Bloomberg News

Nebraska Farmers Lose Right to Water Crops as Drought Persists

July 17, 2012

About 900 farmers in Nebraska will have to stop irrigating crops as the state’s Department of Natural Resources regulates the amount of water taken from streams and rivers.

About 1,106 appropriations, or permits giving farmers access to water from state streams and rivers, were affected because of dry weather, Brian Dunnigan, the state agency’s director, said today in a telephone interview. Some growers have more than one permit, he said.

“Given the dry weather, that’s when we see water appropriations being regulated,” Dunnigan said. “In Nebraska, we regulate the surface water.”

Corn futures on the Chicago Board of Trade have soared 52 percent since the middle of June as drought curbs production in the Midwest. Nebraska is the third-biggest U.S. producer. Five percent of the normal amount of rain fell in parts of the state in the past 30 days, according to the National Weather Service.

Iowa is the top U.S. corn producer, followed by Illinois, Department of Agriculture data show.

To contact the reporter on this story: Tony C. Dreibus in Chicago at tdreibus@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Steve Stroth at sstroth@bloomberg.net.


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