Wednesday, September 19, 2018
   
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Farmer input drives state’s corn checkoff investments.

LINCOLN—When determining how to invest corn checkoff dollars in research projects, the Nebraska Corn Board asked for ideas from the very people who have the most at stake—Nebraska’s corn farmers.

The Nebraska Corn Board recently conducted a survey of Nebraska corn farmers, researchers, crop consultants and extension educators, asking them to identify the areas of greatest importance to the future of profitable, sustainable corn production in the state.

“As we allocate checkoff dollars to research, we want to focus on the issues that present the greatest challenges and opportunities for Nebraska corn farmers,” said Debbie Borg, a farmer from Allen, Nebraska, and chair of the Nebraska Corn Board’s research committee. “Through this survey, the farmers who invest in the checkoff and advocates of the corn industry have told us what’s important to them and helped us determine the priorities for research projects.”

As a result of the survey, the Nebraska Corn Board has issued requests for research proposals related to the following areas of focus:

Sustained economic viability of corn production in Nebraska

Production of sufficient human food, feed, and fuel to meet the needs of a sharply rising global population

Improved efficiency of agricultural inputs

Minimizing threats from pests and diseases specifically resistant to commonly used inputs

Improved quality of groundwater and surface water resources

Improved soil health

“It’s clear that Nebraska corn farmers are looking to balance meeting growing global demand with protecting and improving the quality and quantity of resources for future generations,” Borg added.

To amplify the impact of current research, the Nebraska Corn Board is also soliciting proposals from Nebraska educators on ways to educate consumers and students on the importance of food and feed production to the health of humans and animals.

The objective is to link current research to educational efforts designed to improve scientific and agricultural literacy. Proposals may involve K-12, two-year postsecondary and higher education programming.

The Nebraska Corn Board will review relevant education-focused proposals that may include:

Teacher preparation and professional development programs

Linking food and agricultural sciences to programs in STEM (science, technology,engineering and math).

“We want to help young people connect the dots between corn production and their families and communities,” Borg said. “We also want to expose them to the wide range of career opportunities in agriculture and food production right here in Nebraska.”

Any Nebraska-based researcher or educator may submit a proposal relevant to these objectives outlined by the Nebraska Corn Board.

The deadline for proposals is Jan. 15, 2016. For application materials or more information on the proposal submission and review process, visit NebraskaCorn.org.