Tag Archives: Nebraska

LINCOLN, NEB. – Elected leaders of Nebraska’s agricultural organizations thanked members of the Legislature’s Revenue, Education, and Retirement Committees for their efforts to find a solution to high property taxes in Nebraska, but urged lawmakers to avoid repurposing dollars from the state’s Property Tax Credit Fund as a means to fund the Revenue Committee’s new property tax relief proposal. The request was made in testimony during an April 24 hearing on an amendment to the Revenue Committee’s LB 289.


Ken Herz, a rancher from Lawrence, provided testimony on behalf of the Agriculture Leaders Working Group representing the member-elected leaders from the Nebraska Cattlemen, Nebraska Corn Growers Association, Nebraska Farm Bureau, Nebraska Pork Producers Association, Nebraska Soybean Association, Nebraska State Dairy Association, and Nebraska Wheat Growers Association.


The Property Tax Credit Fund is a state fund that provides $224 million in property tax relief to Nebraska taxpayers on an annual basis. The amendment to LB 289 would take the $224 million from the Property Tax Credit Fund and use it to help pay for a new Revenue Committee proposal estimated to provide an additional $412 million in property tax relief above and beyond the $224 million delivered through the Property Tax Credit Fund.  The Revenue Committee’s amendment to LB 289 would lower valuations for commercial, residential, and agricultural lands, provide foundation aid to schools, provide for a minimum state aid guarantee based on a school’s needs in the state aid formula, and lower the local effort rate for schools, among other provisions.


In urging the committees to leave the Property Tax Credit Fund intact, the Agriculture Leaders asked the committees to look at alternative ways to fund the Revenue Committee’s new property tax relief proposal, noting the amendment already included provisions to increase the state’s sales tax rate and to broaden the state’s sales tax base by eliminating sales tax exemptions.


The Agriculture Leaders continues to offer support for both increasing the state sales tax rate and broadening the sales tax base as a way to offset property tax reductions and provide a means for the state to take on greater financial responsibility for providing state funding to all of Nebraska’s K-12 schools.

Since 1999, the Nebraska Cooperative Development Center has provided technical assistance, education and training to groups who are developing or are considering the development of a cooperatively owned business. The primary objective has been and is to improve the economic condition of rural areas through cooperative business development. NCDC continues to be committed to working with communities and organizations from idea formation to implementation.

NCDC - celebrating 20 years

As we reflect on the 20th year of the Center, this article revisits the cooperative model. Often in economics, cooperatives are described as formed for a market failure. That may be the case, but that failure creates an opportunity to work together. Working together is a Nebraska way of doing things. The flood has emphasized that and the Nebraska Strong slogan. The model in rural communities may be the best solution and approach regardless of the situation.

Many in rural Nebraska are familiar with agricultural cooperatives. The most common types are marketing and supply cooperatives. A marketing cooperative may focus on bargaining, grading, transporting, processing, distribution, research and product development. The Nebraska Cooperative Council highlights other types of agricultural cooperatives such as service or regional cooperatives. These cooperatives have been successful at meeting the needs of its members. Meeting the needs of its members is a key tenant of the cooperative model.

Have you considered how your community or industry can apply the cooperative model?

Cooperatives are generally created for the following reasons:

  • To provide a service or need in the community
  • To improve bargaining power
  • To reduce costs
  • To obtain products or services otherwise unavailable
  • To expand new and existing market opportunities
  • To increase income

The cooperative WHY is important to bring people and/or communities together to work towards a common goal.

Definition & Principles

First, a brief definition and principles to the cooperative model. By definition, a cooperative is an association of persons (organization) that is owned and controlled by the people to meet their common economic, social, and/or cultural needs and aspirations through a jointly-owned and democratically owned business (enterprise). A cooperative is an autonomous association of person united voluntarily to meet their common economic, social and cultural needs and aspirations through a jointly-owned and democratically-controlled enterprise.

