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New EPA Ruling Concerns Producer

by 5m Editor
23 December 2002, at 12:00am

MINNESOTA - Land O'Lakes, Inc. today voiced concern that the EPA's new Concentrated Animal Feeding Operation (CAFO) rule, released earlier this week, will add to the financial pressure farmers are facing after an already difficult year.

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While the national farmer-owned food and agricultural cooperative appreciates the importance of the new regulations, there is concern among its membership regarding the cost of compliance, according to Steven Krikava, Land O'Lakes director of government relations.

"Land O'Lakes supports programs that will provide cost-sharing and will help livestock producers comply with the new regulations," Krikava added. "We also are pleased that the United States Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRSC) will be involved with implementation of the nutrient planning aspect of the rules."

The CAFO rule will apply generally to pork producers who feed at least 2,500 mature animals in confinement for more than 45 days per year, although in some instances smaller operations will be affected.

For dairy farms, the regulation will affect those with a herd size of 700 or more, though some smaller operations may have to acquire permits under the Clean Water Act, develop nutrient management plans, improve record-keeping and monitoring, and enhance nutrient handling activities.

The EPA worked with industry representatives like Land O'Lakes in an attempt to keep the rules realistic and workable.

"Our members are the best stewards of the land," Krikava said. "We know that they will ensure their dairy and livestock operations are not polluting our nation's environment, so we urge our producers to participate in programs like the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) in order to cushion the cost of compliance."

Source: PRNewswire via COMTEX - 20th December 2002

5m Editor