The Nebraska Farm Bureau is urging Nebraska senators to repeal the planned water checkoff on corn and grain sorghum.
The water checkoff is scheduled to go into effect at the end of 2012. It will be an extension of the current ethanol checkoff, which sunsets that same year. Governor Dave Heineman wants those checkoff dollars to go into a Water Resources Cash Fund, to help address water issues across the state. Proposed legislation—LB 689—would repeal the water checkoff plan.
Testifying before the Natural Resources Committee in support of the legislation, Farm Bureau president Keith Olsen said commodity checkoffs are designed to stimulate use and demand for that commodity, not diverted to another purpose. And Olsen said that Nebraska’s water challenges are a state-wide issue and funding to address them should be broad-based.
Olsen stressed that Farm Bureau’s opposition to the water checkoff should not be viewed as a lack of commitment to finding financial resources to address the state’s water challenges. He says Farm Bureau is ready to work with the legislature and other interested parties to find the appropriate funding source.