industry,” said NDA Director Wellman.  “As the director of the Nebraska Department of Agriculture, I strongly support all aspects of Nebraska agriculture and the farmers and ranchers that work tirelessly contributing to Nebraska’s economic well-being through livestock production.  CAFO’s are well thought out and planned operations across Nebraska with plans that work to address environmental impacts, nutrient management and animal health to efficiently deliver a high quality, safe food supply.”

The following statement can be attributed to Craig Head as spokesman for the Nebraska Farm Bureau.

LINCOLN, NEB. – “Livestock farming is part of the heritage and fabric of Nebraska and a critical part of Nebraska agriculture. Enacting a statewide moratorium to stop new livestock farms would be the equivalent of halting the growth of rural Nebraska. Livestock farms support our rural communities, strengthen our state’s economy, and keep Nebraska strong.”

“The notion that a moratorium is needed ignores the realities of what farmers must do to build and operate a new livestock farm. Nebraska farmers go through an extensive process and must adhere to numerous local, state, and federal regulations, governing everything from where barns can be located, to how they operate for the protection of natural resources and the environment. A moratorium on Nebraska livestock farms, as has been proposed by some environmental and activist groups, would be nothing short of a disservice to Nebraska farmers, our rural communities, and our state.”

LINCOLN, Neb. — Nebraska LEAD (Leadership Education/Action Development) Group 39 participants have been announced by the program’s director, Terry Hejny. The two-year program will begin in September.

   The newest members of Nebraska’s premier two-year agricultural leadership development program are involved in production agriculture and/or agribusiness in Nebraska. 

“Once again, it appears that Class 39 is filled with outstanding individuals from throughout our state and I am excited to get started with them. Our task will be to prepare and motivate them for future leadership roles in their community, our state and beyond,” Hejny said.

LEAD Fellows will participate in 12 monthly three-day seminars across Nebraska, a 10-day national study/travel seminar and a 14-16 day international study/travel seminar. The goal of the program is to develop problem solvers, decision makers and spokespersons for Nebraska agriculture and beyond.

Seminar themes include: leadership assessment and potential, natural resources and energy, leadership through communication, agricultural policy, international trade and finance, Nebraska’s political process, global perspectives, nuclear energy, social and cultural issues, understanding and developing leadership skills, agribusiness and marketing, information technology, advances in health care, the resources and people of Nebraska’s Panhandle and other areas designed to develop leaders through exposure to a broad array of current topics and issues and how they interrelate.

The Nebraska LEAD Program is sponsored by the non-profit Nebraska Agricultural Leadership Council in cooperation with the Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and 12 other institutions of higher education throughout Nebraska.

Nebraska LEAD 39 Fellows by city/town are: 

ALBION: John Krohn

ARTHUR: Jason Christensen

BELLEVUE: John Bronner, Derek Brown 

BLUE HILL: Alex Buschow

CLARKSON: Mike Podany

CLATONIA: Monte Murkle

COLON: Jeff Meduna

COLUMBUS: Justin Lorenz

COZAD: Zack Jenner

ELGIN: Tiffany Hemenway

GRAND ISLAND: Andy Paul 

HOLDREGE: Molly Trausch

HORDVILLE: Rebekah Nortrup

KEARNEY: Elyse Schlake 

LINCOLN: Travis Harrison, Laurel Mastro, Blythe McAfee, Brett Muhlbach, Tony Sibert

MULLEN: Kory Phillips

NELIGH: Koryn Koinzan

OMAHA:, Craig Davidson, Benjamin Grabenstein, Ashley Peters

STROMSBURG: Cale Pallas

SUTHERLAND: Thomas Kelly, Zachary Paulman

SUTTON: Jesse Mohnike

UTICA: Mindy Wolf

Nebraska College of Technical Agriculture as Curtis is well known for being a, “Small Campus With A Big Impact.” One way NCTA connects and helps students grow is through academic teams like Livestock judging, rodeo, ranch horse, and shooting sports. Still one of the fastest growing and most popular teams on campus is the Stock Dog club. Leighlynn Obermiller is an NCTA alumni and stock dog club member. While competing at the 150th State Fair Obermiller detailed how the Stock Dog Club helped her inside and outside the classroom. Obermiller has also carried lessons learned to the job place working as a rural vet tech in Central Nebraska.

Follow along and learn more about NCTA and the Stock Dog Club:

LINCOLN, Neb. – As harvest approaches after an extremely difficult year for agriculture, many Nebraska corn farmers are outraged by the Trump administration’s lack of support for the American farmer. The Nebraska Corn Board and the Nebraska Corn Growers Association call upon the administration to fulfill its promises and to abide by the law and uphold the integrity of the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS).

