When heat waves blanket regions of the country, an uncomfortable situation for many people can turn deadly for farmworkers laboring in fields. "That’s especially true in the Central Valley, where a major portion of the nation’s fruits and vegetables are grown. If farmworkers don’t drink enough water, are unable to take breaks in the shade, or simply aren’t acclimatized to working at such high temperatures, they can suffer heat exhaustion, heatstroke, even death," writes Ingfei Chen in FERN's latest story, published with Mother Jones.
The North Carolina state House voted, 74-40, to override Gov. Roy Cooper's veto of a bill limiting the liability of large livestock farms when they are sued for noxious odors or runoff, said the Port City Daily. "Only time will tell how this legislation plays out...the bill must still pass in (the) Senate before it becomes law."
North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper has vetoed a bill that would limit the liability of large livestock farms when they are sued for creating a public nuisance due to odors or manure runoff. His veto may not be the end of the story because hog farmers are encouraging the legislature to override the veto.
Decades ago, hog farmers described the pungent aroma of hog manure as the smell of money. Now, the North Carolina state House has passed a bill that could save them money if they are sued for creating a nuisance due to the smell of animal waste, says the Associated Press.
The children of people who work in industrial hog farms in North Carolina, the second-largest hog-producing state in the country, are much more likely to be carrying drug-resistant bacteria than children whose households have no swine-farm contact, according to a new study.
North Carolina is second to Georgia as the largest poultry-producing state in the nation and a new report by state environmental officials says the poultry industry produces more animal waste than they expected, says public broadcaster WFDD-FM in Winston-Salem. Not only is it more than officials expected, the nitrogen and phosphorus runoff tops hogs or cattle. In one river basin, the Yadkin-Pee Dee, it was six times more.
Ray Starling, who grew up on a farm in North Carolina and worked as chief of staff for Sen. Thom Tillis, will serve as White House adviser on agriculture, trade and food assistance, said the National Economic Council. The National Pork Producers Council, a farm group, called the appointment "a clear signal of (President Trump's) commitment to reverse unnecessary regulations inhibiting pork producers and all U.S. farmers."
North Carolina is home to 8.8 million hogs, most of them in large barns in the eastern part of the state that draw complaints about noxious odors and the huge volume of manure generated by the hogs. Researchers at the Center for Environmental Farming Systems (CEFS), created in 1994, are running an experiment in raising hogs "without antibiotics in a way that grants them enough space to roam — and that keeps their waste out of open-air lagoons," says the North Carolina Health News.
The enormous numbers of animals concentrated in industrial pig farms are changing the pattern of flu seasons, by providing flu viruses a place to jump between humans and animals and multiply faster than they otherwise would, according to new research from North Carolina — a state that is second only to Iowa in pig production.
In the floods caused by Hurricane Matthew, manure lagoons on North Carolina hog farms "withstood the storm remarkably well," said the North Carolina Pork Council. Fourteen lagoons were flooded and only one lagoon was partially breached — on a farm that has not housed hogs "for more than five years, significantly minimizing the environmental impact."