• Don McCabe

    Anti-Livestock and Anti-Ag Movement Gaining Ground

    Nebraska Notebook

     by Don McCabe
     on March 24, 2014

    I don't think Nebraska farmers and ranchers fully appreciate the threat to their way of life by the growing animal rights industry in this country. The list of organizations opposing modern farming practices, and livestock production specifically, continues to grow and their message is gaining momentum and influence with consumers. They will affect how you farm and raise livestock. That's not to take anything away from the dedicated farm men and women who stand up and tell the story…

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  • Don McCabe

    Use Your '40 Chances' To Help Feed The World

    Nebraska Notebook

     by Don McCabe
     on March 11, 2014

    In mid-February, I attended a national conference in Omaha on the fast-paced adoption of cover crops across the United States. Leading conservationists and farmer panelists presented useful information on the benefits of better soil health and sustainability through cover crops. The highlight of the conference, for me, was a presentation by Howard G. Buffett, Illinois farmer, author, photographer and manager of the Howard G. Buffett Foundation, a private charitable foundation. The foundation…

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  • Don McCabe

    Wind Farms Are Local Revenue Raisers

    Nebraska Notebook

     by Don McCabe
     on November 27, 2013

    In the December Nebraska Farmer, you'll see that I dedicated the cover and two pages inside the issue with features stories on Nebraska's oppressive farmland property taxes. One of the features I wrote outlined the Nebraska Farm Bureau's three-year proposal to cut local property taxes. Make sure you read about that proposal. I doubt the Nebraska Tax Modernization Committee, when it issues its final report to the full Unicameral later in December, will recommend any serious property…

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  • Don McCabe

    I'll Find My Burritos Elsewhere

    Nebraska Notebook

     by Don McCabe
     on October 21, 2013

    It's the inevitable question my wife and I pose to each other at the end of the work day: what's for supper? Sometimes neither of us is willing to commit to an answer. And too often, my response is, "Let's go out to eat." One of several eating establishments in Lincoln we've patronized in the past is Panera Bread. I won't patronize them again, just like I won't make my first-ever dining experience at Chipotle Mexican Grill. Panera Bread has joined the…

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  • Don McCabe

    Water, Taxes And A Short Unicameral Session

    Nebraska Notebook

     by Don McCabe
     on October 4, 2013

    Two Nebraska study groups have their work cut out for them in the coming weeks, and each one needs your input. They involve water and taxes. If that doesn't get your attention in Nebraska, nothing will. The adage of "nothing is certain but death and taxes" can be altered in this state to "death, high property taxes and water fights." The Nebraska Water Funding Task Force and the Legislature's Tax Modernization Committee have to produce reports by year's…

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  • Don McCabe

    Grain Companies And Cooperatives In Expansion Mode

    Nebraska Notebook

     by Don McCabe
     on July 18, 2013

    Under construction. That's one way to describe the grain handling and shipping business in Nebraska. Despite the impact of last year's drought on dryland crops and concerns over irrigation water withdrawals in parts of the state, several cooperatives and grain companies are expanding grain storage and rail load-out facilities in Nebraska. The days of farmers' cooperatives in most small towns are over, and in effect have been for some years now. We're looking at large…

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  • Don McCabe

    Trade Missions Serve Critical Purpose

    Nebraska Notebook

     by Don McCabe
     on July 11, 2013

    If you don't toot your own horn, who will? That idiom applies to Nebraska crop and livestock commodities and those who produce them. In the past several months, more and more Nebraska producers seem to be taking part in marketing their commodities by way of international trade missions, to countries like Turkey, Cuba, China, Taiwan, Japan and many others. That's a good deal for the state's economy and agriculture alike, considering we export close to 30% of our grains and…

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  • Don McCabe

    Will This Water Task Force Yield Results?

    Nebraska Notebook

     by Don McCabe
     on July 3, 2013

    In Nebraska where irrigation is big business and water conflicts are perennial, there's a new water task force soon to be named. The Nebraska Unicameral, on a 45-0 vote this legislative session, passed LB 517 which created the Water Funding Task Force. Water task forces, committees, commissions, blue ribbon panels, whatever name you give them, have surfaced over the years in Nebraska quite often to study state water issues. There seems to be one about every five years or so. So…

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  • Don McCabe

    Perspectives On Feeding The World's Growing Population

    Nebraska Notebook

     by Don McCabe
     on June 26, 2013

    Feeding 9 billion people on this planet by 2050. How often have you read about that challenge? Assuming the prognosticators are correct, how in the world do we do that? How do we double food and feed production by that time? Those are questions that greatly intrigue me. I don't have the answers. And I don't believe most experts do, either. But give them credit for putting this challenge on the front burner. They are doing just that at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, home…

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  • Don McCabe

    In 2012, Irrigation Made The Critical Difference In Nebraska

    Nebraska Notebook

     by Don McCabe
     on May 31, 2013

    The differences are stark. It's no surprise that during the blistering temperatures and persistent dryness in 2012 that dryland crop producers in Nebraska farmers didn't fare well. As I drove across much of Nebraska last summer, numerous fields of dryland corn didn't produce enough even for silage. Contrast that with irrigated crop production in 2012. Producers with access to sufficient irrigation water took advantage of high prices and excellent yields. As far as farm…

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