The Watertown Daily Times is reporting that the USDA has dropped a proposed rule that would have limited the spreading of manure on frozen ground.
Without the ability to spread manure in winter, north country farmers would have had to build storage facilities big enough to hold a few months’ worth of manure — costing $250,000 or more for a typical farm, critics said.
“We are very pleased to see the USDA take a rational approach in creating the guidelines for family farms regarding nutrient management,” Rep. William L. Owens, D-Plattsburgh, said in a news release.
“I was happy to work with the New York Farm Bureau this year to address serious concerns their members had with the initial draft policy when it was released.”
Environmental groups and many scientists have long argued that the practice of spreading manure on frozen ground results in far more phosphorous run-off into streams and lakes.
Phosphorous contamination has been a major issue in the North Country, from the Black River to Lake Champlain. Read the WDT’s full article here.