Large farms face big fight

OHIO - Many large livestock farms that are looking to grow – including at least four proposed for northeast Indiana and northwest Ohio – must factor in neighborhood opposition as a cost of doing business.

Few rural residents want to see a million chickens or thousands of hogs move in next door. But farmers say these large operations are needed to increase farm profits and make it possible for the next generation to stay on the farm.

Some Wabash County residents are calling for a moratorium on confined feeding operations until the county can review its bylaws on these large livestock farms.

Neighbors of a proposed 8,000-hog farm east of Wabash want to make sure the farms are properly regulated so spilled manure does not pollute the groundwater.

Farmers and neighbors are likely to clash as long as the livestock industry continues consolidating, said Chris Hurt, an agricultural economics professor at Purdue University in West Lafayette.

Like industrial companies, farms are growing larger and more specialized to compete as the number of farming operations dwindles, he said.

The rise of large livestock farms – particularly hog and dairy operations – is conflicting with the growing number of rural homeowners and their vision of country life.

The state Department of Environmental Management regulates about 2,200 confined feeding operations statewide, including 425 in northeast Indiana. The state classifies a livestock farm as a confined feeding operation if it has at least 300 cattle, 600 hogs or sheep or 30,000 chickens, ducks or other poultry.

calendar icon 26 June 2006
clock icon 1 minute read
© 2000 - 2024 - Global Ag Media. All Rights Reserved | No part of this site may be reproduced without permission.