The Nebraska corn checkoff, administered by the nine farmer directors of the Nebraska Corn Board, is a self-help investment program designed to help develop, carry out and participate in programs of research, education, market development and promotion to enhance profitability (viability) and expand the demand and value of Nebraska corn and value-added corn products.
The corn checkoff was established in 1978 via the Corn Resources Act, which was passed by the Nebraska Legislature. The effort was led by Nebraska corn producers themselves — most notably members of the Nebraska Corn Growers Association. The legislation gives the Nebraska Corn Board the ability to lobby at the national level on issues of importance to Nebraska corn farmers, but prohibits the Board from lobbying on local issues within Nebraska. Read our “Checkoff 101” Brochure.
Since October 2012, the Nebraska corn checkoff rate has been 1/2 of a cent per bushel ($0.005/bu.) The rate was originally set at 1/10 of a cent per bushel ($0.001/bu.) when the checkoff was established in 1978, and was increased to 1/4 of a cent per bushel ($0.0025) in 1988.
Nebraska is the nation’s third largest corn producing state. However, Nebraska’s checkoff rate is tied with four other states for the lowest in the nation.
The corn checkoff is collected at the time corn is first sold to a buyer. These buyers-or “first purchasers”- include grain elevators, cooperatives, ethanol plants and livestock producers. The first purchaser is responsible for remitting the checkoff. The Nebraska Department of Agriculture provides information on paying the checkoff.
Corn checkoff funds are administered and invested by the Nebraska Corn Board, which is made up of nine farmer directors who serve three-year terms. Eight members represent specific Nebraska districts and are appointed by the Governor. The Board elects the ninth “at large” member. An executive director and staff serve at the pleasure of the board.
Both the Nebraska Corn Board and Nebraska Corn Growers Association work together on various efforts and are dedicated to advancing Nebraska’s corn industry. Together, they are often branded or identified as “Nebraska Corn.” While they often partner together to support the state’s corn industry, they each have distinct organizational structures, missions and scopes of work.
By law, every Nebraska corn farmer invests in the corn checkoff administered by the Nebraska Corn Board by paying the checkoff on each bushel of corn they sell. On the other hand, membership in the Nebraska Corn Growers Association is a choice.
|A state agency created by statute in 1978||An independent member-supported association begun in 1972|
|Funded through a 1/2-cent-per-bushel checkoff assessed on all corn marketed in the state||Supported through dues paid by its membership|
|All corn producers are required by law to invest in the checkoff||Growers make a personal choice to join an support their industry|
|Prohibited by law from lobbying at the state level-and restricted in its ability to influence federal policy||Can lobby on policy and regulatory issues at the state and national levels|
|Focused on market development, research, promotion, education and building domestic and international demand for corn, red meat, biofuels and corn co-products||Focused on farm policy, regulatory issues, leadership development and grower education|
|Invests in programs, research and initiatives that capitalize on opportunities for Nebraska corn producers||Helps create a policy and regulatory environment that enhances the future of Nebraska corn producers|