LINCOLN – Nebraska Farm Bureau has developed a guide highlighting items for farmers to consider when signing up for programs under the 2018 Farm Bill. Farmers have until March 15 to sign-up for program participation. In December 2018, Nebraska Farm Bureau worked with Congress to pass a farm bill that protected crop insurance and provided modest reforms to commodity and conservation programs.

“The guide was developed to help Nebraska farmers as they navigate the programs designed to help them continue to be the best food, fuel, and fiber producers in the world.” said Steve Nelson, Nebraska Farm Bureau president.

Nebraska Farm Bureau’s “Ten Things to Remember: 2018 Farm Bill Sign-Up” provides helpful tips but is not a substitute for farmers consulting with their local Farm Service Agency office or their crop insurance agent. The full guide is available on the Nebraska Farm Bureau website at www.nefb.org.

Topics noted in the guide for farmers to consider include:

-- Make sure to sign-up at your local Farm Service Agency office and talk with your crop insurance agent.

-- Unlike the last farm bill, farmers aren’t locked into their program decisions for the life of the farm bill.

-- Don’t assume a previous decision between the Agriculture Loss Coverage program and Price Loss Coverage program is the best decision moving forward.

-- Before making a program election, first decide whether to update farm program yields.

n If you select the Agriculture Loss Coverage – County program, remember payments will be based on physical location of the farm and Risk Management Data will be the primary yield data set used.

-- Farms that took 100% preventative planting or experienced very large yield losses should give Agriculture Loss Coverage – Individual a strong look.

-- Reference prices used to determine a Price Loss Coverage can change from year-to-year depending on year-to-year price shifts.

-- USDA made changes to the rules that determine eligibility for counties to have both an irrigated and non-irrigated guarantee.

-- Base acres planted to pasture or left fallow from Jan. 1, 2017 through Dec. 31 won’t be eligible for Agriculture Loss Coverage/Price Loss Coverage payments, but are eligible for the new Grassland Conservation Initiative program.

-- There’s a lot more to the 2018 Farm Bill than just commodity programs.

Cattle Confinement Symposium set in Kearney

Nebraska farmers who may be interested in expanding or diversifying their operations are invited to the two-day Nebraska Cattle Confinement Symposium scheduled for Monday, Dec. 16, and Tuesday, Dec. 17, at the Younes Conference Center in Kearney.

The event will run from 1 to 7 p.m. Monday and from 7:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tuesday. Tickets are $55 each, but early bird tickets are available for $35 for those who register online prior to Tuesday at cattleconfinement.com.

The symposium is sponsored by the Alliance for the Future of Agriculture in Nebraska, Nebraska Cattlemen, Central Confinement Service of Columbus, and Accu-Steel, Inc. of Audobon, Iowa.

Topics to be discussed by producer and supplier experts include facility design and ventilation considerations; financing a new facility; trends in cattle markets; confinements and vet protocols; and managing nutrition in confinement operations. In addition, two sessions will provide virtual barn tours and producer panel discussions. The symposium concludes Tuesday with the Cattlemen’s Lunch. For agenda details, go to cattleconfinement.com.

“The purpose of this symposium is to provide farmers with key information and insight they need to decide whether to add a cattle confinement component to their operation,” says Will Keech, AFAN director of livestock development.

Central Platte NRD accepting applications for CPNRD-Ron Bishop College Scholarship

Applications are being accepted for the CPNRD-Ron Bishop College Scholarship Program from the Central Platte Natural Resources District.

Applicants must be a college junior or senior, or fifth-year-plus student seeking a natural resources degree. Five scholarships will be awarded at $1,000 per student for the 2020-2021 school year.

Applicants or their parent(s) must reside within Central Platte NRD boundaries; which reach from Gothenburg to Columbus along the Platte River. Return applicants and recipients are eligible to apply. Applications must be postmarked by April 15, 2020.

Central Platte NRD’s college scholarship program was implemented in 2007 and has provided $110,00 to 120 students. In 2014, the scholarship name was changed to the CPNRD-Ron Bishop College Scholarship to honor former manager Ron Bishop, who managed Central Platte NRD from 1972-2013.

Some of the careers that qualify: Agriculture (business representative, engineer, inspector, agronomist, applied science/diversified); biologist; engineer (civil, mechanical, chemical); conservationist or resources management; natural resources/environmental educator; geographic information systems specialist; geology engineering; grazing livestock system; hydrologist or hydrogeologist; mechanized systems/soil and water conservation; rangeland management; soil conservationist or soil engineer; vocational/agriculture educator; water resources specialist and other related careers

Applications are available on the CPNRD website at: cpnrd.org or by contacting Marcia Lee at (308) 385-6282 or email: lee@cpnrd.org.

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