Two bills have been introduced that would affect the rates farmers pay for the corn and wheat checkoffs. LB1057, introduced by Ag Committee chair Tom Carlson of Holdrege, would set the checkoff rate at ½ cent and allow the Nebraska Corn Board to increase the checkoff in increments of one-tenth of one cent per bushel, not to exceed one cent per bushel. LB 905, the wheat bill, also introduced by Carlson, would allow the checkoff to be based on a percentage of market value rather than the current per bushel flat rate. If implemented, the wheat checkoff would be set—at least initially—at one-half of one percent of net market value.
Jay Rempe, Nebraska Farm Bureau vice president of governmental relations, tells us more about what the new rates would be.
Rempe says Farm Bureau policy supports providing checkoff programs with adequate resources for research, education and promotion provided there is broad support for the programs. The Nebraska Farm Bureau board recently met and determined that there is broad producer support for these increases and therefore is supportive of both bills.
The corn checkoff rate hasn’t changed in many, many years and the new wheat checkoff rate is flexible in that as commodity prices fluctuate, the amount of the checkoff will too.