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Six NeFU Members to Attend Fly-In

Nebraska Farmers Union (NeFU) President John Hansen announced today that six NeFU members will participate in the fall National Farmers Union Fly-In scheduled for September 15-18.  Hansen said this year there was also a targeted Fly-In last May focused on opposing the repeal of Country of Origin La...

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Six NeFU Members to Attend Fly-In

Nebraska Farmers Union (NeFU) President John Hansen announced today that six NeFU members will participate in the fall National Farmers Union Fly-In scheduled for September 15-18.  Hansen said this year there was also a targeted Fly-In last May focused on opposing the repeal of Country of Origin La...

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Open Class Dairy Cattle Show Kicks Off the 2015 Nebraska State Fair

The Open Class Dairy Cattle Show began at 8:00 a.m. on August 28, 2015 in the Five Points Bank Arena.  The show consisted of six different breeds of dairy cattle including: Jersey, Milking Shorthorn, Ayrshire, Brown Swiss, Guernsey, and Holstein breeds. Each breed was comprised of several ...

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Cattle Herd Expansion Well Underway, But Beef Supplies Remain Tight

MANHATTAN, Kan. – U.S. cattle producers are responding to recent record-high prices by expanding their herds, but Americans’ appetite for beef will play a crucial role in how the larger supply will play out for the producer’s bottom line, according to a Kansas State University agricultural eco...

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New Nebraska LEAD Class Announced

LINCOLN, Neb. -- Nebraska LEAD Group 35 participants were announced by Terry Hejny, director, Nebraska LEAD (Leadership Education/Action Development) Program. The newest members of Nebraska's premier two-year agricultural leadership development program in its 35th year are made up exclusively of par...

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(Video) Mobile Drip Irrigation Seeking Foothold in Western Kansas

GARDEN CITY, Kan. – In a region where some of the United States’ most productive farmland lies, Kansas State University researchers are putting a water-saving technology on the fast track. Agricultural engineer Isaya Kisekka said he and other faculty in the university’s Southwest Research a...

