Nebraska: Soil sampling and agricultural exemption
April 8, 2011
Nebraska farmers prevailed last week as Attorney General Jon Bruning clarified what persons qualify for the agricultural exemption in the one-call notification act. “To be clear – farmers, their employees and any third-parties they contract with to do routine soil sampling for agricultural purposes do not need to call the Diggers Hotline prior to taking a soil sample,” said Bruning. “This is an agricultural state and soil sampling is business as usual. I won’t second-guess the common sense of Nebraska farmers,” he went on to say.
The Attorney General weighed in as a result of LB 484 which would have specifically exempted soil sampling for nutrient management purposes from the one-call notification act, the act that mandates a call to Diggers Hotline. LB 484 was selected as a priority bill by the Nebraska Cattlemen Board of Directors when it was brought to their attention that persons unfamiliar with soil sampling were making a push at the Nebraska State Legislature to force those taking the samples to call Diggers Hotline prior to doing so.
Senator Galen Hadley of Kearney introduced LB 484 due to a case in Nebraska where a natural gas company employee reported individuals conducting routine soil sampling under the belief they were not in compliance with the one-call notification act.
Nebraska Cattlemen would like to extend a great appreciation to Attorney General Bruning in ruling Nebraska law did not need to be amended to address this significant and unnecessary demand upon producers. In addition, Nebraska Cattlemen asks that producers observe extreme caution when soil sampling at depths greater than 18 inches or near fences and roads.