Upcoming Events

December 2018

5           National Day of Mourning for President George H.W. Bush- ULNRD Office Closed

13         Board Meeting- ULNRD Office @ 3 pm CT

25         Christmas Day-ULNRD Office Closed


January 2019

1          New Year's Day- ULNRD Office Closed

10        Board Meeting- ULNRD Office @ 3pm CT

15        Hazard Mitigation Meeting- Mullen Village Office @ 6pm MT

16        Hazard Mitigation Meeting- ULNRD Office @ 9am CT

16        Hazard Mitigation Meeting- Logan County Courthouse @ 3pm CT

21        Martin Luther King Jr. Day- ULNRD Office Closed


February 2019

7          Board Meeting- ULNRD Office @ 3pm CT

18        President's Day- ULNRD Office Closed







Upper Loup NRD Received Grant from Nebraska Environmental Trust

April 5, 2014 —Upper Loup Natural Resources District announced today that it will receive $30,000 from the Nebraska Environmental Trust for the “No-Till Drill” project. The Trust Board announced funding for the project at its meeting on April 3, 2014 in Lincoln. The project is one of the 132 projects receiving $21,750,000 in grant awards from the Nebraska Environmental Trust this year. Of these, 56 were new applications and 76 are carry-over projects.

There are many benefits of using a no-till technique such as the reduction of soil erosion, soil moisture and organic matter retention, protection of groundwater quality, reduction of chemical runoff, and reduction of soil compaction. In 2000, with the help of the Environmental Trust, the Upper Loup purchased a 10 foot Great Plains no-till drill. The drill was kept very busy (drilled over 12,000 acres) and could not keep up with the demand so the NRD purchased another 10 foot drill in 2007. Both drills have been used in all of the eight counties of our district and to date have serviced more than 18,526 acres.

Several producers have been enquiring about a larger drill that could be rented. A larger drill would provide a couple of advantages. One, it would cut down on the amount of time each producer needed to have the drill allowing it to be used by more producers during peak planting times. Two, it would reduce the number of rounds it would take to drill, making the process more conservation friendly (reducing fuel usage and emissions). The 20 foot Haybuster no-till drill is expected to be here the first part of June. The new drill can be easily pulled behind a pickup. It does not have seed boxes for native seeds.


Notice of Public Hearing

There will be a Public Hearing at the Niobrara River Basin Alliance Board Meeting on Wednesday, March 19th, held at the Niobrara Lodge in Valentine. The Public Hearing will begin at 1PM Central Time.


Soil Testing—what is it all about?

Have you ever had your soil tested?  Should you?  Here are some good reasons why you should have a soil test performed.
1. Soil testing is an important diagnostic tool to evaluate nutrient imbalances and understand plant growth.   
2. Testing the soil provides a basis for intelligent application of fertilizer and lime. 
3. Testing also allows for growers and homeowners to maintain a soil pH in the optimum range (6.0-7.0), which keeps nutrients more available to the plant for growth. 
4. Protection of our environment for we cannot afford to pollute our surface and ground waters by indiscriminate application of phosphorous or nitrogen fertilizers, for example. 
5. Cost savings - Why apply what you don't need? Soil test results provide information about the soil's ability to supply nutrients to plants for adequate growth, and are the basis of deciding how much lime and fertilizer are needed.

When do I soil test?  Sampling can be done at any time, but late October or early November is usually preferable. Avoid sampling when the soil is very wet or recently limed or fertilized.

What tests are performed? The basic soil test results will tell you the pH of the soil, organic matter (nutrient holding capacity), available phosphorous (P), and available potassium (K).  The soil may also be tested for Nitrate (N), magnesium (Mg), calcium (Ca), sulfur (S), boron (B), manganese (Mn) and zinc (Zn).  

Who takes the soil samples?  Your local County Extension offices can instruct you on how to take samples yourself.  There are businesses that you can contact that will obtain the sample for you, one such group is your local Farmer’s Coop.

The Upper Loup Natural Resources District (ULNRD) understands the importance of soil testing and has a cost-share program to help land owners defray part of the costs associated with testing.  For more information or to obtain a cost-share application you can contact our office at 308-645-2250.