Cooperatives are based on the values of self-help, self-responsibility, democracy, equality, equity and solidarity. In the tradition of their founders, cooperative members believe in the ethical values of honesty, openness, social responsibility and caring for others. (Source)

Type of Cooperatives –

Next, think of the types of cooperatives. Are you concerned that a business or service in your community will not transition into the future? Are one of these models something your community should consider?

The following are typical types of cooperatives:

  1. Retail Cooperatives. Retail cooperatives are a type of consumer cooperative which help create retail stores to benefit the consumers–making the retail our store. They allow consumers the opportunity to supply their own needs, gain bargaining power, and share earnings. NCDC recently worked in a number of communities to establish grocery cooperatives. One example, the Elwood Hometown Cooperative Market opened in 2013 after the local grocery store closed in 2012. Working together, the community invested $307,000 which included buying and remodeling the building, purchasing equipment and stocking the store with inventory.
  2. Worker Cooperatives. Members of worker cooperatives are both employees of the business as well as owners of the cooperative. Worker cooperatives have been growing across the United States. SBA is now offering money to help employee-owned business with the passage of Main Street Employee Ownership Act of 2018. The legislation which improves access to capital and technical assistance for employee-owned businesses will greatly help worker co-ops. For more information, visit a small business development center.
  3. Producer Cooperatives. Producer cooperatives are created by producers and owned and operated by producers. Examples of a producer cooperative created in Nebraska is Heartland Nuts ‘N More. This cooperative successfully opened in 2003. The main office is located in Valparaiso, Nebraska and brings together black walnut growers from Nebraska, Kansas, Iowa and Missouri.
  4. Service Cooperatives. Service cooperatives are a type of consumer cooperativewhich help fill a need in the community. This can be child care, health care, etc. This is another growing cooperative in the United States. Nebraska has examples of multi-owner daycares.
  5. Housing Cooperatives – Housing cooperatives are a type of service cooperative that is growing rapidly as well. Especially in your expensive urban areas as well as in some rural areas. For example, Montana has been successful in implementing this type of model. NCDC is learning more about the process to see if it may be feasible in Nebraska. For more information on the benefits and structures of housing, cooperatives check out this Housing Cooperatives PDF by the University of Wisconsin Center for Cooperatives.

Visit the NCDC site for more information on the types of cooperatives.

In review, the cooperative model is about members solving their own problems. It is –

  • Collective ownership – not self-interest
  • Collective control
  • Members contribute financially
  • Democratic governance
  • Member Participation — cooperatives are used by members, owned by members.

To better understand the NCDC impacts, a longitudinal survey will be conducted in May 2019. In addition to impacts, we want to follow-up with past participants to understand successes, potential opportunities and how we can better serve.

Over the last twenty years, NCDC has worked with well over 100 businesses. During 2018 Jim Crandall retired and early 2019 Elaine Cranford left to focus on family and business. Jim has been with NCDC since its inception and Elaine for the majority of the time. NCDC will miss their combined expertise and vision for Cooperative Development in Nebraska. Thank you to Jim and Elaine.

As we look to the next 20 years, NCDC will continue to focus on assisting rural communities with developing cooperatively owned businesses. Cindy Houlden, Skylar Falter and Charlotte Narjes will be working together to build upon past successes. Skylar will be working with us soon on helping those working in the area of local foods to explore multi-ownership opportunities.

Nebraska:  Milk production in Nebraska during the January-March 2019 quarter totaled 357 million pounds, down 2 percent from the January-March quarter last year, according to the USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service. The average number of milk cows was 59,000 head, 1,000 head less than the same period last year.

Kansas:  Milk production in Kansas during March 2019 totaled 328 million pounds, up 3 percent from March 2018, according to the USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service. The average number of milk cows was 164,000 head, 7,000 head more than March 2018. Milk production per cow averaged 2,000 pounds.

Access the National publication for this release at:


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

Senators from states that are still recovering from natural disasters met with President Trump at the White House to talk about stalled disaster aid.

