A major hog producer in northern Missouri hopes its proposed solution to odor problems will resolve a long-standing dispute.
A motion has been filed in Jackson County Circuit Court by Premium Standard Farms to implement methods to reduce pollution and odor at its hog farms in northern Missouri.
PSF President Bill Homann hopes the proposal satisfies agreements reached with the Attorney General’s office in 1999 and 2004; even though Homann admits PSF can’t meet a July 31st deadline.
“Premium Standard Farms and the Attorney General; we definitely have the same objective in mind here and that’s to protect our environment and future generations while safeguarding the economic viability of animal agriculture in northwest Missouri,” according to Homann.
PSF reached a settlement with the state in 1999, agreeing to implement Next Generation Technology at 11 of its hog farms in Daviess, Gentry, Mercer, Putnam and Sullivan Counties. A special three-member Management Advisory Team has been created to evaluate and guide PSF’s compliance with the settlement. A revision of the agreement in 2004 lifted a $25 million cap on PSF’s obligation and imposed a July 31, 2010 deadline.
The equipment PSF is costly, in excess of $ 7 million. Homann says pollution regulations and legal fees have added seven dollars a head to the cost of producing hogs.
“Missouri is a tough state to do business in,” Homann says. “It has very strict environmental standards and the nuisance litigation that we’ve experienced in the state has been a significant challenge as well.”
Homann says that while there is a breaking point on the expense of complying, PSF has no plans at this time to leave Missouri.