President Trump’s administration continues to erode the RFS by granting 31 unjustified refinery waivers, destroying demand for corn and ultimately choosing to bail out the oil industry rather than helping American farmers. Corn farmers are already suffering from ongoing trade disputes, uncertain weather and continued low prices.

“I’ve never experienced anything like this,” said David Bruntz, chairman of the Nebraska Corn Board and farmer from Friend. “All we’re getting is lip service. At one moment, we think President Trump is on our side, and then the refinery waivers come through. It’s truly a slap in the face. Farmers are hurting and it just keeps getting worse.”

Along with undermining the RFS, the U.S. has made little progress in trade. A new deal between the U.S., Mexico and Canada still has not been reached and tensions continue to escalate between the U.S. and China.

“Many of our corn farmers have stood with Trump for a long time, but that may soon change” said Dan Nerud, president of the Nebraska Corn Growers Association and farmer from Dorchester. “Trump needs to uphold the law and his commitment to our nation’s corn farmers by making the RFS whole and bringing trade agreements to the finish line.”

Nebraska Corn urges you to stand up for our state’s corn and ethanol industries by telling the Trump administration to stop stripping the RFS. Rural America is under attack and now is the time to act. Submit a letter to President Trump by clicking here. Submit comments before the August 30 deadline.

Lincoln, NE – Senator Ben Sasse (R-NE), along with Senator Deb Fischer (R-NE), Senator Mike Enzi (R-WY), Senator John Barrasso (R-WY), Representative Adrian Smith (R-NE), and Representative Liz Cheney (R-WY), wrote to the Secretary of Agriculture, seeking crop insurance protection for producers hurt by the collapse of the Gering-Ft. Laramie-Goshen irrigation canal tunnel.

“On behalf of the producers in Wyoming and Nebraska,” wrote the lawmakers, “we request USDA Risk Management Agency evaluate available reports and make a prompt determination to qualify these extraordinary circumstances as an insurable event resulting from adverse weather conditions and failure of the irrigation water supply for purposes of crop insurance coverage.”

Before the collapse, the Gering-Ft. Laramie-Goshen irrigation canal tunnel transported water to more than 100,000 acres of land in Western Nebraska and Wyoming. The canal was built in 1910.

The letter to Secretary Perdue is available here and found below.

Dear Secretary Perdue:

We write requesting the United States Department of Agriculture Risk Management Agency review the extraordinary circumstances surrounding the Nebraska and Wyoming irrigation tunnel collapse and determine this irrigation disruption to be an insurable event qualifying for crop insurance protection. It is our understanding the lack of irrigation supply is an insurable event within the rules and regulations of the Risk Management Agency. We request you make an expedited determination based on the ongoing lack of adequate water supply and its damaging effects on crop growth and maturity.

As you know, on July 17, 2019, a 2,200 foot long tunnel partially collapsed along the Fort Laramie Canal. This tunnel and canal system carries water served by the Goshen Irrigation District in Wyoming to the Gering-Fort Laramie Irrigation District in Nebraska. The water disruption has affected approximately 107,000 acres of corn, sugar beets, dry edible beans and alfalfa crops grown in the region.

This region relies on the availability of surface water irrigation. Since July 17, the canal has been inoperable and no water for irrigation of the agriculture acres has been available. Farmers in this region continue to care for their crops, but the lack of irrigation water and adequate supplemental rainfall has taken a serious toll on the planted areas, crop yields and crop quality. As farmers are moving toward harvest, it would be beneficial to know their crop insurance will cover crop losses that resulted from the lack of adequate water supply.

On behalf of the producers in Wyoming and Nebraska, we request USDA Risk Management Agency evaluate available reports and make a prompt determination to qualify these extraordinary circumstances as an insurable event resulting from adverse weather conditions and failure of the irrigation water supply for purposes of crop insurance coverage.

Thank you for your attention to this manner.

Sincerely,
Senator Ben Sasse (R-NE)
Senator Deb Fischer (R-NE)
Senator Mike Enzi (R-WY)
Senator John Barrasso (R-WY)
Representative Adrian Smith (R-NE)
Representative Liz Cheney (R-WY)

According to recent findings from the USDA Agricultural and Resource Management Survey, agricultural land rent totaled $2.44 billion in Nebraska for 2018. The survey found rent as the third-largest farm and ranch production expense (USDA-NASS 2019). Natural disasters limiting the ability of farmers or ranchers to fully utilize rented land pose a financial risk to these operators.