The House passed a bill that failed to advance in the Senate. Politico says the legislation has been bogged down for months over a dispute about U.S. aid to Puerto Rico. Roll Call Dot Com says Hurricane Maria battered the island in 2017 and Congress set aside billions of dollars in assistance. However, some $20 billion in rebuilding aid hasn’t been spent yet and President Trump has accused Puerto Rico officials of mismanaging the aid. Senate Republicans have introduced a $13 billion aid package, which includes $600 million in additional assistance to Puerto Rico. Democrats want an additional $462 million for the long-term rebuilding of the country.

House Democrats introduced a $17.2 billion bill last week that builds on the House version while adding an additional $3 billion to help Midwest flooding victims recover. Another winter storm dumped heavy snow on parts of the Plains and the Midwest last week. At one point, almost 90,000 people were without power in Iowa, Minnesota, South Dakota, and Wisconsin. The additional precipitation and snow melt could cause another surge in the Missouri River after severe flooding swamped farmlands and grain storage sites last month.

LINCOLN, Neb. – The major disaster declaration for the State of Nebraska has been amended to authorize Public Assistance (PA) grants for 50 counties to help pay for repair and replacement of public facilities damaged as a result of the March winter storm and flooding.

Previously 65 counties and five tribal nations were approved for Public Assistance grants to reimburse the cost of emergency services and debris removal, including direct federal assistance (Categories A-B). Damage assessments are continuing and more counties and tribal nations may be designated for additional reimbursement for public facilities (Categories C-G). These facilities include roads and bridges, water control facilities, buildings and equipment, utilities, parks and recreational areas,

The following are now eligible for Categories C-G at a federal cost share of not less than 75 percent:

Adams, Antelope, Blaine, Boone, Box Butte, Boyd, Buffalo, Burt, Butler, Cass, Cedar, Colfax, Cuming, Custer, Dakota, Dixon, Dodge, Douglas, Fillmore, Frontier, Furnas, Gage, Garfield, Gosper, Greeley, Hall, Holt, Howard, Jefferson, Johnson, Knox, Lancaster, Logan, Loup, Madison, Morrill, Nance, Nemaha, Otoe, Pawnee, Pierce, Platte, Richardson, Saline, Sarpy, Sherman, Valley, Wayne, Washington and Wheeler Counties.

LINCOLN, Neb. – With recent storms and significant flooding impacting much of the state, Nebraska Corn is thankful for the outpouring of support at the local and national levels and said there are still opportunities for farmers to help in relief efforts.

During their next visit to their local grain elevators, farmers can donate proceeds from their grain sales to the Nebraska Farm Bureau Foundation’s Disaster Relief Fund or the Nebraska Cattlemen Foundation. At the farmers’ discretion, grain elevators across the state will be able to collect and disperse the donations to the Nebraska Farm Bureau Foundation or the Nebraska Cattlemen Foundation. Both of these disaster assistance programs are designed to help local farmers and ranchers by providing 100% of donations to those who need them the most.

“Farmers often help out neighbors in need,” said Dan Nerud, farmer from Dorchester and president of the Nebraska Corn Growers Association. “These relief programs are great ways to extend the generosity of our producers. Farmers can simply deliver grain to their local elevator and designate the entire load or a percentage of the load to relief efforts. Farmers will get a receipt for their contribution and 100% of the dollars from the sale of that grain will go to help their neighbors in need.”

