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AgLines for Sunday, Oct. 18

AgLines for Sunday, Oct. 18

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Nebraska pork industry continues to grow

Nebraska’s 1,500 pork farmers are celebrating Pork Month this October.

“If you have eaten a slice of bacon, pork chop or pulled pork smothered in barbecue sauce, you have a connection to a pork farmer,” said John Csukker, president of the Nebraska Pork Producers Association

Csukker said Nebraska’s pig farmers recognize that consumers have a growing interest in understanding where pork comes from and how it is produced.

“Now more than ever, we have access to many tools and resources to better care for our animals and meet consumer demand,” he said.

Csukker said pork is the worlds’ most widely eaten meat, ahead of chicken and beef. In Nebraska, he said the state has more pigs than in the past 20 years.

“This growth means we are positively affecting our local economies,” Csukker said.

He said the state adds $1.14 billion of value annually to Nebraska’s gross product.

“With 1-in-4 jobs coming from agriculture, we know that we play a valuable role in this area,” Csukker said.

He said the pork industry is “committed to managing operations in the most environmentally responsible way possible.”

“Conservation, recycling, land management, water quality, air quality and manure management are areas of priority for pig farmers for continuous improvement,” Csukker said. “Safeguarding the environment comes naturally to Nebraska’s pork producers because they understand their inherent responsibility to future generations.”

He said the coronavirus pandemic presented a number of challenges in 2020 to the industry that pork farmers hope to never see again.

“Our farmers met each one with courage and determination,” Csukker said.

He said because people were struggling with the virus pandemic, Nebraska Pork Producers Association’s “Pork Cares” project donated more than 10,000 pounds of pork to people in need.

NDA updates weed identification book

LINCOLN — The Nebraska Department of Agriculture (NDA), in cooperation with the University of Nebraska–Lincoln, has updated its “Weeds of the Great Plains” book. The new edition features 40 additional species of weeds not found in previous editions of the book.

The hardbound book features full-page color photographs and detailed descriptions of nearly 300 individual species of weeds found throughout the Great Plains. The book is available now for purchase from NDA.

“Weeds compete with pasture land and crops, reduce yields, and cost farmers and ranchers millions in lost production,” said Mitch Coffin, NDA weed program manager. “Some weeds are even poisonous to people, livestock and wildlife, making this weed identification book an important tool to help meet the needs of farmers, ranchers and homeowners.”

The weed identification book features:

— Full-page color photos, descriptions and line drawings of nearly 300 species of weeds;

— Identification methods to distinguish 125 additional similar species;

— 450 close up color photographs of weed flowers, seedlings and key identification characteristics;

— Habitats in which each weed species is commonly found;

— List of states and provinces in which each weed species grows;

— Potential livestock poisoning;

— Historical uses of each plant;

— Comprehensive glossary; and

— Index of common names and another with scientific names.

Individuals can purchase the book in person at the Nebraska Department of Agriculture’s office in Lincoln for a cost of $32.50 or for a cost of $35 per copy the book can be mailed. To order the book and/or to learn more about NDA’s noxious weeds program, go to: nda.nebraska.gov/plant/noxious_weeds/.

Nebraska delegation members earn 'Friend of Farm Bureau' award

LINCOLN – All five members of the Nebraska congressional delegation have received the American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF) “Friend of Farm Bureau” Award for the 116th Congress.

The awards are given at the end of each Congress to lawmakers based on individual voting records on Farm Bureau priority issues which in 2020 included, trade, disaster relief, COVID-19 aid, and broadband, among others. Nebraska Farm Bureau nominated the members of the delegation for the awards.

“We are very fortunate to have elected leaders working in Washington, D.C. who understand and appreciate the important role agriculture plays in our state,” said Steve Nelson, president of the Nebraska Farm Bureau.

He said their hard work and dedication to supporting policies that help Nebraska farm and ranch families is to be commended.

“We are proud to have the American Farm Bureau recognize all five members of our state’s congressional delegation for their leadership and service,” Nelson said.

Sens. Deb Fischer and Ben Sasse received the AFBF Friend of Farm Bureau award, as did Rep. Jeff Fortenberry (R-Dist.1), Rep. Don Bacon (R-Dist.2), and Rep. Adrian Smith (R-Dist.3).

For more information about Nebraska Farm Bureau and agriculture, visit www.nefb.org.

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