Environment & Agriculture

meat locker

Grant application process opens for small Nebraska meat processors and $10 million in federal rescue funds

BY: - July 5, 2022

OMAHA — The Nebraska Department of Agriculture has started to accept applications for nearly $10 million in grant money available for projects aimed at enhancing small meat processing facilities. The Independent Processor Assistance Program grants come from Nebraska’s allotment of more than $1 billion in federal American Rescue Plan Act funds.  Eligible Nebraska facilities must […]

Cattle association optimistic about transparency bill passage

BY: - June 23, 2022

Federal legislation aimed at aiding small cattle producers appears to have enough Republican support to pass the U.S. Senate, according to the Iowa Cattlemen’s Association. Such support for the Cattle Price Discovery and Transparency Act from the minority party in the Senate is crucial because legislation needs 60 of 100 votes to end debate and […]

Norfolk celebrates completion of Nebraska’s largest solar power farm 

BY: - June 23, 2022

People behind the state’s largest solar farm and one of its largest battery installations celebrated a finished project Wednesday in Norfolk, Nebraska. Norfolk’s new community solar power farm can produce 8.5 megawatts of electricity, enough to power 1,250 homes, city officials explained in a press release.  A new Nebraska Public Power District battery system will […]

AltEn ethanol plant

Monitoring group calls for additional studies and funding to discover possible adverse impacts of AltEn plant

BY: - June 21, 2022

LINCOLN — A volunteer watchdog group said Tuesday that recent, preliminary findings about the extent of contamination caused by the now-closed AltEn ethanol plant points up the need for continued studies and funding of research efforts.  “These initial findings are a bombshell that certainly underscore the need for further scientific examination of the breadth and […]

Farmer removes fence blocking Steamboat Trace Trail just in time for regional bike ride

BY: - June 21, 2022

NEBRASKA CITY, Nebraska — A cease-fire has been reached in a years-long fight between a farmer and a natural resources district over a hike-bike trail. The fight boils down to a disagreement over who should pay for fencing to separate the farmer’s land from the Steamboat Trace Trail. Otoe County farmer Bob Trail said he […]

‘Time bomb’ lead pipes set to be removed. But first water utilities have to find them.

BY: - June 20, 2022

TRENTON, Mo. — It took three years for officials to notice lead was seeping into the city’s drinking water. Missouri regulators had given the green light in 2014 for Trenton to start adding monochloramine to its drinking water to disinfect it without the harmful byproducts of chlorine. But by 2017, the city noticed something alarming. […]

AltEn meeting

UNMC scientists: Mead residents have reason to be concerned about AltEn waste

BY: - June 16, 2022

MEAD, Nebraska — Deb Virgl said the pile of “wet cake” waste from the local ethanol plant, deposited near her rural home, reeked so horribly that she stopped walking the dog.  “You almost threw up when you went outside,” said Virgl, who lives northeast of Mead and its now infamous AltEn Ethanol plant.  The plant […]

AltEn ethanol plant

Concrete plant gains OK to burn biomass for fuel, vows not to use AltEn’s ‘wet cake’

BY: - June 16, 2022

LINCOLN — A massive concrete plant in Louisville, Nebraska, has won state approval to burn “biomass,” including some treated seeds, in its kilns as a cleaner alternative to natural gas and other fossil fuels. But a spokesman for Ash Grove Cement made it clear Wednesday that the leftover, pesticide-coated seed corn — known as “wet […]

Climate change could present opportunities for Nebraska, speakers conclude

BY: - June 15, 2022

LINCOLN — A wide-ranging “conversation” about climate change Wednesday night might have reached agreement on one thing: Climate change could present some opportunities for Nebraska. From increased income from leasing land for wind or solar farms, to helping Fortune 500 companies sequester carbon, to utilizing the state’s abundant water resources for new crops, panelists suggested […]

Stockholders sue Costco officials over alleged mistreatment of chickens grown too big

BY: - June 14, 2022

LINCOLN — A lawsuit claims that Costco is in violation of Nebraska and Iowa livestock welfare laws by breeding chickens that “unnaturally” grow too fast, become so fat they can’t stand up to reach food or water and end up dying. Two Costco shareholders filed the lawsuit Monday in Washington State, where Costco is based, […]

Wastewater plant

‘Wastewater epidemiology’ helping to track spread and prevalence of COVID-19

BY: - June 13, 2022

LINCOLN — Call it “CSI of the sewers,” but public works employees in Lincoln, Omaha and at least 11 other Nebraska communities are conducting surveillance of city wastewater to track the incidence of COVID-19. The testing is a relatively new thing in the world of public heath and is giving epidemiologists and other health officials […]


State’s largest feedlot gets county’s OK despite worries about whether ‘bigger is better’

BY: - June 10, 2022

LINCOLN — The state’s largest feedlot project is moving forward following an emotional, marathon public meeting in southwest Nebraska’s Dundy County. But the 100,000-head Blackshirt Feeders feedlot project will have to comply with at least 10 conditions, tied to concerns about odor, dust and runoff of manure, under the conditional use permit given 3-0 approval […]