> Thanks, Russ:
> My concern is that farmers are able to make the economic transition
> successfully. Environmental regulations, while needed and desireable,
> have been used in the past to eliminate or reduce the number of small
> operators. I'm thinking of the local, family gas station.
> Thanks for the update.
> Buy from the Farmer
Most of the damaged/destroyed hog farms/lagoons were contract farms that
were made by Murphy, Prestige, or Brown. Most of the family operations
couldn't compete (My brother-in-law included) and got out of the
business. When the market bottomed out on pork last year, the few that
were still here probably got out. Corporate farming is the norm here,
unfortunately, and they had the run of the place until recently. (Murphy
was a state senator in the 1980's! Much of the legislation that was
passed during his tenure allowed the spread of corporate farming
throughout the state. In fact the NC hog population rose ten fold between
1980 and 1990!)
I think that most of the stuff going on now is trying to rectify some of
the bad environmental decisions that state made in the past two decades.
While I think that Family-run businesses should be protected (and BTW
Brown Family Farms, and Murphy Farms are considered "Family-Run" even
though almost all of their operation, to my knowledge, is contracted out),
I think that corporate farms should be more closely regulated (In North
Carolina, The contract farmer doesn't own the pigs, or the building, but
he does own the waste produced by the animals, and is responsible for it's
Prior to the Floyd disaster, there was a two year moratorium on new hog
farms (over a certain size), and the state was evaluating the efficacy of
different waste handling systems (instead of lagoons).
The swine manure that I used for my experiments came from a facility that
was under evaluation. It was basically a waste-water treatment facility
that screened out the solids, and placed the water through primary and
secondary treatment before reusing the water to wash out the houses, and
begin the process again.
Anyway. . .That's my two cents worth (okay maybe a little more). . .Russ
-- Russ Bulluck Ph.D. Candidate Department of Plant Pathology North Carolina State University PO Box 7616 Raleigh, NC 27695-7616
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ The soil population is so complex that it manifestly cannot be dealt with as a whole with any detail by any one person, and at the same time it plays so important a part in the soil economy that it must be studied. --Sir E. John Russell The Micro-organisms of the Soil, 1923 ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
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