Interested donors can also help rural farmers and ranchers by making direct donations to the Nebraska Farm Bureau Foundation or the Nebraska Cattlemen Foundation. Checks can be sent to the following addresses:

Make checks payable to: Nebraska Farm Bureau Foundation

Nebraska Farm Bureau Foundation
Attn: Disaster Relief Fund
P.O. Box 80299
Lincoln, NE 68501-0299
Make checks payable to: Nebraska Cattlemen Disaster Relief Fund

Nebraska Cattlemen Disaster Relief Fund
4611 Cattle Drive
Lincoln, NE 68521

“Recent storms and flood waters have been devastating, and it’s difficult to imagine what impacted farmers, ranchers and rural residents are going through,” said David Bruntz, farmer from Friend and chairman of the Nebraska Corn Board. “Fortunately, those involved in agriculture help those who are down on their luck. It’s impossible to undo what has happened, but when we all come together, we can make the devastation easier for many Nebraska families. We appreciate everyone’s efforts and contributions in keeping #NebraskaStrong.”

Following the defeat of two bills to address 2018 and 2019 disasters on the Senate floor Monday evening, Democrats offered a new plan to address Puerto Rico while Republicans criticized their colleagues for blocking urgently needed aid to other parts of the country.

Senate Appropriations Committee Vice Chairman Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., on Tuesday introduced a substitute to the emergency disaster supplemental while the House Agriculture Appropriations Subcommittee addressed the issue at a hearing on the rural economy.

Democrats want more aid for Puerto Rico than the Republicans have proposed. On Monday evening, neither a Republican proposal that contained $600 million in additional food stamp benefits for Puerto nor the House-passed bill that is more generous to Puerto Rico got the 60 votes needed to proceed.

Meanwhile, Senate Republicans blamed Democrats for stopping both the aid to Puerto Rico that was in the Republican bill and aid to farmers.

Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, said, “Senate Democrats yesterday blocked a bill that provides much-needed funds for Puerto Rico’s nutrition program, also aid for the 2018 hurricane and wildfires, and thirdly assistance to Midwest states in the midst of a flood crisis.”

“That includes at least Iowa, Nebraska, Missouri, maybe other states,” Grassley said.

“Now, the people that voted against it say it was because they care about Puerto Rico. But the bill they blocked takes care of the urgent funding shortfalls there in that commonwealth,” he said.

“Playing politics with disaster aid does a disservice to the people of Puerto Rico and the people of states like Iowa that are suffering right now from these floods,” Grassley said. “Why would these senators want to come to campaign in Iowa when they don’t show sympathy for Iowans suffering from the floods with the vote that they cast last night?”

At a House Agriculture Appropriations Subcommittee hearing on the rural economy Tuesday, Paxton Poitevint, the president and CEO of Southwest Georgia Farm Credit in Bainbridge, Georgia, said that while crop insurance, commodity programs and trade agreements are helping, the cotton and nut farmers whose crops were devastated by Hurricane Michael and timber growers in his area “need federal disaster assistance now.”

House Agriculture Appropriations Subcommittee Chairman Sanford Bishop, D-Ga., said at the hearing, “To be honest, I did not think we’d still be sitting here in April without a disaster aid package signed into law.”

Bishop added that he is “extremely frustrated” and “hopeful it will happen soon.”

Rep. Jeff Fortenberry, R-Neb., whose district has been devastated by floods, said that as bad as the agricultural losses are now, they “are going to mount.”

Iowa officials estimate about $214 million in agricultural losses and more than $1.6 billion in total disaster losses. Nebraska officials estimate agricultural losses could top $1 billion because of as much as $500 million in livestock losses and $400 million in crop losses, as well as prevented planting challenges this spring. Nebraska officials estimate another $450 million just in road damages. Missouri officials have not released any estimates, but parts of northwest Missouri and southwest Iowa remain underwater.

The Leahy/Schumer amendment totals $16.7 billion and includes $2.5 billion in new funding for disaster-stricken communities in the Southeast and Midwest and restores certain funding for Puerto Rico and other territories.

Leahy and Schumer said, “We cannot pick and choose which American citizens to help in times of crisis. Democrats are ready to stand with all American communities affected by recent natural disasters. We hope Republican leadership will stand with us in this effort.”

The amendment includes increased funding for Community Development Block Grants and grants to help rebuild damaged water systems in Puerto Rico. It also provides Medicaid funding for other territories and mandates that the Department of Housing and Urban Development speed up the release of billions in Community Development Block Grant funding the Trump administration has been withholding from disaster stricken communities.

Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., whose constituents suffered from wildfires and forest fires in 2018, voted against the Republican bill and said, “In California, the scale of last year’s destruction was unprecedented. Wildfires killed 85 people, destroyed nearly 14,000 homes and burned more than 150,000 acres, including the entire town of Paradise. Recovery efforts are already underway and additional funding is needed to prevent any delay.”

“Tragically, Californians aren’t the only Americans still trying to recover,” Feinstein said. “Victims of recent typhoons, volcanoes, earthquakes, floods, tornadoes and hurricanes, including those that struck Puerto Rico two years ago, are also counting on Congress to approve this funding.

“Congress used to set politics aside after major disasters and help victims in their time of need. Partisan infighting won’t rebuild a single home or school. It’s time we pass an emergency supplemental bill that includes funding for all disaster victims.”

President Donald Trump has said he does not want to provide any aid to Puerto Rico beyond the money for food stamps. Trump called the leaders of Puerto “incompetent and corrupt” and made statements that are factually incorrect, The New York Times reported.

Just two percent of the US population is directly involved in agriculture. According to the last US Census there are just over 327 million people currently living in the US. That means that agriculture accounts for 6.54 million people. While the number looks large the reality brings it to a much smaller size.

Word of the flood and blizzard damage in Nebraska following the bomb cyclone spread quickly from local and social media sources. Farmers and ranchers from across the country knew they needed to help their fellow ag producers. They did so by loading their trailers with hay, feed, bedding, fencing supplies,  and other necessities. It wasn’t just people neighboring states either. Convoys from the West coast to the East coast and every where in between loaded up and headed out.

In Central Nebraska  near Pleasanton the Reissland family farm made it through the worst of the storm with minimal damage, but neighbors and others around were not so lucky. Richard Panowicz lost 250 bales of hay to several feet of water. Panowicz explained, “We are rolling it out and letting the cattle pick through it and use it as bedding. All we can do because it’s ruined.  Heidi Reissland feels for Panowicz and other neighbors who lost cattle saying, “It makes you pretty grateful for what you do have.” The Reissland’s have an open hay yard and clean shop to store supplies. When Heidi thought about this she reached out to long time friend Nate Like in North West Ohio. Like had inquired earlier if the Reissland’s or their neighbors needed anything.

Like who is President of his county Farm Bureau called a meeting area farmers and ranchers to ask for donations. “It started with one load of hay and then it grew to five, then 10 and within days it was up to 25 pickups and trailers.” Like was amazed at how generous people were.

Benson Mcclarren helped to round up donations for the convoy and agree’s with Like that the generosity was unbelievable. Mcclarren even remarked, “On the way here we stopped at a Casey’s General Store for fuel. Someone inside learned of what we were doing and bought us a $500 gift card to help get everyone fueled up.” Mcclarren also pointed out that all ages stepped up to help with the North  West Ohio relief convoy. “There’s a lot of young people who took time off of work and school to make the trip with us. They didn’t have to, but they felt it was the right thing to do.”

When the convoy completed the last few dirt miles to the Reissland’s farm Nebraskans were waiting with hot meals and ready tractors. There was hand shaking, hugging and plenty of thanking. These travelers came 800 miles one way just to make sure their fellow ag producer had the necessities to try recover from the storm. With a cookie and a drink for the road many loaded back up and headed back for Ohio. “Not everyone has the fifth generation at home to do the chores like I do.” Mcclarren explains.

This story is just one of the many, as convoys continue to bring supplies to those in need in Nebraska. It just goes to show that there may be over six million ag producers in the US, but when one is in need they all pitch in like family.


 John Widdowson saw the forecast during the week of March 10 and made a plan to keep his cattle safe in his operation near Gibbon, Nebraska. He moved his cow-calf pairs away from the nearby Wood River and into pastures usually not utilized this time of year, and he also left them plenty of feed.