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Crops

(Video) Mobile Drip Irrigation Seeking Foothold in Western Kansas

GARDEN CITY, Kan. – In a region where some of the United States’ most productive farmland lies, Kansas State University researchers are putting a water-saving technology on the fast track. Agricultural engineer Isaya Kisekka said he and other faculty in the university’s Southwest Research and Extension Center are finding ways to retrofit center pivot sprinklers with mobile drip irrigation tubes. Early signs point to the system saving water by reducing soil water evaporation. Kisekka said that could ultimately help farmers increase water productivity, or economic yield per unit of crop water use. “Mobile drip irrigation has the potential to be applied on most of the row crops we grow in this region,” Kisekka said. “One of the advantages of the mobile drip system is that it is retrofitted into an existing system, so the initial cost is not prohibitive. The cost is relatively small compared to the cost of a primary center pivot system. Many producers already have a (center pivot) system.” Small, polyurethane tubing with emitters – or small holes – spaced about 6 inches apart carry water from a traditional center pivot sprinkler along the ground. Water is spread gently at the ground level, as opposed to being sprayed above the crop or within the crop canopy. [embed]https://youtu.be/aVKjigIQtFI[/embed] It’s similar to another successful innovation by Kansas State University researchers in Colby called sub-surface drip irrigation, or SDI. Mobile drip lines, however, snake along the ground as the center pivot moves, whereas SDI lines are underground. Among farmers in the southwest region, “there’s a lot of interest in it,” said Mark Rude, executive director of the Southwest Kansas Groundwater Management District No. 3. “It’s viewed so favorably because it can retrofit onto existing pivot systems, and it has that efficiency element of drip tape without the commitment of putting it into the ground.” Farmers in western Kansas have long been cognizant of the water they’re putting in their fields, largely because they are drawing from the once-abundant source known as the Ogallala Aquifer. One of the world’s largest aquifers, the Ogallala underlies an area of approximately 174,000 square miles in portions of eight states. About 27 percent of the irrigated land in the United States underlies the Ogallala Aquifer. It’s also crucial to Kansas agriculture. In 2014, Kansas State University reported findings indicating that eight counties in western Kansas – all underlying the Ogallala Aquifer – together sold more than $6.3 billion in crops and livestock, or more than one-third of total agricultural revenue for the entire state. Kisekka said a big advantage of mobile drip irrigation is that it will save water previously lost to evaporation with other current methods, such as mid-elevation spray application or low-elevation spray application, known as in-canopy irrigation. Farmers want to know that mobile drip irrigation will work for them. “With any new technology, there is apprehension to change. There is an eye of innovation and an eye of skepticism,” Rude said. “Will it really work, or is it just a marketing scheme? All of that needs to be worked through in the normal way, a combination of demonstrations by folks like Kansas State University and fellow agri-businessmen trying it out.” Monty Teeter, who owns a successful irrigation business in Ulysses, Kansas, said he thinks irrigators will move quickly once more information about the technology is available. “Most people want to utilize any potential water savings from mobile drip to grow more crops and not have any (net) water savings,” Teeter said. “That’s going to be the push and shove in our industry here in the future: maintaining a yield for a longer time, or using (the aquifer) up and being completely done (sooner).” Kisekka said mobile drip irrigation is not a new technology; it was first tried in the 1980s in California, and additional studies have taken place across the country. Concerns about the decline of the Ogallala Aquifer and reduced capacity of landowner’s wells have spurred a need for information from university researchers. “Our study will fill the gaps of a lack of data,” said Kisekka, noting that researchers will get their first full year of data following this year’s corn harvest. Kansas State University also is involved in a cost-benefit analysis through its agricultural economics department and a study of the system’s impact on insects through its entomology department. Rude said that the Governor’s Economic Advisory Board recently reported to the U.S. Department of Agriculture that Kansas loses about $3,900 for every acre of farmland converted from irrigated to dryland (non-irrigated) farming. “As new technologies are implemented, it’s a new opportunity to emphasize to the Kansas community and nationally the role of efficient irrigation as an assurance to individual livelihoods, regional economies and national food security interests,” Rude said. “We can continue to do this intensified agriculture that necessitates irrigation, and we can do it in a responsible way.” Kisekka acknowledged the technology still has many challenges, such as changing to circular planting to ensure the drip line stays on the ground. Researchers also want to know the impact of rodents biting moving parts, the impact of the tube dragging on the ground and just how much money can be saved over time.  

USDA Releases Results of First Farmland Landlord Survey Since 1999

There are 20.1 million acres of farmland rented out by landlords in Nebraska, according to the results of the 2014 Tenure, Ownership, and Transition of Agricultural Land (TOTAL) survey released August 31, 2015 by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS). NASS conducted the survey in cooperation with the USDA’s Economic Research Service to get a better insight into who owns U.S. farmland. TOTAL was the first time NASS surveyed farmland landlords since 1999. The survey results provide analysis of rented farmlands by acreage, as well as by landlords, which include individuals, as well as ownership arrangements such as partnerships, corporations, trusts, and other types of ownership. According to TOTAL findings, there are 69,112 farmland landlords in Nebraska. Of these, 11,864 were farmers, while 57,248 are non-farming landlords. Cropland made up 62 percent of all Nebraska farmland rented, while 36 percent were pasture acres rented. The rest of the rented farmland in Nebraska were acres used for forests and other land uses. In the next five years, Nebraska farmland landlords expect to transfer 4.45 million acres to different owners. Of these, 362,462 acres are expected to be sold to non-relatives, 445,253 acres are expected to be sold to relatives, 3.03 million acres are expected to be put in a trust, and 609,402 acres landlords expect to gift away. Nationally, the report shows non-farming landlords own 80 percent of rented farmland.  USDA reported Agricultural producers rented and farmed 353.8 million acres of farmland. According to the results, rented farmland acres, combined with buildings on the rented land, are valued at more than $1.1 trillion. The survey counted approximately 2.1 million landlords with various ownership arrangements. In 2014, all of the landlords combined received $31.2 billion in rental income while incurring $9.2 billion in total expenses.  

