Can you imagine living near fields being sprayed with liquid manure? A state authorized Spray Manure Workgroup formed in 2013 to research this practice.
Spraying manure into the air brings potential serious health and quality of life issues for neighbors. Hydrogen sulfide, ammonia and manure-borne pathogens in droplets can blow in the wind and lodge deep in our lungs, moving directly into our bloodstream. Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations (CAFOs) want to spray many millions of gallons of liquid manure they create on fields.
The Workgroup website, fyi.uwex.edu/manureirrigation/ has reports from the committee. Initially, citizens understood a public hearing would be offered to comment on the draft report. There will be an informational webinar, but no opportunity for public discussion. You can request the final report scheduled to come out in early April from Committee Chair Ken Genskow at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Direct requests, such as asking for a public hearing on the results and support of a moratorium on manure spraying while further scientific study is done, to Mr. Genskow and request he share with the committee. Work with local government to put ordinances banning spraying manure in your township/county. An ordinance example is on the Lincoln Township (Kewaunee County) website: https://assets.documentcloud.org/documents/1302564/lincoln-center-pivot-manure-irrigation-ban.pdf.
Presently, seven operations in Wisconsin spray manure on fields. North Carolina banned all new manure spray permits due to health hazards. For more information on manure spraying, go to kewauneecares.org.
Ehlert is President of the Crawford Stewardship Project.