Haskell Ag Lab Could be Closing Soon

CONCORD, Neb. (NCN/AP) — The University of Nebraska may close an agriculture laboratory to save $1 million a year.

Closing the 320-acre Haskell Agricultural Laboratory outside Concord is among $9 million in proposed budget cuts put forward by university President Hank Bounds at Gov. Pete Ricketts’ request.

Mike Boehm is vice chancellor of the Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources, which oversees Haskell. He says that while Haskell has had a positive effect in northeast Nebraska, the lab is at the top of the proposed cut list because the university doesn’t own the land and $1.5 million is needed in maintenance and improvements.

Officials at Haskell Ag Lab told News Channel Nebraska that a closure would affect ten current faculty members. It’s also the current home of the Dixon County UNL-Extension office. University officials say they are committed to keeping their two extension educators in Dixon County, but would need to find a new office space for them.

The Haskell Ag Lab was created in 1956, when the C.D. Haskell family of Laurel donated their farm for the purposes of research. A number of studies have originated at the Haskell, including a study on how feedlot cattle handle the summer heat and how best to manage manure nutrients.

No timeline was given for a potential closure of the lab.