The pros and cons of manure
By Edie Ehlet -
With the looming proposal for another and larger feeder pig CAFO in southern Crawford County, comes the question for neighboring landowners of considering the value of that manure on your land, as the operation will need many acres to spread that manure on.
While manure is a good nutrient for plants, it is best applied as a “dry” manure on rotationally grazed pastures, as compost, and spread on fields only in amounts that the crops can use.
Issues to consider before signing a contract to allow liquid hog manure on your land includes:
The liquid manure is 96-99% water, a stew that often also includes chemical cleaning agents, antibiotics, along with resulting gasses, ammonia and hydrogen sulfide, which can cause foul odors and respiratory discomfort.
Manure in this unstable liquid form can more easily run off and cause water pollution, or seep into well water.
Heavy manure trucks are damaging to roads and cause soil compaction.
The manure is spread according to the CAFO’s needs, not your convenience, so planning outdoor events becomes challenging. Simple joys like gardening and spontaneous family cookouts can become extremely unpleasant when conditions are “right”.
Consult a lawyer before signing a contract. If someone’s property is damaged, or a well is polluted, the Wi Supreme Court has ruled that you, the landowner, may be held responsible.
The manure is spread according to a nutrient management plan. However, the laws allow too much manure on too little land, and are barely enforced, which results in phosphorus build up in soils and loss of nutrients into our watersheds and drinking water.
Do you want liquid hog manure in your life ongoing?