Despite the planning, he still lost baby calves during the “bomb cyclone” weather system that produced heavy rain and a blizzard with 4 inches of snow and 65-mile-per-hour winds or higher. This all occurred on frozen soils, forcing massive amounts of water into streams and rivers that were not able to handle it.

“It was just a perfect storm with both the rain and snow,” Widdowson told DTN. “We were out there during that first night, but you couldn’t do anything with the horrible winds.”

Much of the state of Nebraska was affected by this challenging weather, from the heavy rains causing extensive severe flooding in the central and eastern part of the state to a raging blizzard in the western half of the state. Some areas of central Nebraska producers saw both.

Cattle producers across the state are still tallying their losses from the extreme weather.


Nebraska producers who lost livestock due to the combination of extended cold and above-normal precipitation during the months of January, February and March may be eligible for assistance under the Livestock Indemnity Program (LIP), Nancy Johner, executive director of the Nebraska USDA Farm Service Agency, announced in a news release Tuesday.

LIP compensates livestock owners and contract growers for livestock death losses in excess of normal mortality due to an adverse weather event. The payment rate is based on 75% of the average fair market value of the livestock, according to the news release.

A livestock producer must file a notice of loss within 30 calendar days of when the loss of livestock is first apparent. The deadline to submit the notice to FSA county offices is April 29, 2019. Livestock producers must provide evidence that the death of livestock was due to an eligible adverse weather event or loss condition, according to the news release.

Once a notice of loss is completed and approved by FSA, an application for payment can be completed by submitting supporting documents regarding beginning inventory and losses. This may include documentation showing the number and kind of livestock that died, photographs or video records to document the loss, purchase records, veterinarian records, production records and other similar documents, the news release said.

Producers may apply for LIP benefits at their county FSA office. For more information on LIP, or to locate a county FSA office, visit www.farmers.gov.


Widdowson and his family farm 3 1/2 miles north of Gibbon, a central Nebraska town of 1,800. He has 300 commercial cows in his cow-calf operation. The Wood River is between town and their farm.

With pastures and cattle facilities away from the river, the Widdowsons didn’t see any damage from floodwaters. But water did cover the roads around them and isolated them for three days. Everything to the south of them was underwater, he said.

They were well into their calving season when the storm hit; Widdowson estimated about 70% of the calving was done at the time. While the cattle were moved away from the river, calves still drowned with water sitting in places like terraces, and they were also trampled in the extremely muddy conditions.

“We had seen the forecast and tried to mitigate the situation,” he said. “If we hadn’t done that, we would have lost even more (cattle).”

Widdowson said the heavy rains and flooding alone wouldn’t have been that bad of situation by itself, but combined with blizzard conditions, it made for a treacherous combination. He had five guys, including his two sons, out trying to care for the cattle, but he also had to be sure the guys were safe during the dangerous weather.

Before the storm, they took 16 baby calves away from their mamas and put them inside to make sure they would live. After the storm, two guys spent the next 48 hours attempting to get the pairs back together by placing them in pens and in the chute, even milking the cows by hand, trying to get the pairs to bond once again.

All but one cow took their calves back, he said. The abandoned calf was put on another cooperative cow whose calf didn’t make it through the storm.

“This was extreme work,” Widdowson said.

In the two weeks since, he and his crew have “lived with these cattle” as they continue to check on the cattle at least twice a day. The lingering effects of extreme stress can be seen, with calves showing some illness, mainly pneumonia and scours.

Widdowson has moved his cattle into nearby cornfields, a fresh, clean environment for his cattle. Most of his cattle have bounced back well, with a handful of calves still under the weather.

While he did lose some calves, Widdowson said he feels fortunate compared to other cattle producers who lost part of their herds, pastures, facilities, homes and miles of fence in the widespread flooding.


