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Honored Advisor

Re: Letter to the editor: Hog 'factories' helping to empty rural Iowa

Just so you know: Every hog farm permitted in North Carolina has to have a waste management facility equivalent to town sewage systems. We have to man that system with operators trained to an equivalent degree with muni system operators, too.

Our farm was a scalded' sterile mess when we bought it...mineral soils with virtually no organic matter in them. Now, with manure as our only fertilizing amendment, and no pesticides, there are earthworms everywhere. Earthworms live off of decaying organic matter...so, we must be doing something right.

Try not to tar everyone with your slob farmer brush. It isn't accurate.
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Senior Advisor

Re: Letter to the editor: Hog 'factories' helping to empty rural Iowa

Exciting news about a 5400 head sow operation in eastern South Dakota which will have a payroll of @ $700,000 and produce  $200,000 of fertilizer and they had some politicians there for the open house ---oh don't fret it is being managed by a company in Minnesota which has " new technology "  in " odor management "  which they forgot to state the amount of  equip $$$ spent ---

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Senior Contributor

Re: Letter to the editor: Hog 'factories' helping to empty rural Iowa/K-289

k-289- Although I live in the big city, I go down to my Iowa farmland 2-3 times per month during the crop season. But the hog buildings on my farm don't really smell anyway. They are just your standard CAFO Hog buildings and you can be only 100 feet from the buildings and there is no smell. The smell is only when they spread 5,000 gallons/acre on the adjoining 320 acre corn field I own and that is only for maybe 2-3 days. But the manure is injected so that helps alot too. But, I swear on a stack of bibles that the 5,000 gallons per acre of hog manure we put on in the fall gives me a 4-8 bushel an acre yield increase which is very nice. My only manure cost is the per acre spreading cost which is nice. I believe the manure has a $80/acre fertilizer value which really helps keep your per corn bushel cost down.

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Senior Contributor

Re: Letter to the editor: Hog 'factories' helping to empty rural Iowa-FAUST, FAUST, FAUST!!!!!!!!

FAUST-  Here you go again giving us north of HIGHWAY I-80 Farmland owners a bad time!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  LOL

Yes, there are a huge number of hog CAFO's in northern Iowa, but they are regulated by the state of Iowa. I had to get an enviromental impact study done before I could put up the 4 large hog buildings on a 320 acre farm I own. Plus, I needed to have a Manure Management Plan in place and certified by the Iowa DNR. All the state laws/rules do a darn good job of policing all the hog operations in northern Iowa. And yes, I spread 5,000 gallons per acre on my corn fields every fall after harvest which saves me at least $80/acre in fertilizer cost or 40 cents per bushel. A 40 cent per corn bushel cost saving is a HUGE deal for us Northern Iowa farmland owners, think you know that. And I swear, by my field yield records that I get a 4-8 bushel per acre yield increase using 5,000 gallons of manure per acre. A 4-8 bushel yield increase at $7 corn is $28 to $56 per acre in more corn revenue. Does't seem like much but an extra $56/acre in corn revenue is alot. Since things flow from north to south in Iowa and you farm in southern Iowa, I am sorry that some of my hog manure on my northern Iowa farmland ends up on your farms. But look at it this way, I am giving you some free fertilizer for your corn fields!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

If you feel guilty taking this free fertilizer from me, you could send me a check for say, $25/acre for every corn acre you have!!!!!!

Remember, us northern Iowa farmland owners are not as wealthy as you Southern Iowa Boys, so we need every little penny up here in Northern Iowa!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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Senior Contributor

Re: Letter to the editor: Hog 'factories' helping to empty rural Iowa

RSW: what you describe as smell is what the other hog farms around here are like. There is just that one that is way different. As I said I can't prove anything. This guy's farmstead, home, and shop all look very well kept. His machinery looks good. His crops are weed free and look as good as any. I wouldn't put him in Faust's slob list. Something in his Manure management seems aimed at bothering someone.
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Senior Contributor

Re: Letter to the editor: Hog 'factories' helping to empty rural Iowa/KAY

Kay- could you give me a brief discription of what you mean by your following statement:

 

"Every hog farm permitted in North Carolina has to have a waste management facility equivalent to town sewage systems. We have to man that system with operators trained to an equivalent degree with muni system operators, too."

 

What sort of equipment and special manure handling does this North Carolina State Law require on your part? I am curious as to how it may be different from the rules that we have Iowa. Thanks!!!!!!!  

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Re: Letter to the editor: Hog 'factories' helping to empty rural Iowa

I'm in agreement. Not from a NIMBY point of view but in lamenting the loss of the economic opportunity that hogs provided. Time was that if you were willing to work hard and raise hogs and didn't get too stupid or unlucky there was a place in faming for you.

 

Today's Valero farms don't quite offer that same opportunity.

 

(A Valero farm is a CAFO on 10 acres with a rusted out Plymouth Valero out front.)

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Highlighted

Re: Letter to the editor: Hog 'factories' helping to empty rural Iowa

On the bright side, I've always said that in the casue of "farmland perservation" all you have to do is build a CAFO in the middle of a section and you can almost guarantee that nobody is going to build a house on it.

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Senior Contributor

Re: Letter to the editor: Hog 'factories' helping to empty rural Iowa

Yes, pretty funny!!!! But on hogs, many years ago in Iowa, the hogs were what was called the "Mortgage Lifter", Meaning if the corn crop had a bad year, you could always plan on the hogs to pay the Farmland Bank Mortgage payment. That's not true anymore.

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Honored Advisor

Re: Letter to the editor: Hog 'factories' helping to empty rural Iowa

We had one of those in NC...he antagonized a powerful state legislator, placing hogs in a defunct turkey grower house, near a world-class golf resort, as only one example. Mike and I used to say, when their latest scrap would reach the news, that the hog industry ought to put out a hit on him. His antics probably more than anything resulted in a whole host of new regulations.

There are some people, and some of them are farmers, who have a " screw you, I will do whatever I want" attitude. Those are the ones who make it hard for the rest of us, who try to be considerate. Unless his operation is significantly different from the others in terms of being say a sow farm, instead of a finisher or wean to finish, the manure ought to smell essentially the same.

There are a couple days in springtime, when we first get warm sunshine and air temps, when the lagoon bacteria wake up and really start churning. The odor is sharper and stronger for maybe 48 hours, and wind direction determines where and how odors are dispersed. In our case, that is either over our yard and front hayfields, or over thousands of acres of pine trees. Tree buffers make a world of difference here.

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