Seeking New Opportunities Through Collaborative Corn Research

Research answers the “what if” questions that lead to new uses, new markets, new opportunities and new ways to grow corn even more efficiently and sustainably.

NCB research dollars are continually seeking new opportunities for corn farmers. What is the “next” ethanol? The emerging new use for corn that will again change the game for Nebraska farmers? What breakthrough will lead to significant change in the way farmers grow their crops, to use even less water, less fertilizer?

The majority of Nebraska Corn research dollars are invested in partnership with the Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Nebraska Corn also collaborates on research projects with fellow corn states, cooperators and other stakeholders.

Early corn plant coming out of the dirt

Research Priorities

Enhancing Demand & Adding Value

Nebraska’s corn farmers have the ability to grow more corn than consumers can currently utilize
as food, fuel or feed. In order to sustain the economic viability of corn farmers, it is critical that
we discover new uses and markets for Nebraska’s corn crop that meet the needs of a growing
and evolving world. NCB seeks to encourage research that will give the highest return to
Nebraska corn producers through:

  • Innovative research to find new uses for corn and corn products
  • Identify value-added uses of the chemicals/components of corn
  • Corn focused projects that result in commercialization of corn-based products or technology
  • Expanding/developing commercially significant markets for corn utilization

Ensuring Sustainability

Nebraska corn farmers are faced with the challenge of producing crops necessary to meet local,
national and international demands while maintaining the quality and quantity of resources for future generations. NCB supports research leading to regionally integrated system of plant and
animal production practices designed to produce long-term results such as:

  • Sustained economic viability of corn production in Nebraska
  • Improved efficiency of inputs
  • Enhanced carbon sequestration and improved measurement, reporting and verification
  • Minimizing threats from pests and diseases
  • Improved quality of surface water and groundwater resources
  • Improved soil health
  • Increased resilience to changing climate conditions and weather extremes

Supporting Agriculture and STEM Education

The future of farming in Nebraska depends not only on continuing to advance research-based
technologies and production practices, but also on improving consumer appreciation of the
importance of food, fuel, and feed production to human and animal health and sustainability.
NCB seeks proposals that include education and outreach as components of the research
project. Education and outreach components might include:

  • Promoting linkages among Pre-K through 12, two-year postsecondary and higher education
    programs in STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) disciplines related to food
    and agricultural sciences
  • Teacher preparation and professional development programs
  • Communicating agriculture research to non-ag audiences

To learn more about these and other NCB-funded research projects, contact Rachael Whitehair, Director of Innovation & Stewardship at

Cornfield being watered by an irrigation system

Submitting Research RFPs

The Nebraska Corn Board distributes an annual request for proposals (RFP) as a process to collect, review and ultimately decide on proposals to fund. Although we request that proposals be submitted for research during this process, the Nebraska Corn Board will review proposals through the year, should they be submitted outside of the annual RFP process and timeline.

Explore Top Research Projects Current and Recent

  • Using Corn Oil for Improving Performance of Asphalt Pavements

    Recycled or reclaimed asphalt pavement (RAP) materials are commonly used to create new asphalt pavements. Currently, this process relies on petroleum-based oils to achieve a reliable product, but corn oil is a viable alternative. This project tests the use of corn oil as a recycling agent, modified with new chemistry combinations, to enhance the sustainability of asphalt pavement production. This application of corn oil can bring new national and international use and expand into a large sustainable market for corn products and the corn industry.