Excerpts from an article by Spencer Hunt for The Columbus Dispatch:
– Five western Ohio farmers are in deep manure with the state. Ohio Department of Natural Resources officials say the farmers, all located near streams that flow to Grand Lake St. Marys, missed a Dec. 15 deadline to file plans to more tightly control the livestock waste they spread on their fields.
– Now, they face daily fines if they don’t file a plan or request a hearing by February.
– The plans rely on regular soil tests to determine the amount of phosphorus already in the ground. Farmers would spread manure based on how much more phosphorus their fields can handle. Farmers with too much manure would have to make other plans, including moving it to fields outside Grand Lake’s watershed. At least one of the farmers said she is cooperating with the state. Sarah Franck said she and her husband, Douglas, thought they had a plan in place.
“We’ve had a manure-management plan for 15, 20 years, but we needed it updated,” Franck said.
– Farmers Gary Homan and James Wuebker did not return calls seeking comment. Tim Schwieterman declined to comment, and William Stachler could not be reached.