Agriculture proposal clears final round

Lawmakers passed an omnibus agriculture measure April 11.

LB262, introduced by the Agriculture Committee, clarifies and combines terms within the Nebraska Pure Food Act to align with the federal Food and Drug Administration Food Code and adds insect production to the definition of an agricultural product in state law.

The bill includes the provisions of four additional measures considered by the committee this session.

Portions of Sumner Sen. Teresa Ibach’s LB999 transfer licensure and regulation of hemp cultivation from the state Department of Agriculture to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, beginning Jan. 1, 2025. The provisions also terminate the state Hemp Commission and the Hemp Promotion Fund, and transfer any money in the fund to the state’s Noxious Weed Cash Fund.

The state will continue to regulate the transportation of hemp.

Provisions of Ibach’s LB1061 increase the checkoff assessment collected under the Nebraska Corn Resources Act at the time corn enters commercial channels from 0.5 cents per bushel to 1 cent per bushel, beginning Oct. 1. The measure also reduces the percentage of the Nebraska Corn Board’s budgeted expenditures that can be used to influence federal legislation.

The provisions of LB321, sponsored by Plymouth Sen. Tom Brandt, change regulations under the Nebraska Pure Food Act related to the cottage food industry — which authorizes the sale of foods prepared in private homes and sold directly to consumers. The provisions allow such producers to sell certain time- and temperature-controlled items to consumers in person.

Senators passed LB262 on a 47-0 vote.

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