February-March 2021 Edition

A December Nebraska Supreme Court decision to uphold the validity of a special use permit for a poultry operation in Lancaster County is good news for livestock producers in Nebraska. The court’s decision relied in part on the Nebraska Odor Footprint Tool to show the county had considered the public health, safety and welfare when considering the permit. The court decision could set a precedent for future zoning and nuisance lawsuits and offers hope for livestock producers relying on science-based tools when designing their operations.

Agriculture emerged from 2020 financially stronger than many people would have expected. Surging prices and increased government assistance set the foothold for a late year financial rally. Entering 2021, questions abound on whether the rally will continue. Will the COVID-19 pandemic be put in the rearview mirror? Will China’s insatiable appetite for commodities continue? Is there another black swan event on the horizon? Nebraska Farm Bureau News talked with NEFB Senior Economist Jay Rempe and asked him to examine these questions and their potential influences on agriculture in 2021.

NEFB President says tax reform must be priority

Property tax relief and tax reform must remain a high priority for the Nebraska Legislature. That was the message delivered by Nebraska Farm Bureau President Mark McHargue during recent testimony
before the Legislature’s Revenue Committee. McHargue’s remarks were made while offering support for LR 22CA, a proposed constitutional amendment that would limit the amount of property taxes that could be collected by K-12 schools, counties, community colleges and other local political subdivisions.

Given the Biden Administration’s focus on climate change, American Farm Bureau (AFBF) has been actively preparing to ensure that farmers and ranchers are at the table during these discussions. Below are summaries of three initiatives, two coalitions and one piece of legislation that Farm Bureau has been actively creating/supporting that put us in a position to help steer the climate debate as it relates to agriculture. Nebraska Farm Bureau’s involvement with these proposals has been based on AFBF policy and will only go as far as our policy allows us to go.