Healthy soils learning community authorized

Lawmakers approved a bill April 12 intended to help farmers adopt practices that protect Nebraska’s soil and water.

Sen. Tim Gragert
Sen. Tim Gragert

Under LB925, introduced by Creighton Sen. Tim Gragert, the state Department of Natural Resources will provide technical and legal assistance to a nonprofit, voluntary learning community led by agricultural producers to foster skills and share knowledge related to healthy soil management.

The department also will hire a facilitator to help organize the learning community and help it acquire gifts, grants and sponsorships. The bill states legislative intent to appropriate $250,000 per year to the program for the next five years.

The proposal requires the department to divide the state into different regions representative of each area’s soils, topography, rainfall, cropping systems and other factors. It also authorizes the department to lease private land for the purpose of establishing demonstration and research farms in those regions.

Finally, LB925 requires the department to submit an annual report to the governor and the Legislature’s Agriculture and Natural Resources committees from 2022 through 2027.

Senators voted 42-5 to pass the bill.

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