The Little Mississinewa River near Union City, Indiana, will lose upward of 40,000 fish as a result of a manure spill from a Concentrated Animal Feeding Operation (CAFO) hog operation. The spill, or more accurately a “wash-off”, occurred this past Monday.
Stateline Agri Incorporated – also known as Stateline Farms and Kremer Family Farms – applied 27,000 gallons of hog manure to a field about a mile south of Indiana 32. Heavy rains Monday washed that manure off the field and into a drainage tile into the river. The Indiana Department of Environmental Management (IDEM) will determine whether or not the manure was applied improperly, or if too much was applied to the non-planted field. The manure must be applied at an agronomic rate, or in a way so the nutrients that seep into the ground are minimal and don’t affect groundwater supplies.
The dead fish span about seven miles, while the pollutants in the river extend up to nine miles, and include areas both north and south of Union City, as well as through Harter Park, the city’s largest park.
Photo credit: Wikipedia
In the above picture, sows are confined in farrowing crates. The sows will have the piglets and will not be allowed to leave the crates until the piglets are weaned. Then, for the sows, it’s back to the breeding cycle where they will again be impregnated, have piglets, and start all over again, and again, and again. The sows will spend their lives in these cages where they barely have room to move.
Photo credit: Factory Farm
The map above shows the number of CAFOs per state. Indiana is now in the group with the highest number of CAFOs. As I keep saying, you can thank our good ole guv for that. His and Skillman’s plans are to double pork production in the next few years. Looks like we will make it.
Photo credit: All-creatures – Manure run-off
CAFOs are here to stay, but we have a choice and that choice is to take action and let our county officials know we want protection against these mega-farms. IDEM will only look at the CAFO application and the attached manure plan. If everything appears to be in order, it won’t make any difference what we say – the CAFO permit will be approved, and, bingo, another CAFO with thousands of animals appears.
Our path must be to go to our county officials to demand that they put some sensible regulations in place. Currently Allen County has no set-back regulations or any other regulations that govern CAFOs. Until counties take action, we will continue to see an explosion in CAFO permits and approvals,
Just what the governor wanted. And, it looks like he will get it because the public hasn’t quite grasped the dangerous nature of these factory farms.