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Factory Farms Get Even Grosser

For Related Articles and More Information, Please Visit OCA's Factory Farming and Food Safety Research Center Page, Health Issues Page and our Environment and Climate Resource Center Page.

Residents of some farming communities are being forced to put up with serious airborne bullshit.

The Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism reports on the growth of the revolting practice of using water irrigation systems to squirt manure over farmland.

So far, 14 of Wisconsin's 258 dairy factory farms, known as concentrated animal feeding operations, or CAFOs, are using the practice, which involves spraying fine mists of dung out of commercial sprinklers. Nearly all of North Carolina's hog farms do likewise. The practice is also used in Iowa, Michigan, and other Midwestern farming states. From the Wisconsin Watch report:

Applying liquid manure to fields using pipelines and farm irrigation systems is less expensive than trucking manure and applying it with traditional land-spreading rigs. 

The issue is tied inextricably to the controversial spread of CAFOs across the Wisconsin landscape. The farms produce overwhelming amounts of manure and have angered and frustrated nearby residents who feel they have little control over the growth and operations of the industrial farms. Cattle on Wisconsin farms produce as much waste each year as the combined populations of Tokyo and Mexico City, according to calculations by Gordon Stevenson, a retired former chief of the [Wisconsin Department of Natural Resource's] runoff management section.       

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