Wet manure stinks, no matter the source. N.C. legislators came to the aid of the pork industry (Sunday Forum, April 15: “The dispute over hog farm lawsuits”).
Some swine farms have 10,000 or more animals present. Each pig produces as much waste daily as does a human. The waste is flushed into a lagoon and later spread as a liquid fertilizer on cropland. Do we know of any small town or city of people that is authorized to use such a sewage disposal system?
The pork industry has long been aware of the problem. It even funded multi-year scientific research to evaluate several solutions and a costs/benefits analysis. The industry rejected the proposed solutions because all would cost more than the current lagoon system. One of the solutions was to contain the waste in a bio-digester that would convert the organic matter to methane that could be used to generate electricity.
Instead of hiring expensive lawyers and lobbyists to fight the issue politically, the pork industry should have hired agricultural engineers who could make the solution economically feasible.