The 2019 floods and related natural disasters lave left many landlords and tenants across Nebraska wondering how resulting damages will influence their agricultural properties. Contractual lease arrangements may have not fully accounted for these natural disasters. This article provides guidance on evaluating damages, considerations for remediating land issues, and natural disaster lease provisions.

Evaluating Damages

Natural disaster events on land may leave minor or major damages on agricultural property. Documenting these issues for federal, state, or local authorities remains critical to participate in various disaster recovery programs when available. Issues with each of these two broad types of disasters might include the following:

Minor damages may include various kinds of debris or foreign objects scattered across a field. There may also be minor erosion or washout issues. Use of common agricultural equipment and implements in addition to hand labor may be necessary to remedy minor damage.

Major damages may include major transformations to the land such as large washouts, extreme erosion, and large deposits of foreign materials such as soil or debris. These issues may limit farmers or ranchers from utilizing a portion or all of the property. Specialized heavy construction equipment may be necessary to correct major damage.

Landlords have the primary responsibility for correcting natural disaster damages on rented land and remediating the sites to suitable states for farming or ranching. Depending upon the landlord or tenant engaged in these lease arrangements, the limited ability of one party over the other may require hiring outside resources to correct the issues (Vyhnalek 2019).

Considerations for Remediating Land Issues

The ultimate goal of remediating natural disaster issues on properties is restoring the land as close as possible to the condition prior to the major event. Depending upon the type of lease and the provisions, this will influence the rights and delegation of duties for each party.

Lease Types

Cash rent and crop share account for the majority of land lease arrangements across Nebraska. In cash leases, landlords receive a cash payment for use of crop or grazing land. Contractual language in the lease likely requires full payment for the use of the land unless other provisions specifically address the issue.

Under contract law, if an event renders the property unusable for the entire growing season, the tenant may have cause for vacating the premise and avoiding any lease payment obligations. Exercising this option may cause dire consequences between landlords and tenants. Tenants eligible for prevented planting with crop insurance might consider payment rates that at least allow landlords to cover property taxes for the land.

Producers operating on a crop share lease may not have to revise the provisions of the lease due to the inherent risk-sharing feature of the rental rate. As crop yield varies, the lease payment (crop yield) fluctuates in proportion to the yield. Prevented planting and disaster assistance payments pay landlords and tenants in proportion to their respective share of the yield if both parties purchase crop insurance or participate in a particular government program. Understanding the terms of crop insurance as part of a crop share arrangement remains crucial for both parties involved in a lease and a key factor to visit about with crop insurance agents.

Contributions of Tenants

Many retired and absentee landowners may not have the ability or time to help correct damages on their rented property in the event of a major disaster. Tenants possessing the ability, time, or equipment might be able to fix minor issues on properties. Some tenants may even be able to correct major damages if they own very large or specialized equipment.

Accounting for these contributions remains important for lease arrangements. Prudent landowners may consider negotiating a discount on cash rent when the tenants provide use of their time, skills, or equipment in fixing a disaster issue. In cases where tenants may be willing and able to correct minor or major damages, adjusting the effective cash rental rates might be an equitable method for incentivizing the other parties to help correct these issues.

The terms and obligations of each party must be documented as part of the lease arrangement. Depending upon the disaster event, various forms of financial assistance may be available from the federal, state, or local government authorities to offset the expense of correcting issues.

Natural Disaster Lease Provisions

Accounting for the unknown provides the greatest insurance policy for landlords and tenants engaged in an agricultural lease. Identifying the responsibilities, duties, and role of the parties involved in the lease ensures activities happen in a timely manner.

Adjusting Rental Rates

Setting equitable rental rates which account for the requirements of parties engaged in a land lease needs to be a priority when considering future adjustments. Landlords have fixed expenses such as property taxes. Tenants may pre-pay for inputs on cropland or need forages each year for grazing livestock. Disruptions to the annual production cycle for landlords and tenants create difficulties for each party.

Provisions in the lease may outline the methods for adjusting the rental rate when a disaster limits the ability of a tenant to utilize a property. Provisions may also define compensation rates for tenants providing remediation services to a property. Certain minimum rental rates on cropland might be designed to cover fixed expenses, such as property taxes, and be offset by prevented planting payments when applicable. In any case, the adjusted rental rate seeks to minimize the financial burden on landlords and tenants.

Documenting Disaster

Documenting damages remains essential in understanding the extent of issues on the property resulting from natural disasters. Lease provisions can define the party responsible for documenting and communicating the damages to the other party or government agency. Tenants may be willing to provide this service if landlords are absentee or have limited ability to visit the land. Other terms to include in the lease might be the time frame in which the damages must be reported to the appropriate authority.