Crop Maturity Slows with Cooler Weather

Corn acres doughing surpassed the five-year average last week while corn denting met it, according to a report released today by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. With 92 percent of corn acres in the doughing stage, 60 percent denting and 9 percent mature, the overall corn crop condition held strong with 68 percent of acres now rated in good or excellent condition. With doughing surpassing the average by two percentage points and denting exactly equal to the average at 60 percent of all acres overall, the percentage of corn acres having reached maturity trailed the five-year average by six points. While the percentage of acres mature this week fell behind the national average by six points, it was likely due in large part to cool conditions across the Corn Belt. With higher temperatures forecast this week, progress will likely make faster gains by the next report. Crop condition estimates remained approximately the same, with one point taken from the percentage of the crop rated good this week. At this point last year, 74 percent of corn acres were in good or excellent condition. In Nebraska, corn is 77% good to excellent, same as last week with 59% dented, beans 74% unchanged with 10% dropping leaves and Nebraska sorghum is 73% good to excellent...same as last week with 43% turning color. The latest government progress report on Kansas crops shows more crops maturing as fall harvest nears. 16 percent of the Kansas corn crop was now mature. About 57 percent of the state's corn crop is in good to excellent condition, with 32 percent rated as fair. About 11 percent is in poor to very poor condition. 2 percent of the sorghum in Kansas has also matured. Soybeans have 81 percent now setting pods, and 6 percent dropping leaves.  About 88 percent of sunflowers in the Sunflower State are now blooming.  

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Livestock

Cattle Herd Expansion Well Underway, But Beef Supplies Remain Tight

MANHATTAN, Kan. – U.S. cattle producers are responding to recent record-high prices by expanding their herds, but Americans’ appetite for beef will play a crucial role in how the larger supply will play out for the producer’s bottom line, according to a Kansas State University agricultural economist. Demand for beef has been strong the past two years, even in the face of those record-high prices, said Glynn Tonsor, agricultural economist with K-State Research and Extension. “The consumer has been willing to pay more for beef and pork than we thought they would,” he said, noting that consumers are spending a smaller percent of their disposable income on red meat than they used to. “Going forward, hopefully they will continue to pay those prices.” “The importance of demand will be clear over the next two to five years,” said Tonsor, speaking at the recent K-State Risk and Profit Conference. “Cattle futures are indicating that prices will move lower, but that doesn’t mean that the sky is falling. Prices are still good, just not as good as the record highs of last year.” Producers are retaining heifers to rebuild their herds at “astronomical” rates, Tonsor said, adding that the 6.5 percent rate of heifer retention as beef cow replacements so far in 2015 is the third highest rate since 1974. “Cattle prices are lower in 2015 compared with the high prices of 2014, but I’m not as bearish as I sound,” he said. The average price for steers coming out of feedlots in the five key U.S. cattle feeding areas in 2014 was $154.56, up almost 23 percent from a year earlier, according to data Tonsor shared that was compiled by the Livestock Marketing Information Center. The five areas are Texas-Oklahoma-New Mexico, Kansas, Nebraska, Colorado and Iowa-Minnesota. The LMIC projected the average price of steers in the five-market area in the third quarter of 2015 at $149 to $151 per hundredweight (cwt), down 5.4 percent from the previous quarter at $158.11. The fourth quarter price is projected at $153 to $156. Even with herd expansion underway, the average price for 2015 is projected by LMIC at $156 to $157 per cwt, up 1.3 percent from 2014. The average price for 2016 is forecast at $153 to $155, down 1.6 percent from the 2015 projected average. Unlike the still positive outlook for cattle and beef prices, Tonsor said the outlook for cattle feedlots is rough. The industry has excess capacity, and even with the cattle herd expansion underway, the trend toward negative returns for feedlots is unlikely to change much in the near future. Taking into account the costs associated with cattle feeding, including feeder cattle prices, feed and other expenses, Tonsor said feedlots were losing about $210 per steer as of June 2015. He posts an updated Kansas feedlot net returns chart monthly on www.agmanager.info. Going forward, beef producers should be mindful of avian influenza’s effect in poultry production, the effect porcine epidemic diarrhea virus (PEDv) has on pork production and how these could affect the beef market. Mandatory country-of-origin labeling, beef industry infrastructure and other factors should stay on producers’ radar. “Identifying and acting upon comparative advantage will increasingly be key,” Tonsor said.

