Nebraska Livestock Expansion White Paper

UNL Department of Agricultural Economics

The “Nebraska Advantage” is comprised of an interrelated system of crops, livestock and biofuel production capacity that is basically unmatched anywhere in the country. Nebraska is ranked 1st in irrigated acres, commercial red meat production, and tied with Texas for cattle on feed, 2nd in corn-based ethanol production, 3rd in corn for grain production, 4th in soybean production, 5th in all hay production, 6th in all hogs and pigs, and 7th in commercial hog slaughter. The relationship between corn, soybeans and biofuels along with livestock production has been branded the “Golden Triangle.” The Golden Triangle is an interconnected system that leads to synergistic opportunities and outcomes as wells as value-added economic activity.

The Golden Triangle production cluster relies on the strength of all the component industries to survive and thrive and there are concerns that the Nebraska Advantage is not operating to its full potential and may even be slipping in rigor in recent years. Despite economic advantages for livestock production in Nebraska, the industry has not grown in the past two decades at rates comparable to neighboring states.

A paper recently released, “Nebraska Livestock Expansion White Paper” explores the issues and policies that have constrained the livestock development in the state and the economic benefits that accompany livestock expansion. The paper can be found at: (