Livestock permit updates could out-regulate some farms

Michigan Farm Bureau says the state’s new permit process for large livestock producers likely could force some out of business. 

Laura Campbell with Michigan Farm Bureau tells Brownfield proposed changes to the state’s CAFO general permit puts Michigan at a competitive disadvantage.

“This new permit will put us head and shoulders above all of the other states in terms of how restrictive and how much micromanagement they do of manure application.”

Campbell says some farms say the changes would require them to double the landmass that’s needed for nutrients, build additional manure storage structures and potentially make farmland ineligible for fertilizer applications.

“These new requirements are so stringent and put so many new requirements on them, we think it has a good possibility to shut farms down.”

Updated every five years, Campbell says the nutrient management requirements utilize a risk assessment that wasn’t designed for regulatory use.

“Even in the technical guidance for that phosphorous risk assessment, it says, ‘This is not intended for regulatory use.’”

Farms would also be required to request to apply nitrogen and post a public notice for approval.

Campbell says they’re concerned the changes have been driven by environmental groups that want to put large livestock production out of business.  Public hearings will be held this week and next for farmers to voice concerns and comments will be accepted until December 18. 

Farm Bureau is urging farms of all sizes and commodities weigh in because of the overarching impacts from the proposal.

Brownfield interview with Laura Campbell at the MFB Annual Meeting

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