Nebraska Corn Farmers Appreciate passage, signing of LB 689

Immediate Release
For More Information:
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.

March 17, 2010 1:55 PM
On the road to North Platte, Shooters tonite! Happy St Pattys Day!