Attention Groundwater Irrigator’s in the Upper Loup NRD District. Funds are still available but time to reserve flowmeters is running short…

Flow meters are a valuable tool for providing producers with information about the total amount of irrigation water being applied.With rising input costs and uncertain markets, eliminating guesswork is a top priority for irrigators.  Knowing the exact amount of irrigation water applied to a crop through its growing season can aid the producer in making money-saving management decisions.  Flowmeters accurately record the amount of water pumped from a well or through an irrigation system.  This information can be used to check efficiency, and can save as a watchdog device by detecting well and pump problems.

Data collected from the flowmeters also helps the NRD determine the amount of water being withdrawn from the aquifer across the district and provide information useful to future groundwater modeling efforts.  Due to the increasing demands of water for irrigation it is important that long-term water usage is managed in a sustainable and equitable way. Effective groundwater irrigation management begins with accurate water use measurements. Quantifying the amount of groundwater utilized for irrigation is essential for water and nitrate management. Currently most of the data is manually recorded by farmers which could result in irregular reporting and is subject to human errors.

With help from a Nebraska Environmental Trust Grant, the Upper Loup has cost share dollars devoted to the purchase of flowmeters for producers in our District.  Any legally registered and actively pumping irrigation well that was drilled prior to 2008 and is not associated with new irrigated acres for in years 2013 and 2014 are eligible.  Producers have until April 30, 2014 to install the flowmeter but need to make requests for the meters as soon as possible so that we may properly allocate the funds for the flowmeters.  This is a first come first serve program and only has funding for approximately 30 more meters. The NRD will reimburse you 100% of the actual cost of an impeller driving flowmeter up to $1,700.00.  As a condition of receiving a flowmeter the participating landowner agrees to pay for taxes on the meter,  installation fees  and allow the District access to the monitoring site so that the meter can be read in the fall or at the end of the irrigation season.  If you would like to reserve your meter(s) please call our office at 308-645-2250 or contact us by email at


Work to Update Multi-Jurisdiction Hazard Mitigation Plan Beginning

Effort Being Led by Upper Loup NRD

Thedford, Nebraska – For every $1 spent on hazard mitigation, $4 in post storm cleanup and rebuilding is saved, according to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). Proactive hazard mitigation planning allows a community to take actions to reduce or eliminate threats from natural disasters. To help guide future hazard mitigation projects, Upper Loup Natural Resource District is undertaking an effort to update the region’s Hazard Mitigation Plan, originally approved by FEMA in August of 2009. Hazard mitigation plans (HMP) are a requirement of the Disaster Mitigation Act of 2000, administered by FEMA, and once a community, county, or district is part of an approved plan they become eligible for up to a 75% cost share for a wide variety of projects listed in the plan. Hazard Mitigation Plans are required to be updated on a five-year cycle and the current Upper Loup Multi-Jurisdictional Hazard Mitigation Plan will expire August 2014.

A hazard mitigation plan is a publicly-guided document that identifies vulnerability to natural disasters such as flood, drought, earthquake, wildfire, winter storm, tornado/high wind storm, dam failure, etc. The plan establishes goals, outlines specific mitigation options, and prioritizes projects which may reduce or eliminate loss of life and potential damages to property when future disasters occur.

This planning effort is being guided by a Planning Team consisting of representatives from the NRD, counties, and some jurisdiction in the plan area as well as representatives from the Nebraska Department of Natural Resources (NDNR) and the Nebraska Emergency Management Agency (NEMA). Public input will be gathered throughout the duration of the plan development through online tools and public meetings. All communities, public school districts, and other taxing authorities within the NRD are eligible to participate.

The Upper Loup Natural Resource District has hired JEO Consulting Group, Inc. (JEO) to assist with the plan development over the next 12 to 16 months. JEO assisted in completing the district’s current Hazard Mitigation Plan. This hazard mitigation plan update is funded by a FEMA planning grant. The cost is shared 75% through federal funding and 25% through a local match provided by the Upper Loup Natural Resources District.

For more information on this planning effort, contact Anna Baum, Upper Loup NRD General Manager, at 308.645.2250 or by email at