Environment & Agriculture

Environmental Trust

Amid criticism, Nebraska Environmental Trust moves to clarify grant eligibility rules

BY: - May 19, 2022

LINCOLN — Amid criticism that too many grant applications were being deemed “ineligible,” the Nebraska Environmental Trust Board moved Thursday to review its eligibility requirements. State Sen. John McCollister of Omaha, in a recent op-ed in the Lincoln Journal Star, questioned the Trust Board for declaring that 34 of the 118 grants submitted to it […]


Final consideration of state’s largest cattle feedlot in Dundy County delayed again

BY: - May 17, 2022

LINCOLN — Consideration of what may become the state’s largest cattle feedlot has been postponed until June 6. The Dundy County Board postponed final approval of the Blackshirt Feeders’ 100,000-head feedlot after it was discovered that a public notice of the meeting hadn’t been published in time to allow consideration during the board’s meeting on […]

Why an ambitious effort to overhaul Kansas water management fell short

BY: - May 16, 2022

The dire state of water in western Kansas is not in dispute. The aquifer Kansans out west rely on to irrigate crops and provide drinking water dropped by a foot in 2021.  “If you look at charts as to where it was … when they started irrigating and now, it’s alarming,” said the Kansas House […]

Biden pledges more support for farmers, ‘the backbone of freedom’

BY: - May 11, 2022

At an Illinois farm on Wednesday, President Joe Biden announced federal assistance to alleviate costs for farmers and consumers and to ensure there is enough food to meet world demand as Russia’s war in Ukraine continues. Biden said he will double the recently announced federal funding to boost domestic fertilizer production. He also pledged to […]


Proposal to build state’s largest feedlot hits snag, but now headed for another vote

BY: - May 2, 2022

LINCOLN — A proposal to build perhaps the state’s largest cattle feedlot in a rural, southwest Nebraska county is getting a second chance after the Dundy County Board refused to approve the idea last month. The proposal by Blackshirt Feeders LP to construct a $65-million feedlot, holding up to 100,000 cattle and consuming 10 million […]

Avian flu strikes a flock of 2.1 million laying hens in Knox County, Nebraska

BY: - April 27, 2022

A seventh, and so far the largest, Nebraska poultry flock has been infected by the highly contagious and deadly bird flu that is spreading across the country again this year. The latest infection struck a flock of more than 2.1 million laying hens in Knox County, according to the Nebraska Department of Agriculture. The department […]

AltEn ethanol plant

Environmental group raises concerns about new groundwater contamination at AltEn plant

BY: - April 26, 2022

(Editor’s note: This story updated to include comment from state and NewFields officials) LINCOLN — An environmental watchdog group is raising concerns about new groundwater sampling that shows some high concentrations of pesticides in the vicinity of the AltEn ethanol plant in Mead. Eight of the nine test wells recently drilled showed some level of […]

Burt County fire

‘There was no way’ to stop wildfire in 50 mph winds, says survivor

BY: - April 25, 2022

LYONS, Nebraska — Robert Byrnes and his family were driving down U.S. 77 right after lunch Saturday when they noticed a wall of flames off to the east, roaring northward. They quickly reversed course to their farm, a unique place where Byrnes has erected a wind turbine that generates all the power needed for the […]

Pete Ricketts

Ricketts, Boebert and others hammer away at Biden’s ’30-by-30′ initiative

BY: - April 22, 2022

LINCOLN — Gov. Pete Ricketts and others hammered away Friday at President Joe Biden’s initiative to conserve 30% of the nation’s land and water by 2030 to mitigate climate change and the loss of endangered species, and to expand nature. Ricketts, who has become a leader in the opposition to the “America the Beautiful Initiative,” […]

Scenic prairie field

Conservation officials blast Gov. Ricketts’ opposition to ‘America the Beautiful’ initiative

BY: - April 21, 2022

LINCOLN — Conservation groups on Thursday lambasted claims by Gov. Pete Ricketts and a property rights group that a presidential proposal to restore forests and river banks, enhance federal conservation efforts and protect endangered species is a “land grab.” Officials with the Nebraska Farmers Union, Nebraska Wildlife Federation and other conservation groups said President Joe […]

tree planting

Nebraska’s NRDs reach woodsy landmark: 100M trees and shrubs planted

BY: - April 21, 2022

LINCOLN — One of Nebraska’s many mottos through the years was “The Tree Planter State,” and the state’s Natural Resources Districts appear to be living up to that nickname. This spring, the NRDs’ Conservation Tree Program planted its 100 millionth tree. That’s approximately 50 trees for each Nebraskan, according to the state association of resources […]

Neligh Mill

Portions of historic Neligh Mill slated for demolition by state agency

BY: - April 18, 2022

Step inside the Neligh Mill, and step back to the late 1800s. That’s when flows from the Elkhorn River turned a huge waterwheel, which in turn churned gears and millstones inside the impressive brick mill. There, grains grown on nearby farms were ground into wheat, rye and buckwheat flour. One was even called “Gold Medal […]