Groundwater Irrigated Acre Signup Scheduled for October

Upper Elkhorn NRD To Hold Groundwater Irrigated Acre Expansion Sign-Up In October

The Upper Elkhorn NRD will be taking applications for the expansion of new groundwater irrigated acres during the month of October for the 2022 growing season.  The sign up is not on a first come first served basis; but, based on a ranking criteria sheet that focuses on current water quality and quantity concerns within the district.  Applications will be accepted from the landowner or their power of attorney from October 1 through October 30, 2021.  Pending the adoption of the proposed updates to the UENRD Groundwater Management Plan, the Groundwater Irrigated Acre Expansion sign up will be held different from previous years.  If the proposed rules and regs are passed, there will be a $50 application fee for any landowner who would like to determine if their piece of ground would qualify for the expansion of groundwater irrigated acres.  If a landowner meets the minimum score and qualifies, they would then be responsible for the minimum acre fee of $125 for 25 acres or less; or, $5.00 an acre for greater than 25 acres to proceed with their application.  The application and supporting information will still be available on the UENRD website ( for review.  For further information contact the Upper Elkhorn NRD at 402-336-3867 or visit the Upper Elkhorn NRD website at     

Chemigation Deadline June 1!

The deadline for renewal chemigation applications is June 1!  Anyone wishing to run fertilizer/chemicals through their center pivot irrigation system will need to submit an application for chemigation to the Natural Resources District.  Renewal Chemigation Applications were mailed out in January to Cooperators who permitted chemigation sites within the Upper Elkhorn NRD in 2020.  These forms must be completed and returned with the appropriate fee by June 1 to the Upper Elkhorn NRD to maintain their renewal status.  Renewal applications will cost $20; New applications will cost $40 per site and must be approved by NRD personnel before any chemigation activity; and, Emergency applications will cost $100.  Chemigation forms are available at the Upper Elkhorn NRD office and NRCS Office in Neligh or on line at  These forms may be filled out online, printed and returned to the NRD office with the appropriate fee.  Remember, it is the responsibility of each chemigator to maintain and permit each chemigation site on an annual basis.  For further information or questions, please contact the Upper Elkhorn NRD, (402) 336-3867.

2021 Nebraska State Envirothon Held at Lake Wanahoo

Nebraska Envirothon a Success at Lake Wanahoo


Nebraska – High schoolers from across Nebraska – and a few pelicans – descended on Lake Wanahoo for the 29th annual Nebraska State Envirothon April 28. Ord High School took home the championship along with $1,500 and will represent Nebraska at the National Conservation Foundation (NCF) Envirothon in July.

Envirothon is an environmental education program for high school students that combines classroom learning and outdoor activities. This year’s competition was hosted at the Lower Platte North Natural Resources District’s Lake Wanahoo near Wahoo.  “Envirothon allows students to get outdoors and learn about natural resources in a hands-on environment,” said Jim Eschliman, Nebraska Association of Resources Districts president. “The activities are designed to help students become environmentally-aware, action-oriented adults, but also exposes them to many exciting career opportunities.”

During the state competition, five-member teams were tested on their knowledge of aquatics, forestry, policy, range, soils and wildlife, as well as prepared and delivered an oral presentation focusing on a current environmental issue.
The 2021 oral presentation theme “Water Resources Management: Local Control, Local Solutions” challenged teams to propose a solution on a complex problem before a panel of judges.

The Nebraska Association of Resources Districts (NARD) Foundation awarded cash prizes to the top three winning teams at the state competition:

  • First Place ($1,500): Ord
  • Second Place ($1,000): Norris Team 2
  • Third Place ($500): Arthur County

Additional prizes were awarded to the top teams in each testing category:

  • Aquatics: Norris Team 2
  • Forestry: Pender
  • Policy: Arthur County, Norris Team 1 and St. Paul
  • Range: Ord
  • Soils: Ord and St. Paul
  • Wildlife: Norris Team 2
  • Oral Presentation: Concordia

More than 75 teams competed in the regional contests between Feb. 3-5, and 14 teams qualified to participate at the state competition.  Ord will represent Nebraska at the NCF-Envirothon July 25-28, to compete for a top prize of $15,000. The international NCF-Envirothon will be hosted virtually by Nebraska’s Natural Resources Districts and will include more than 40 teams from the U.S., Canada and China.

Learn more about the Nebraska Envirothon at

UENRD Awards Senior Scholarships

Upper Elkhorn NRD Awards 2021 Senior Scholarships

Each year the Upper Elkhorn NRD awards three scholarships to graduating high school seniors in the district.  These are students who have chosen to pursue a career in a field related to agriculture, natural resources or the environment.  This year’s recipients are Kirsten Krebs of Pope John XXIII Central Catholic High School; Brooke Ehlers of Chambers High School; Morgan Erhardt of Summerland Public School; and, alternate Emily Fischer of Plainview High School.  Kirsten is the daughter of Jeff and Lynette Krebs and is planning a career in Veterinary Science while attending Southeast Community College.  Brooke, the daughter of Matt and Heidi Ehlers, has chosen a career in Animal Science and plans on attending the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.  Morgan Erhardt, the daughter of Lyle and Twyla, is also planning a career in the Veterinary Science field at UNL or Iowa State University.  The alternate, Emily Fischer, with the help of Matt Fischer and Julie Brookhouser, is planning to study pre-Veterinary Medicine at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.   Scholarship winners will receive a scholarship in the amount of $500 to help defer costs during their first year of College.  The Upper Elkhorn NRD would like to congratulate the 2021 Senior Scholarship Winners and wish them good luck in achieving their future goals.

Deadline Looming to Certify Groundwater Irrigated Acres in UENRD

Deadline Looming to Certify Groundwater

Irrigated Acres Within the Upper Elkhorn NRD

The Upper Elkhorn NRD has begun sending out Final Notices for the Certification of Groundwater Irrigated Acres.  We encourage anyone receiving their Final Notice to get their Groundwater Irrigated Acres certified by the end of the year.  Anyone who does not certify their groundwater irrigated acres once with the Upper Elkhorn NRD risks the chance of losing their ability to irrigate using groundwater.  The UENRD began certifying groundwater irrigated acres in 2011 and estimates that there are approximately 50,000 acres that still need to be certified; and, it is imperative that you certify your groundwater irrigated acres to preserve your right to irrigate those acres in the future.  You can review all the Groundwater Irrigated Acre Certification information on the UENRD website at  This process is separate from certifying your acres annually with the USDA Farm Service Agency and is required only once with the Upper Elkhorn NRD.   

Landowners who fail to certify their groundwater irrigated acres not only risk the chance of not being able to irrigate those aces; but, they will also not be eligible to participate in Upper Elkhorn NRD programs.  This would include the Expansion of Groundwater Irrigated Acres, Groundwater Irrigated Acre Transfers or be eligible for UENRD cost share.