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Legislators OK money for UofA hog farm study

Conservation groups are suing to shut down C&H Farms, because of proximity to Buffalo River

9/6/2013 at 12:00 a.m.

A legislative subcommittee yesterday approved Gov. Mike Beebe’s request for funding that will allow the University of Arkansas to monitor the potential impact of C&H Farms in Mt. Judea on the nearby Buffalo River.

The $340,510 that was green-lighted by the legislature’s Performance Evaluation and Expenditure Review joint subcommittee will cover the first year of an anticipated five-year study. According to the UofA, its work will focus on:

    • Monitoring the fate and transport of nutrients and bacteria from land-applied swine effluent to pastures. 
    • Assessing the impact of farming operations (effluent holding ponds and land-application of effluent) on the quality of critical water features on and surrounding the farm including springs, ephemeral streams, creeks and ground water.
    • Determining the effectiveness and sustainability of alternative manure management techniques including solid separation that may enhance transport and export of nutrients out of the watershed.
The University’s work will be done independently of any government agencies, but it has agreed to submit its results, quarterly, to the Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality. If any problems are found, ADEQ has the ability to revise the farm’s nutrient management plan.
Arkansas Farm Bureau has supported the owners’ right to farm. Staff and leaders have helped define a program that included the farmers' needs, would address public concerns, and access the scientific expertise within the University of Arkansas Division of Agriculture.

KTHV-11 has more.

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