The extra agricultural production from irrigation across the High Plains Aquifer (HPA) was worth about $3.5 billion in 2007, $2 billion of which was produced in Nebraska. This research analyzed annual crop production and weather information for 1960 to 2007 for each of the 205 counties overlying the HPA.
The petroleum industry has launched a fierce political fight against the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS), the regulations that require renewable fuels such as ethanol to be blended into the motor fuel supply. The industry complains that meeting those requirements has become too expensive.
One University team is exploring sweet sorghum ethanol as a future income source for dryland agriculture in western Nebraska, while another is looking at how to improve sorghum yields to make it a more sustainable source for biofuel production.