Does A Hog Factory Farm Make A Good Neighbor?
The preferred location for a hog factory farm is in rural locations. Reasons for this choice should be fairly obvious. There is quite a bit of land required to contain the different space requirements of a farm that houses pigs in the thousands. Waste disposal from the animals requires a lot of land area.
The animals are crammed into as small a space as possible to be mass bred, raised, fed and prepared for the meat market. A huge waste disposal problem exists while housing such a large number of pigs.
A common method of managing the waste problem is through the use of lagoons. Accumulated pig feces and urine collect through a floor of slats. Then it is pumped into the lagoon for treatment. As the lagoon fills, the liquid is used for fertilizer. on various types of fields.
Here is one of the major complaints from property owners located around the farm and it’s lagoons. Two issues stand out:
- First – the smell from the waste lagoon is intense, based on which way the wind is blowing
- Second – the environmental impact from applying this liquid mix as fertilizer.
Some of the factory farms employ a method of spraying to apply as fertilizer. A lot of the spray gets diverted by the wind quite a distance from the sprayers. This mist settles in and around neighbors houses and property.
The concentration applied tends to exceed the useful needs of the area being treated. This will create runoff into any streams and other sources of water located near the farm. The end result is to have an environmental impact to the water and wherever it flows.
The open air lagoon tend to release harmful pollutants into the air. These include methane and hydrogen sulfide gases. Major contributors to global warming and environmental health hazards.
Studies indicate the community residents around large hog farm factories have higher than normal respiratory disease. Employees that work inside the farm factories are also reported to have an above average amount of respiratory problems.
Overall, the hog factory farm has a negative impact to the surrounding community. The spray, gas and odor emissions contribute to a lower quality of life. Another result observed is that the property values tend to decrease within the surrounding community.
The below video contains a review of a hog factory farm located in North Carolina. A drone was used to inspect the facility from the air. Interesting commentary regarding the impact of factory farms is included.
In all fairness, a response by the reviewed farm can be found at this link on the Internet.