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Spring corn planting provides $3.5 billion stimulus


Each year about this time, Nebraska corn producers invest approximately $1.4 billion in fuel, seed, fertilizer and other planting costs alone. According to the Nebraska Corn Board, this investment in just a couple weeks' time multiplies by about 2.5 times into a $3.5 billion stimulus for Nebraska communities.

"Investments in putting a crop in the ground provides not only a ripple effect in rural communities, but tremendous job opportunities in the agribusiness sector along with stimulus for the rest of the state, not to mention the value of what ultimately is harvested in the fall," according to Don Hutchens, executive director, Nebraska Corn Board.

The Nebraska Farm Business Association and the University Extension NebGuides substantiate the per acre investments that Nebraska corn farmers make this time of year, of approximately $160-$170 an acre. Nebraska is expected to plant 8.8 million acres of corn.

Jon Holzfaster, chairman of the Nebraska Corn Board of Paxton, said that volatility in the market place of some of the inputs such as fertilizer and fuel, along with the wild swings in commodity prices, make it a challenge to find stability in production agriculture, not to mention the impacts Mother Nature has on our business.

"We have to do a better job of using risk management tools and marketing strategies, especially when you realize how many dollars are at risk. We have been increasing yields consistently, using less fertilizer, fuel, and water but the costs of those inputs have been increasing as well," according to Holzfaster.

Nebraska ranks third in U.S. corn production and second in ethanol production and typically second or third in cattle on feed, which exemplifies the state's ability to add value to our raw corn production by making ethanol, and corn fed beef, which adds not only value, but jobs and tax revenues.

By the time the Nebraska corn crop is harvested this fall, the total investment exceeds $4 billion alone, not to mention the multiplier effect those dollars have throughout the economy.

The Nebraska Corn Board is a self-help program, funded and managed by Nebraska corn farmers. Producers invest in the program at a rate of 1/4 of a cent per bushel of corn sold. Nebraska corn checkoff funds are invested in programs of market development, research and education.

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