Just about 100 miles to the northwest of Widdowson, Loup County in the Nebraska Sandhills also saw the destructive effects from the weather. Deb Starr, Loup County Treasurer located in Taylor, said the Loup River did not flood, but the massive amount of water did cause some major issues in the county.

“I know there was some calves which were lost in the blizzard, and the county roads sustained some major damage as well,” Starr said.

The frost has just begun to come out of the soils in the region, so roads are still difficult to get across right now, she said. The real effect of the storm may not be known until the soil dries some, so the situation in Loup County can be assessed better.

Starr said crop producers in the county are also concerned about the amount of moisture in the area’s soils. Many are worried they will not be able to do any fieldwork in the coming weeks as spring planting is rapidly approaching, she said.

Aaron Berger, University of Nebraska-Lincoln (UNL) Extension beef educator located in Kimball in the Nebraska Panhandle, said his home area of the southern Panhandle didn’t see the calf losses that the northern Panhandle saw with the severe blizzard and flooding from the White River there. Minimum losses in the overall Panhandle region could be 5% to 10% of the calf crop, he said. According to the Census of Agriculture, in 2012, there were 1.1 million head — or 20% of the state’s cattle population — located in the Panhandle district of Nebraska.

The region will see the impacts of the March blizzard on calves for some time. One beneficial action done in recent weeks was the opening of Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) acres to Panhandle cattlemen, he said.

“This could be the most beneficial thing for cattle producers, to get their cattle out of wet, saturated soils and into these clean soils,” Berger said.


While the severe weather will have a long-term effect on cattle producers hit by the weather, there may not be any influence on the cattle markets.

Rick Kment, DTN analyst, said there is no question many cattle producers were affected by the adverse weather. The question will be how many head were affected, something still not really known.

“Regardless, we really haven’t seen much of an effect on the feeder and fat cattle markets in the days since,” Kment said.

Kment said, similar to a hailstorm damaging crops in just one area of the wider Corn Belt, the calves lost in Nebraska are just part of the total cow herd across the country. While the state is home to more cattle than people, the nation’s cow herd is spread out in many different states not affected by this weather, he said.

The additional costs to cattle producers, both cow-calf and feedlots, is something to keep an eye on, Kment said.

Additional feed was utilized for cow-calf operations during the time before and after the storms; this could force some to purchase more feedstuffs, in addition to what they might have received as hay donations from other people in the cattle industry within the state and from other states.

Feedlots are also having to spend more money moving cattle. This could be in the form of moving cattle out of flooded lots or having to take different road detours to go to market with many rural roads and highways closed, he said.


What Nebraska cattle producers pummeled by the recent bad weather could use now is some drier conditions and no spring winter snowstorms. DTN Senior Ag Meteorologist Mike Palmerino said there is both good news and not so good news in the weather forecast.

On the positive side, Palmerino doesn’t believe there will be any significant spring snowstorms in line for western Nebraska anytime soon. In addition, the heaviest rainfall this week has shifted more into the southern and eastern Midwest along and south of Interstate 80, he said.

“This doesn’t mean the northwest areas that bore the brunt of the blizzards and flooding will get nothing, it’s just that the core of the heaviest rains will be off to their south and east,” Palmerino said.

The not-so-good news for the flooded areas of central and eastern Nebraska, southwestern Iowa and into Missouri is they are still at risk for more flooding. Frequent episodes of moderate-to-heavy rainfall in the region could keep already flooded areas from drying, he said.

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — In the wake of disastrous flooding in eastern Nebraska and western Iowa earlier this month, officials have created an on-demand webinar to help people deal with the serious health dangers that remain after major flooding.

The Central States Center of Agricultural Safety and Health at the University of Nebraska Medical Center College of Public Health collaborated with the AgriSafe Network to create the webinar.

Major safety concerns include chemicals released from barns, homes and other on-farm sources and businesses; contaminated well water; human and animal communicable diseases; and mold.

More farm and ranch flood-related resources are available on the Central States Center website.