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A Introduction

.. shing areas were forced to close due to effects from increased river nutrients. Also, real estate values can be affected by high-density farming. If the residents near a farm can perceive an unpleasant odor, the value of their land may be reduced. Besides disagreeing about the level and extent of regulatory reform, people disagree about the level of technology that is necessary to treat livestock waste safely.

Some say that when used properly, current waste treatment methods are adequate. Others say that livestock operators need to adopt new waste treatment technologies. The Sierra Clubs Holman would like livestock operations to use more advanced treatments such as those used for human waste, but, he says, the animal industry says they are too expensive (Americas Animal Factories). Two growing-finishing trials involving 432 gilts were used to determine the potential of reducing nitrogen excretion while maintaining swine performance and carcass merit. This was done by substituting a portion of the soybean meal by synthetic amino acids. The study suggests that decreasing dietary crude protein and thus total nitrogen by decreasing soybean meal and using synthetic amino acids has the potential to substantially reduce nitrogen excretion.

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The study also demonstrated that it is possible to obtain similar rate of gain, feed efficiency and carcass merit when substituting synthetic amino acids for a portion of the soybean meal in diets for growing-finishing swine. Unfortunately, lysine is the only synthetic amino acid that is currently priced to be feasible to use in swine rations. North Carolina regulators are paying more attention to livestock waste now. On October 1, 1995, Senate Bill 1080 went into effect. This law imposed mandatory statewide setback requirements on all new or expanded factory hog farms, raising 250 or more hogs. Under the senate bill 1080, all new hog houses and waste lagoons must be at least 1,500 feet from any occupied residence, 2,500 feet from schools, hospitals, and churches and 100 feet from any property boundary.

Spray fields must be at least 50 feet from any residential property boundary and from any perennial stream or river, other than an irrigation ditch or canal. In 1996, Senate Bill 1217 was passed for more regulation hog farms. The law directed the state to develop a system of general “nondischarge permits” for animal operations above certain size thresholds. Factory hog farms with 250 or more hogs are required to obtain a general permit. The law requires that each regulated livestock operation be inspected two times each year and it extended the setback applicable to new or expanded hog house and lagoons from 100 feet to at least 500 feet from any property boundary. It also increased the amount the state can fine factory livestock operations for a first time offense of willfully discharging waste into state waters, from $5,000 to $10,000 and the law also requires that any person who intends to build a new hog farm must provide written notice of such intent to adjacent landowners and any property owners who own property across a public road, street or highway from the proposed hog farm.

The 1997 House Bill 515, imposed a partial moratorium on new and expanded factory hog farms, directed the state to develop a plan to phase out anaerobic waste lagoons and spray fields, and imposed additional requirements. The 1998 House Bill 1480 extended the moratorium on new and expanded factory hog farms by six months and required contract hog growers to provide information to the state regarding the swine operation integrator with whom that farmer has a relationship. D. Recent Recommendation and Trends with BGS Several recommendations presented here are intended to assist policy makers in designing rules, regulations, and incentives to address problems attributable to confined animal feeding operations in North Carolina. First, ” the state of North Carolina can require livestock operators to implement controls to minimize the loss of nutrients from waste application sites to surface and ground water.” Nutrient Management practices modify the use of fertilizer or animal waste based on recommendations regarding optimum rates, timing, and methods for nutrient application. These practices address: the control of nutrient loss through application to cropped fields, and the maintenance of field productivity through limits on lifetime of nutrients.

These recommendations are typically base on soil and manure analysis and expected crop yields. Second, the major operators need changes in farm design and operation. Because animal lagoon spills have the potential to harm human and environmental health, it is in the publics best interest to prevent spills from occurring. Prevention is generally less costly than clean up. Although external factors, such as heavy rainfall, can play a part, lagoon spills are often due to human error or equipment failure.

Changes in farm construction and operating practices have the potential to reduce the number of spills. Third, the state needs to improve regulatory efficiency. The permitted program is inefficient because it does not take into account the variations among farms and does not provide proper mechanism for enforcement. It should be replaced by a new permitting program that will enable the state to implement environmental standards and increase industry compliance. Finally, “North Carolina Governor James Hunt has instructed the General Assembly to appropriate $1,000,000 to North Carolina State University for development of innovative water-waste treatment technologies.” Currently, industry is privately developing new products and hardware to mitigate odor and water quality problems and is funding research and development to investigate alternative waste disposal technologies that are economically viable and efficient.

E. Conclusion The extreme amounts of livestock waste have left us with a polluted planet, controversy between those for and against livestock industries and the problem of how to deal with the waste. While there is no unanimous decision on how to deal with livestock waste, almost everyone agrees that there is a need to educate livestock operators better and fund more research to determine the best ways to manage livestock waste. Although all of the problems that have come from the lagoon spills were horrible at the time, they may benefit the health of the environment and the public by forcing people on all sides of the issue to face the problems that livestock waste causes and work together to find a solution.


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