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March 17, 2010
|Nebraska Corn Growers 402.438.6459
LINCOLN, NE – Nebraska corn farmers support Governor Dave Heineman’s signing of
LB 689 today, and the Nebraska Corn Growers Association said it appreciates the
state senators who introduced and supported the measure in the Unicameral.
LB 689 repeals LB 701, which was originally passed in 2007. LB 701 would have
redirected funds from the “ethanol corn checkoff” – a 7/8 cent per bushel corn
checkoff that was set to expire in 2012 – to the state’s Water Resources Cash
Fund. The Water Resources Cash Fund is intended to assure Nebraska’s compliance
with the Republican River Compact of 1943.
The ethanol corn checkoff is separate from the 1/4 cent per bushel corn checkoff
that corn farmers use to fund market development, research and education
programs. Yet, the two are similar in that the ethanol corn checkoff is intended
to help grow the ethanol industry and, therefore, increase market opportunities
for corn farmers. The ethanol corn checkoff will now sunset in 2012 as
originally outlined when it was created.
“Checkoffs are intended to fund market development and other programs, and we
felt that LB 701 would have diverted those funds to a use that was not intended
when the ethanol corn checkoff was created,” said Steve Ebke, chairman of
NeCGA’s state government affairs committee and farmer from Daykin. “We also
believe funding the Water Resources Cash Fund is an obligation of the entire
state, not just farmers. That is why we supported LB 689, which will maintain
the integrity of the checkoffs, and we appreciate all those who made it happen.”
Ebke said NeCGA members understand the need for the Water Resources Cash Fund
but believe contributing to the fund should be equal among all stakeholders. “We
look forward to working with those in agriculture, other stakeholders, the
legislature and administration to explore ways to fund the Water Resources Cash
Fund,” he said.
NeCGA is a grassroots commodity organization that works to enhance the
profitability of corn producers. Now in its 37th year of service to its members,
NeCGA has more than 2,000 dues paying members in Nebraska. NeCGA is affiliated
with the NCGA, which has more than 35,000 dues paying members nationwide.