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State Programs Help Expand, Protect and Support Nebraska Agriculture

The Nebraska Farm Bureau has worked to support legislation that is designed to help farmers and ranchers grow their businesses. Below are two programs that can help expand and protect your operations.

Livestock Modernization

Last year, with the support of Nebraska Farm Bureau, state senators passed LB 1261, a bill to increase the amount of tax credits available each year under the Nebraska Advantage Rural Development Act from $1 million to $10 million. The bill also increases the maximum amount available for certain livestock modernization or expansion projects from $150,000 per application to $500,000.

Whether building a new barn, buying a new feeder or installing state of the art smart technology, this is an opportunity to get a leg up in an industry that is constantly improving by modernizing operations and increasing capacity. This includes livestock housing, confinement, feeding, production and waste management. The grant can be up to 10% of a project’s total estimated investment cost but is capped at $500,000 per application. To be eligible, the total investment must be at least $50,000.

Projects must meet certain requirements for approval. Applications must be submitted by a single taxpayer or entity, who must estimate tax credits of investment and employment growth. If you have employees, you must be enrolled in E-verify, the federal electronic verification program used to confirm whether employees are authorized to work in the United States. You can submit multiple applications for multiple investment projects.

Contact Nebraska Farm Bureau with any questions regarding the Livestock Modernization Act.

Reverse Osmosis Units

Nebraska Farm Bureau believes all Nebraskans should have access to safe drinking water and supports the continued use and adoption of science-based, best management practices

to provide safe drinking water while achieving efficient nutrient uptake by crops and reducing potential for nutrient loss.

While those efforts continue, reverse osmosis provides a tool necessary to ensure Nebraskans have access to safe drinking water free from nitrates.

The Nebraska Department of Energy and Environment (NDEE) has an open application process for property owners to install reverse osmosis units for their drinking water. This program, which runs through June 30, 2024, is a major step in addressing areas with increased nitrate levels in drinking water throughout the state, specifically in groundwater. Up to $4,000 per small treatment installation will be available via rebates to qualified property owners providing installation is complete by Sept. 30, 2024.. Passage of the funds made available through federal American Rescue Plan Act dollars was a high priority for Nebraska Farm Bureau in 2022, and we have advocated for expansion of these funds in 2023.

In order to qualify, property owners seeking rebates must submit water quality data from a state laboratory, with testing results dated no earlier than Jan. l, 2022. They will also need to submit a cost estimate from a licensed plumber certified by the American National Standards Institute. Testing is available to any private citizen.

Follow this step-by-step instructional process.

For further information, please visit dee.ne.gov or contact Steven McNulty with the NDEE at 402-471-2186.

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