The Central Platte NRD stretches 205 miles across central Nebraska and includes parts of eleven different counties. The area has approximately 2.1 million acres of land, nearly half of which is utilized for agricultural land. Additionally, nearly all of the agricultural land is irrigated using groundwater or surface water sources. The primary agricultural products of the region are cattle, corn, soybeans, alfalfa, wheat, potatoes, and other small grains. 1
As of the 2010 US Census, the population of the valley is nearly 140,000 residents, with two-thirds of residents residing in one of the four major population centers within the region (Grand Island, Kearney, Lexington, and Central City). The regions are seeing increasing population growth (especially in Grand Island and Kearney) and as a result pressures on land use changes in the areas surrounding the larger population centers. 2
The southcentral region of Nebraska has a strong agricultural focus within its economy, with a majority of the economic subsectors focusing around agricultural products and processing, equipment sales and repair, and manufacturing. The population growth in the area has spurred growth in construction subsectors. Additionally, the area acts as host to several universities and colleges as well as health care facilities. 3
- US Census American Factfinder (factfinder.census.gov)
- Southcentral Nebraska Economic Development District Analysis. Presented by Bree Dority (University of Nebraska – Kearney) and Daniel Chaffin (University of Nebraska – Kearney) for the Tri-City Area Economic Forum, September 21, 2018.