Randy Uhrmacher, president of the Nebraska Corn Growers Association, urges Nebraska corn producers to review and comment on the future business plan developed by the Nebraska Corn Board, the entity that assess and collects the checkoff in Nebraska.
Uhrmacher of Juniata says that growers should study the proposal and think about the future direction of their industry. "With the ethanol boom we are experiencing in the state, the agricultural landscape is changing rapidly," he explains. "As more corn goes into ethanol production, we need to consider the ramifications it will have on our own operations, as well as our customers, our communities and our entire state."
Among other things, the Nebraska Corn Board's business plan calls for an increase in the corn checkoff to four-tenths of a cent per bushel, compared to the current one-quarter-cent per bushel. Additional revenues generated by a checkoff increase would help fund programs to expand the livestock industry in Nebraska, as well as other key initiatives related to corn, ethanol and livestock.
Uhrmacher says NeCGA has a resolution in place that supports increasing the corn checkoff up to the four-tenths of a cent level.
"It (checkoff) addresses the challenges and opportunities facing the corn industry, and contains several strategies for sustained growth and profitability," he adds. "We strongly urge corn producers to obtain a copy of the plan and provide feedback to both NeCGA and the Nebraska Corn Board. Important decisions need to be made and grassroots input is essential in this process."
The business plan is available on the Corn Board's Web site at www.nebraskacorn.org, or by calling the Corn Board's office at 1-800-632-6761.
Uhrmacher also pointed out that the proposed increase in the corn checkoff is not related to the Legislature's recent passage of LB701.
"That legislation extends the special ethanol checkoff on corn beyond its scheduled expiration in 2012, and the monies collected would be used to fund a Water Resources Cash Fund," Uhrmacher says. "Both checkoffs have been in the news this year, but we want growers to know that they are not related."