The Central Platte Natural Resources District is hosting its annual Water Program Update on groundwater levels, nitrate levels and current research studies, on Wednesday, Feb. 12, at the Dawson County Extension office in Lexington.

Guest speaker Al Dutcher from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln will discuss weather challenges that lie ahead for 2020. Chuck Burr and Tim Schmeeckle will present successes with the TAPS program for efficient crop management.

Programs begin at 9:30 a.m. and should wrap up around 3:30 p.m. The morning schedule includes: Static groundwater levels in the CPNRD, presented by Luke Zakrzewski, GIS image analyst, 9:30 a.m.; “Second Generation Integrated Management Plan and Research Studies,” Brandi Fly, hydrologist, 10 a.m.; Platte River recover program, Mark Czaplewski, biologist, 11 a.m.; and the Central Nebraska irrigation project, Courtney Widup, water resources technician, 11:15 a.m.

A free catered lunch will be served at noon; please RSVP by Feb. 5 for the lunch count.

Programs will resume at 12:45 p.m. with a quality management program overview, presented by Tricia Dudley, water quality programs assistant. The rest of the afternoon schedule includes: Chemigation program requirements, David Carr, range management specialist, 1 p.m.; Vadose zone nitrate study, Dan Clement, water resources specialist, 1:15 p.m.; and the TAPS Program, Chuck Burr from UNL and Tim Schmeeckle of Gothenburg, TAPS producers, 2 p.m.

Dutcher will wrap up the program starting at 2:45 p.m. with a look at weather challenges for 2020.

Attendance at these meetings replaces the requirement to take the Nitrogen Management Certification Test for Central Platte NRD’s Groundwater Quality Management Program. Professional continuing education credits have been applied for through Water Well Standards/NHHS.

To assure an accurate lunch count, RSVP by Feb. 5 by calling the Central Platte NRD at (308) 385-6282 or email Marcia Lee at lee@cpnrd.org.

More information is available online at cpnrd.org.

Corn board to meet in Kearney

The Nebraska Corn Board us set to meet Jan. 21 at the Younes Conference Center at 416 Talmadge Road in Kearney.

The board will address regular board business. These meetings are open to the public, providing the opportunity for public comment.

A copy of the agenda is available by calling (402) 471-2676; requesting it by mail at Nebraska Corn Board, P.O. Box 95107, Lincoln, NE 68509; or emailing nikki.bentzinger@nebraska.gov.

NCB, Casey’s partner on higher ethanol blends

Through a new partnership between the Nebraska Corn Board and Casey’s General Stores, motorists in the state will have increased access to higher blends of American ethanol.

Through its blender pump incentive infrastructure program, NCB provided grant assistance to help Casey’s upgrade existing fuel pumps to offer Unleaded88, a 15% ethanol blend. Twelve Casey’s locations in Nebraska have been upgraded: nine in Omaha, one in La Vista, one in Papillion and one in Norfolk.

“In an environmentally-conscious world, filling up with ethanol is an easy way for us all to do our part for the planet and our overall health,” said John Greer, District 2 Director of NCB and farmer from Edgar.

“Ethanol is a clean-burning, renewable fuel that is less toxic than traditional gasoline, which is good for our air. By investing in our ethanol infrastructure, we’re not only working toward a greener world, but we’re also saving consumers money while boosting Nebraska’s economy. Ethanol is a win for everyone.”

This isn’t the Ankeny, Iowa-based fuel retailer’s first venture into offering higher ethanol blends. This past summer, Casey’s added Unleaded88 infrastructure to more than 60 of its locations. In Nebraska, the retailer also began offering E85 at its stores in Ogallala and Cozad.

“We’re offering Unleaded88 at more stores because our guests want it. The benefits of a lower price and higher octane are hard to argue with,” said Jake Comer, fuel pricing manager at Casey’s.

“Unleaded88, or E15, is the most widely tested fuel ever,” said David Bruntz, chairman of the NCB and farmer from Friend. “We know these fuels work well in vehicles and provide countless benefits. The Nebraska Corn Board has worked hard and will continue to work hard to ensure consumers have easy access to these options. We also applaud Casey’s for being an outstanding partner in this process.”

To find all local fuel retailers offering higher ethanol blends, visit getbiofuel.com.

In addition to its support of Casey’s, the NCB invested in eight other fuel retail locations across the state during this current fiscal year. Each year, fuel retailers wanting to upgrade to blender pumps can fill out a grant application to be considered for the program. For more information, contact the NCB by emailing NCB.info@nebraska.gov.

The Nebraska Corn Board is funded through a producer checkoff investment of ½-cent-per-bushel checkoff on all corn marketed in the state and is managed by nine farmer directors. The mission of the Nebraska Corn Board is to promote the value of corn by creating opportunities.

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