NCBA Members Receive up to 20 Percent off at Cabela’s

DENVER (August 31, 2015) – The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association has announced a new member benefit in partnership with Cabela’s Corporate Outfitter. NCBA members can take advantage of the Cabela’s Corporate Outfitter program by receiving an Outfitter Card that will provide up to a 20 percent discount on business purchases made at Cabela’s stores, as well as access to Cabela’s customization services. “We are thrilled to announce this new benefit for our members,” said Marvin Kokes, NCBA Industry and Member Service Senior Vice President. “We have a strong organization with members who work each and every day to provide for others and this partnership is not only a thank you, but just one more incentive to join an organization that fights for the future of this industry every day and in the face of well-financed activist opposition. Cabela’s has been a strong partner with NCBA for many years, and we appreciate the continued partnership.” NCBA was established 1898 and is the oldest and largest national trade association working on behalf of all segments of the cattle industry. With over 117 years’ experience, NCBA is a trusted voice in the cattle industry and on Capitol Hill. “Your NCBA membership not only helps support efforts in Washington, D.C., but comes with so many other great benefits including a one liter bottle of Dectomax® pour-on from Zoetis, and discounts from John Deere, New Holland Agriculture, Roper and Stetson boots and apparel, Caterpillar and of course Cabela’s Corporate Outfitter for your business,” added Kokes. “You will also receive a subscription to National Cattlemen and updates from Washington.  If you are not already a member, this is just one more incentive and I encourage you to join today.”

Sen. Davis Encourages Ranchers to Testify at Hearing on Brand Committee in Grand Island

The Nebraska Legislature's Agriculture Committee will hold a public hearing to review the fee structure of the Nebraska Brand Committee on Friday, September 4th at 11:00am at the Grand Island City Council Chambers, 100 East First Street. The Committee will be taking testimony from interested parties about modifying fees charged by the Nebraska Brand Committee for brand inspection, transfer fees, grazing permits, and whether registered feedlots should be assessed fees in a different manner than non-registered feedlots, salebarns, and private ranch sales. Senator Al Davis of Hyannis strongly encourages those interested parties to attend the hearing. “It is important that ranchers share their vision for the future of the Brand Committee fee structure, since significant changes could result in dramatically different rates for the various sectors,” Senator Davis said. “I encourage you to attend, give testimony, and then take in the state fair.  Your voices need to be heard.”

