Nebraska’s Golden Triangle Benefits Renewable Fuels

Part Two of a Four-Part Series for Renewable Fuels Month

September calendarLINCOLN, NEBRASKA— Nebraska’s economic prosperity is deeply rooted in agriculture. Very few states can stake claim to the high rankings and diverse production that Nebraska consistently maintains year after year. Besides taking the top ranking in cattle on feed, in 2013 Nebraska also ranked first in popcorn and Great Northern dry edible bean production.

Last year, Nebraska ranked third in corn production and fifth in soybean production, accounting for nearly 12 percent of the nation’s corn bushels and almost 8 percent of the nation’s soybean bushels. Nebraska’s centralized location, access to water, and fertile soils make it a natural hub for crop, livestock and even biofuels production – all of which make up Nebraska’s Golden Triangle.

“The ability to grow a large corn crop, year after year, makes Nebraska a prime location to produce ethanol,” said Kim Clark, director of biofuels development for the Nebraska Corn Board. “Nebraska’s ranked second nationally in ethanol production and distillers grains in 2013. These production numbers clearly illustrate the interdependent nature of the biofuels and feed industries.”

Farmers have solid, established markets for corn – ethanol and livestock – while the two-dozen ethanol plants across state then provide renewable fuel and a feed ingredient for the livestock industry, giving cattle feeders in Nebraska more feed options and an advantage over feeders in other states.

Soybean acres in Nebraska are up nearly 13 percent from last year. Not only do soybean farmers expect a large crop, but they also expect to find a market for that large crop as well. Roughly 97 percent of domestic soybean meal goes to feeding poultry, hogs and other livestock.

The majority of the oil from soybeans continues to be used for human consumption, but biodiesel production has increased significantly over the last few years, helping to alleviate a glut of soybean oil that remained on the market. According to a study conducted by the USDA, the increased usage of biodiesel has returned nearly $0.74 per bushel to soybean farmers.

Terry Horky, a soybean farmer from Sargent and chairman of the Domestic Marketing Committee for the Nebraska Soybean Board, thinks Nebraska’s Golden Triangle makes perfect sense. “Agricultural production in Nebraska is part of a very dynamic system, a system in which soybeans, corn, and biofuels production can fit in perfectly with livestock production. We can market our crops locally, create jobs locally and keep some of these tax dollars in our communities.”

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 1/2 of a cent per bushel of corn sold. Nebraska corn checkoff funds are invested in programs of market development, research, promotion and education.

The nine-member Nebraska Soybean Board collects and disburses the Nebraska share of funds generated by the one half of one percent times the net sales price per bushel of soybeans sold. Nebraska soybean checkoff funds are invested in research, education, domestic and foreign markets, including new uses for soybeans and soybean products.


Editor note: Throughout September, the Nebraska Corn Board and Nebraska Soybean Board will be releasing a news release weekly to discuss renewable fuels. This is the second topic of the four parts. Renewable fuels as a homegrown, locally produced product creating food, feed and fuel will be discussed in week three, and the series will wrap up with the topic of blend choices and where consumers can fuel up with biofuel blends. To see all releases, go to

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