Correcting Damages

Designating the responsibilities of each party to correct minor and major damages in a lease develops a plan for dealing with these unforeseen events. In cases where tenants provide remediation services to correct land issues, specific lease provisions might include the timeline for carrying out the work and reimbursement rates.

Amending the Lease

Any changes made to the land lease to address disaster damages should be placed in writing and documented appropriately as an addendum to reduce any issues arising between landlords and tenants.

While rural Nebraskans have mixed opinions about the impact of immigration on rural Nebraska, those more likely to have lived alongside recent immigrants have more positive views, according to the 2019 Nebraska Rural Poll.

Overall, 38% of respondents to the Rural Poll — the largest annual poll of rural Nebraskans’ perceptions on quality of life and policy issues — agree that immigrants strengthen rural Nebraska, while 30% disagree. One-third agree that on balance immigration has been good for rural Nebraska, while 27% disagree. At least one-third of rural Nebraskans neither agreed nor disagreed with both statements.

Experience with immigrants appears to be related to perceptions of immigration, a survey official said. Persons living in or near larger communities, who are more likely to be aware of recent immigrants in their community, are more likely than those living in or near smaller communities to agree that immigrants strengthen rural Nebraska. Similarly, the poll found that persons living in both the south-central and northeast regions, which are more likely to be aware of recent immigrants in their community, are more likely than those living in other regions to agree that immigrants strengthen rural Nebraska.

Younger persons are more likely than older persons to agree that immigrants strengthen rural Nebraska. Just over half of persons 19 to 29 agree with the statement, compared to 31% of those 65 and older. Looking at immigration trends, Nebraskans 29 and younger are likely to have grown up with more foreign-born immigrants.

“Overall, there is a consistent theme from the data,” said L.J. McElravy, associate professor of youth civic leadership at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln. “Respondents believe immigrants strengthen rural Nebraska when they are more likely to interact with immigrants, whether that exposure is a result of where they live or their age.”

The poll also found that rural Nebraskans have concerns about language issues and the effect illegal immigration may have on wages. Eighty-four percent of rural Nebraskans surveyed agree that immigrants should learn to speak English within a reasonable amount of time. In addition, half of respondents disagree that communities should communicate important information in other languages as well as English. And 44% agree that undocumented immigrants drive down wages in rural Nebraska, while just under one-quarter disagree.

When asked about immigration policies, most rural Nebraskans surveyed agree with policies that try to prevent illegal immigration. Almost three-quarters agree that government should tighten borders to prevent illegal immigration, and about the same proportion agrees that businesses employing undocumented workers should be penalized. Almost two-thirds agree that undocumented immigrants should be deported. A similar percentage disagree that the government is too aggressive in deporting those who are in the United States illegally.

However, many respondents also support a pathway to citizenship for undocumented workers. Sixty-two percent agree that an undocumented immigrant who has been working and paying taxes for five years or more should be allowed to apply for citizenship, and slightly less agree that there should be a way for undocumented immigrants who meet certain requirements to stay in the country legally. Seventy percent agree that immigrants who were brought to the U.S. illegally as children should be allowed the chance to become U.S. citizens if they meet certain requirements over a period of time.

Many opinions about immigration policies remain about the same as they were in 2006, the last time immigration questions were asked in the Rural Poll. However, fewer rural Nebraskans today support the government tightening borders to prevent illegal immigration than did in 2006. Then, 83% of respondents agreed that the government should tighten borders. In 2019, this fell to 74%. And, the proportion who agree that an undocumented immigrant who has been working and paying taxes for five years or more should be allowed to apply for citizenship increased slightly, from 58% in 2006 to 62% this year.

“The poll results mirror the tensions we see across the country in terms of immigrants and immigration — respondents tended to be evenly split across a variety of the questions,” said Jason Weigle, associate extension educator with Nebraska Extension. “On the balance, though, respondents wished to see a pathway for undocumented migrants who have been trying to be productive members of American society to become residents. Focusing on opportunities for integration across the state can help Nebraska move forward positively.”

This year’s Rural Poll was mailed to 6,260 randomly selected households in nonmetropolitan counties in March and April. One-thousand-seven-hundred-seventy-six households responded, a rate of 28%. The margin of error is plus-or-minus 2%. Complete results are available at http://ruralpoll.unl.edu.

The university’s Department of Agricultural Economics conducts the poll with funding from Nebraska Extension and the Nebraska Rural Futures Institute.