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Technology

Drones Moving Ahead in Agriculture

2015 and 2016 could be when drones really start to take off in agriculture. At least that’s what a lot of those active in the drone community have been saying. “There is a lot of excitement around the world about this technology in agriculture use and for good reason,” says Chad Colby, a UAS consultant who’s become widely known in agriculture circles through his talks at UAS conferences around the country. “I’ve witnessed so many changes over the past three years,” he says. “Today, we are moving toward the fact that these will be another tool in the farmer’s toolbox.” So just what are those major changes that have caused a lot of moving and shaking in agriculture and from the FAA in the past couple years? Here’s a timeline to help you get caught up: February 2012: FAA Modernization and Reform Act This put into motion a requirement that FAA would address a safe integration of UAS through a five-year roadmap. November 2013: Roadmap announced The roadmap is released for integrating UAS into the nation’s airspace, ensuring FAA supports widespread use of UAS, with a goal of establishing requirements for operators. December 2013: Test sites announced FAA announces that six states win the bid for official UAS testing sites. The sites allow for testing of UAS in controlled environments to gather data on how different UAVs perform. The states where testing is taking place include Virginia, Nevada, Texas, New York, Alaska and North Dakota. February 2015: Small UAS (sUAS) rules, comment period FAA proposes regulations that would allow for regular use of sUAS (under 55 lbs), including safety rules for non-recreational operations. Commenting closed in April 2015. This move is significant for agriculture because most UAVs used for ag fall in the sUAS category. Comments are still being reviewed, and FAA says it will publish its official rules by June 17, 2016. May 2015: FAA expands sUAS horizons FAA announces partnerships through its Pathfinder Initiative to explore the next steps for UAS operation beyond what was proposed for sUAS in February.  Most important to agriculture is the extended visual line-of-sight operations testing that will be done in rural areas. UAV maker PrecisionHawk is announced as a partner. Thomas Haun, PrecisionHawk VP of strategy, said through the partnership they want to push the proposed rules to allow users to operate beyond line of sight. “We believe this will unlock significant value in ag – keeping the UAV in the air for a significant time would create tremendous amount of value,” he says. We’ve heard of the benefits of drones in ag: speeding up crop scouting, identifying pest or nutrient issues in crops and addressing them right away, checking for weather damage, finding pivot breakdowns on irrigation systems, checking drainage system performance – the list goes on. (Search “Take to the sky” on FarmIndustryNews.com to read the original article from 2013 on the details of drone technology and benefits of use.) But how do these things help growers justify the cost of purchasing a drone in the first place? The American Farm Bureau released its findings last month on a study calculating the return on investment that drones for agriculture can provide growers. They looked at using drones for crop scouting, crop insurance and 3D terrain mapping. In partnership with Informa Economics, and Drone as a Service (measure32.com) the created an ROI Calculator to measure drone usage ROI. When measuring the return gained through enhanced crop scouting, for example, ROI is $12 per acre for corn, $2.60 per acre for soybeans, and $2.30 per acre for wheat. The ROI Calculator used to measure this will soon be available for farmers and service providers online. While this is one specific example, and the types of drones available and the field conditions in which they operate vary widely, it’s a solid case showing how drone usage can pay off. Colby spoke at this year’s InfoAg precision ag conference last month in St. Louis to a packed room of growers and precision ag professionals and one of his key messages was that you do not have to spend a lot of money to get a useful UAS package. “You don’t need to spend big money to get a great ship for ag use. You can spend $1000 to $2000 depending on extras, additional batteries, a case, etc. And they are reliable. If operated correctly these ships are very good tools that work very well,” he says. Compared to what’s spent on some other farm inputs, that’s pretty cheap. And the type of imagery you get out of a system – like basic RBG photos – can tell you a lot about your fields. Colby notes that a 4th generation farmer is going to know what he or she sees when shown an image of a field with noticeable yellow strips showing a deficiency in their corn. NDVI (Normalized Difference Vegetation Index) imagery takes it a step further by indicating density but may require working with a service provider to get real meaning out of the process.  

Deere Unveils New 9RX Series

The line includes seven models - four in "ag" trim and three scraper machines. The four ag models are the 9470RX, 9520RX, 9570RX and 9620RX with the model number denoting engine horsepower. Three models - the 9470RX, 9520RX and 9570RX are available in scraper versions. He points to the undercarriage design which he calls "very robust and delivers maximum uptime and a low-cost of operation." Learn more about that on the next slide. JUST ADDED: Here's the pricing info - this is the base list price for the four main models: 9470RX - $497,645 9520RX - $523,359 9570RX - $549,072 9620RX - $574,786 The latest four-track machine to come to market, it's hard not to compare this machine with the competition, and Griffith addresses some key details, noting that buyers will notice a taller undercarriage compared to competitors. The tracks on the 9RX have a larger drive sprocket - 39.5 inches in diameter - and more wrap angle for more positive drive lug engagement. "The belt is 20% longer and the advantage of that is that to travel the same distance as a competitor our belt will travel 20% less," he says. [caption id="attachment_93620" align="alignnone" width="300"] Photo courtesy of John Deere[/caption] The John Deere four-track system has drive lugs. This is a positive-drive system, versus the two-track design that uses guide lugs and a friction drive design. Griffith notes that the tension on the belts is significantly higher than the competition, which he says is a contributor to maintaining contact with the ground. Mid rollers on the 9RX are the same as those on the 8RT line, which is designed to offer easy change out if it does need replacing. "[After you de-tension the belt] you just loosen some hardware and pull out the bad mid-roller and put in a new mid-roller," he notes. The design uses a sealed mid-roller with a rubber or poly coating for the wear surface. The John Deere system uses wider drive lugs than competitive models and there are more drive lugs engaged in the drive sprocket, which boosts the surface area engaged per lug, which decreases the chances of skipping a drive lug on the belt. These will be fixed-width machines with two belt widths - 30-inches and 36-inches. Scraper models will only offer the 30-inch belt. "We do have a narrow track machine in development that would be row crop compatible," Griffith points out. The tracks offered on these machines are Camoplast Duradrive 3500 Series and Camoplast Duradrive 6500 Series with Durabuilt technology tracks. The 3500 and 6500 tracks are the positive drive versions of the Durabuilt 4500 and 6500 series tracks used on the friction drive undercarriage of the 9RT lineup. There are two engine choices for the line up with the 9470RX and 9520RX powered by a John Deere PowerTech PSS 13.5-liter engine. The larger two machines - the 9570RX and 9620RX - have Cummins QSX15 engines. The company went to the larger Cummins engines with the announcement of the new 9RT lineup last year. It's not the first time Deere has selected a Cummins power plant for big tractors, but last year the rules changed. The last time the John Deere chose the Cummins engines for its four-wheel drive tractors, local John Deere dealers couldn't work on those machines. That's the past - all John Deere dealers are certified to work on the QSX engines in those bigger tractors. "We've had positive comments from the field about how those engines are performing," Griffith says. "They have the pulling ability and they like the power being provided. Any minor issues they come across can be dealt with at the dealership. We are meeting the objectives we had with this [engine choice]."

