#AgAlerts: Property rights; food waste; livestock farm limitations; China

Neighbors could no longer formally complain about the smell of a chicken house, noise of a tractor or any other alleged nuisance on farms in Georgia that have been operating for at least a year under a bill proposed in the state House. Legislators are looking to balance the needs of the state’s top industry with the concerns of property owners who may be negatively affected by living near a farm. Under House Bill 545, property owners would lose the right to bring a nuisance suit, or a legal complaint about noise, odor or a similar issue, against an agricultural operation if the agricultural business has been operating for at least a year.

#AgAlerts: CAFOs; Solar; Partial wavers

A roundup of news, reports, and research on agribusiness and related issues. Do factory farm bans have a political future? | Newfoodeconomy.com   

CAFOs have long been a hot-button issue in big farming states like Iowa and North Carolina. “In Iowa, there’s been like, 15,000 new CAFOs in the last eight years or something like that,” says Bob Martin, program director of Food System Policy at the Center for a Livable Future. “And they’re continuing to intensify in North Carolina, in broiler [chicken] CAFOs on the Eastern Shore [of Maryland] … they’re kind of moving unabated,” he adds.

A battle brews in rural Wisconsin over factory farms

A community divided. A local official accused of self-dealing. A top political appointee ousted from his job. In Wisconsin, a state where the footprint of agribusiness is growing, the question of how to regulate factory farms is a pressing topic from the town hall to the statehouse.

The air they breathe
The Trump administration bowed to livestock-industry pressure, and made it harder for neighbors of CAFOs to learn what pollutants they're inhaling.

Recent actions by the GOP-controlled Congress and the Trump administration have exempted big livestock farms from reporting air emissions. The moves follow a decade-long push by the livestock industry for exemption and leave neighbors of large-scale operations in the dark about what they’re inhaling. If that weren’t enough, environmental advocates warn that the failure to monitor those emissions makes it even harder to assess the climate effects of large-scale agriculture.

Large animal feeding operations on the rise
Several states see shifts in animal production since 2011

The number of new concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs) have increased across the U.S. over the past six years - bringing the total operations just under 20,000, according to data from the Environmental Protection Agency. From 2011 to 2017, the United States saw more than 1,400 new large-scale concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs) established. That’s up 7.6 percent. Here's a look at the issue in maps and charts.

Plan for 20,000-hog facility sparks revolt in western Illinois | Chicago Tribune

Efforts like this one have largely failed during the past two decades as pork producers constructed more than 900 new swine confinements across Illinois, often brushing aside farm families’ concerns about sickening odors, road damage, depletion of wells and fouling of creeks. But this network of farmsteads set amid rolling hills has become the newest battleground where small-town residents are trying to fend off a leading U.S. pork producer

DNR vacancies hinder CAFO enforcement

Water-quality advocates say Wisconsin's Department of Natural Resources’ regulation of large farms, known as concentrated animal feeding operations or CAFOs, is too lax. DNR acknowledges low staffing levels have strained enforcement efforts, and described the program.