By Tim Kowols
Last week’s 3-2 vote by the Door County Land Conservation Committee to voice support for changes to the state’s manure handling rules known as NR 151 has some farmers worried about the industry’s future in the area. Some of the changes focus on areas like Door and Kewaunee County where its karst geology affects the soil depth and limits how much manure can be spread there. Haberli Farms co-owner and DoorCountyDailyNews.com Ag Advisory Board Member Joe Haberli believes it is a band-aid approach to the problem.
While his farm was recently designated as a confined animal feeding operation (CAFO), Haberli says it is the small family farms that will be the most affected by the changes because of a lack of money and a lack of time for the additional paperwork.
Proponents to the changes say this is a good start to addressing groundwater issues in the area and there are programs available to help take on the extra expenses. The Natural Resources Board will meet to discuss the possible rule changes before forwarding them to the governor for his approval.