USDA Awards Energy Funding to 23 Nebraska Recipients

Twenty-three Nebraska applicants have been selected to receive $486,026 in grants from USDA Rural Development through the Rural Energy for America Program (REAP).  Funds will be used to install renewable energy systems and make energy efficiency improvements that will promote energy conservation. “Through these projects, energy consumption will be reduced, thereby making more dollars available to be kept within rural Nebraska and assisting the state’s rural economy,” said Nebraska State Director Maxine Moul, USDA Rural Development.  “Enough energy will be generated or saved to power 217 homes.” Eligible agricultural producers and rural small businesses may use REAP funds to make energy efficiency improvements or install renewable energy systems, including solar, wind, renewable biomass (including anaerobic digesters), small hydroelectric, ocean energy, hydrogen and geothermal.  Additional information on the Rural Energy for America Program may be found at http://www.rd.usda.gov/programs-services/rural-energy-america-program-renewable-energy-systems-energy-efficiency/ne or contact Jeff Carpenter, jeff.carpenter@ne.usda.gov; (402) 437-5554.   Detailed below by county are the energy projects selected from Nebraska’s allocation of funding. Funding is contingent upon the recipient meeting the conditions of the grant agreements. Adams -          Hastings HVAC, Inc. - $14,196 – Replace existing inefficient lighting throughout building.   Butler -          Pete C Schmit and Sons, Ltd. - $34,750 – Install a 25 kW wind turbine to replace existing energy source.   Cedar -          Kvols, Rod - $19,920 – Replace existing grain dryer with a more efficient model.   Cherry -          Danielski Harvesting & Farming, LLC - $50,000 – Replace existing grain dryer with a more efficient model.   Custer -          JJ & SE Jenkins, LLC - $18,750 – Install a 25 kW photo voltaic solar system on an existing building to replace existing energy source.   Dawes -          Puchner, James - $12,605 – Replace two inefficient gas furnaces with two efficient heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) units, doors, lighting, and windows.   Dodge -          Ortmeier, Michael J. - $5,439 – Diesel irrigation motor conversion and variable frequency drive.   Garden -          Blue Creek Rentals, LLC - $2,535 – Add insulation to ceilings, radiant heat, and window coverings.   Hamilton -          Hammond Enterprises, Inc. - $15,383 – Install a 25 kW photo voltaic solar system on an existing building to replace existing energy source. -          Rose Chiropractic Center P.C. - $7,426 – Installation of a 24 kW photo voltaic solar system on an existing building to replace existing energy source. -          Snoberger, Matt - $69,625 – Replace existing grain dryer with a more efficient model.   Holt -          Braun’s IGA, Inc. - $18,651 – Replace coolers in grocery store. -          The Alley/Millie’s Coffee - $10,240 – Replace existing windows and install an insulated roofing system to an existing building.   Keith -          Haggard, Travis J - $28,799 – Replace existing heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) unit with more efficient model and upgrade roof insulation system. -          Paxton Grocery & Meats, LLC - $49,999 – Replace freezers and coolers with more efficient models, add insulation, new ceiling, and heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) system.   Merrick -          Central City Scale, Inc. - $18,750 – Install a 25 kW photo voltaic solar system on an existing building to replace existing energy source. -          D Bar K, P.C. - $18,750 – Install a 25 kW photo voltaic solar system on an existing building to replace existing energy source. -          Williams, Billy Monte - $24,558 – Install a 25 kW photo voltaic solar system on an existing building to replace existing energy source.   Phelps -          Janssen & Sons Ford - $9,944 – Replace existing inefficient lighting and windows throughout building.   Scotts Bluff -          Hoehn Farms, Inc. - $8,165 – Convert five windmill stock wells to five solar panels with solar submersible pumps.   Seward -          Prestige Investments, LLC - $14,479 – Replace heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC), light fixtures, and install an insulated roofing system to an existing building.   Sherman -          Loup City Futures, Inc. - $4,981 – Replace two existing coolers and two existing air conditioning units.   York -          Henderson Foodmart, LLC - $28,081 – Replace 20 new door freezers and ice cream cases, replace rear door, add roof insulation, and upgrade heating and cooling equipment.  

