Federal, state and local officials met Wednesday in Omaha to discuss the Midwestern drought and strategies to mitigate the impact of the drought on farmers and rural communities.
In opening remarks, Nebraska director of agriculture Greg Ibach thanked the USDA for program adjustments that have been made to give producers more flexibility in addressing drought conditions.
But Ibach pointed out the drought has also “exaggerated” some of the other concerns that farmers and ranchers have.
“Energy costs are soaring and causing much concern in the agricultural sector. Just filling up your semi to haul the corn in and out of the field can cost as much as 800 dollars each time you stop at the diesel barrel,” Ibach says, “and this week, we have watched those prices climb even more.”
Ibach says regulatory burdens continue to be a concern to farmers and ranchers.
“We continue to have to, as a producer, look to higher outside consultants to help us understand and comply with those reporting and regulation requirements,” he says.
Ibach’s comments were echoed by farmers and ranchers at various times throughout the day.