A group of activists opposed to the growth of big, industrial farms in Wisconsin is working to stop the practice of aerial manure spraying.
Sustain Rural Wisconsin Network has asked a towns association to develop a model ordinance that communities could pass to curb the use of manure spraying systems. Members tell the Wisconsin State Journal the practice creates health risks because pathogens found in untreated manure could get into the air.
But Department of Natural Resources Secretary Cathy Stepp and Agriculture Secretary Ben Brancel are asking communities not to restrict the use of approved aerial spraying systems unless there's a proven health risk.
Farmers say there are misconceptions about aerial spraying systems, which resemble irrigation systems or big sprinklers and allow for more precise applications of manure.