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Ag Policy

Smith to Host International Trade Event

Washington, D.C. – Congressman Adrian Smith (R-NE), who serves on the Committee on Ways and Means and its Subcommittee on Trade, announced he will host Growing Nebraska Through Trade on Tuesday, September 22, in Grand Island.  Growing Nebraska Through Trade is a free seminar on the impacts of trade agreements and ongoing work to open markets worldwide to rural America. Growing Nebraska Through Trade will feature Ambassador Darci Vetter, Nebraska native and Chief Agricultural Negotiator in the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative, as keynote speaker, as well as Nebraska Department of Agriculture Director Greg Ibach and numerous other experts to provide diverse, informative perspectives on trade. Congressman Adrian Smith’s Growing Nebraska Through Trade Tuesday, September 22, 2015 8:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. (CDT) Raising Nebraska Locust Street & State Fair Boulevard Grand Island, NE For additional information about Growing Nebraska Through Trade or to RSVP, please visit http://AdrianSmith.house.gov/2015TradeSeminar.

Attorneys to Argue Scope of WOTUS

A federal judge in North Dakota is giving attorneys until Tuesday night to file briefs arguing the scope of his injunction blocking a new Environmental Protection Agency water rule. U.S. District Judge Ralph Erickson last week issued a temporary injunction requested by North Dakota and 12 other states to stop the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Army Corps of Engineers from regulating some small waterways under the Clean Water Act. The EPA says the injunction applied only to the 13 states that filed the lawsuit. Attorneys for the 13 states say the judge's ruling has ``nationwide scope.'' The states say the regulation is an overreach by the federal government.  The federal agencies say the rule clarifies the law and actually makes it easier for the states to manage some waterways.

Carly Fiorina: EPA Strangling Life Out of Ag Industry

Republican presidential candidate Carly Fiorina on Aug. 30 said the EPA is strangling the life out of many agriculture industries with overregulation. “I have seen the agriculture industry almost destroyed in the state of California by bad policies and bad politics,” Fiorina told listeners at the Iowa Corn Growers Associations’ annual meeting in Des Moines, according to a report from The Des Moines Register. “We have seen industry after industry after industry decimated,” the Republican presidential candidate added. “We are seeing the most productive agricultural land in the world – in the central valley of California – being destroyed by the Environmental Protection Agency.” Fiorina also argued that she would uphold the EPA’s Renewable Fuels Standard until its scheduled end in 2022, but vowed she would not extend the guideline past that date. “Let us establish 2022 as the end point – let’s have a level playing field from now until 2022,” she said. “But in 2022, the government needs to get out of all this. Fossil fuels, sugar, corn subsidies – government needs to get out of all of it.” “In the spirit of complete honesty and transparency, I’m also going to tell you this: I don’t think government should be in the business of setting prices and guaranteeing access to markets,” Fiorina added. “I think the government has to be even-handed.”  

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