Wednesday, August 20, 2014

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Winter manure spreading allowed by USDA

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CNY/NNY/S. Tier: Winter manure spreading allowed by USDA
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CANTON, N.Y. -- North Country farmers feared the worst for this coming year with the threat of newly proposed USDA guidelines.

The new national guidelines would have put a ban on winter manure spreading, forcing farmers to buy expensive equipment for manure storage. But the farmers and the state farm bureau pushed back and won.

The USDA is leaving it up to each state to decide and that means New York farmers don't have to worry about any new rules, a decision that's really saving smaller farms.

"Every year is different. Every part of the country is different. One of the big fears is if Washington is setting regs, the way they farm in Texas and Florida is a whole lot different than the way we farm in Northern New York and you know, one size does not fit all," said Jon Greenwood, Farm Bureau President for St. Lawrence County.

As for the reason the USDA proposed the nationwide change, they worried manure spreading on frozen ground would be harmful to the environment and water quality. But the Farm Bureau says winter manure spreading is not harmful as long as it's done correctly: On flat land and with a hay crop underneath.

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