The Nebraska Farm Bureau Disaster Relief Fund is starting a second round of giving out aid.

New and repeat applicants are encouraged to apply.

The fund has collected more than $2.5 million, and all of the money goes to help farmers, ranchers and rural communities. To apply or donate, visit nefb.org/disaster. For assistance, call 402-421-4747.

Farm Bureau membership is not required.

This new round of applications is more detailed to better evaluate needs and divvy up remaining funds, said Megahn Schafer, executive director of the Nebraska Farm Bureau Foundation.

Nebraska Farmers Union still has money available

The Nebraska Farmers Union Foundation still has money available to provide $500 grants via the Nebraska Rural Response Hotline. The grants are funded by Farm Aid, the foundation and other donors.

Applications can be made over the phone at 800-464-0258.

The money is available to those hurt by flooding or the March blizzard. Established in 1984, the hotline is the longest continuously operating farm crisis hotline in the nation. It is staffed by Legal Aid of Nebraska, administered by Interchurch Ministries of Nebraska, and partners with the Nebraska Department of Agriculture and the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services.

Services include mental health counseling, bookkeeping, financial counseling, legal services and food assistance.

The foundation continues to receive donations, including $10,000 in supplies and cash donated by Midwest Insurance Agency, $2,500 from the Independent Cattlemen of Nebraska, $2,000 from a church in Alabama and $900 from a tattoo parlor in Omaha.

“The diversity of the response is truly amazing,” said John Hansen, the secretary of the fund. All money donated to the fund goes to aid.

For information or to donate, visit nebraskafarmersunion.org or send checks to NeFU Foundation at 1305 Plum St., Lincoln, NE 68502.

DeSoto, Boyer Chute National Wildlife Refuges fully close

Flooding along the Missouri River has again closed two national wildlife refuges in the river valley.

Boyer Chute National Wildlife Refuge, just east of Fort Calhoun, Nebraska, and DeSoto National Wildlife Refuge, about 8 miles west of Pacific Junction, Iowa, have closed. The refuges had been partially closed, but now they are fully closed.

They will reopen when conditions permit.

Nebraska is part of pilot project to prevent erosion

Heavy rains continue to expose problems with erosion of farm fields, but now, farmers can get some help with a particularly nettlesome problem: gullies that develop in plowed fields.

Nebraska has been selected as one of five states to participate in a pilot project that offers funding for adopting farming practices that keep “ephemeral gullies” from developing.

State Conservationist Craig Derickson said $2 million is available to the state. The deadline for farmers to apply is July 19. Priority will be given to farmers who underwent compliance reviews in the past two years, were found to have problems with ephemeral gullies and were granted extra time to fix the problems.

Discing these gullies leaves nutrient-rich topsoil vulnerable to erosion. Derickson said the pilot project will include solutions such as cover crops, crop rotation, no-till farming, contour farming, buffer strips, terraces and waterways .

“Our advice to a farmer with an ephemeral gully is to ‘fix it, don’t disc it,’” Derickson said.

Other states involved in the pilot project are Idaho, Iowa, Kansas and Missouri. For information, contact your local Natural Resources Conservation Service office. — Nancy Gaarder

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