April 9, 2009

Producers Meet With Commission to Discuss Animal Health Ordinance

Area livestock producers met with the Scotland County Commission at a special meeting held April 1st at Lakeview Community Center in Rutledge. Between 100 and 150 people were present for the gathering.

During the March 26th regular meeting of the commission, the county had indicated plans to hold a pair of public hearings regarding the a proposed animal health ordinance it had been working on with the Scotland County Concerned Citizens group.

During the session, a number of livestock producers spoke with the commissioners regarding questions about the health ordinance. It was announced that the producers would be holding a meeting April 1st, and the commission agreed to postpone the public hearing on the proposed ordinance until after meeting with the producers to discuss their concerns.

The following are the minutes of the meeting as presented by the Scotland County Clerks office.

Clyde Zimmerman opened the meeting by welcoming everyone and stating that this was an informational meeting to learn more about ordinances and how they work. Mr. Zimmerman introduced the Scotland County Commission and asked them to individually speak about some of the problems and concerns they have had to address concerning Scotland Countys health ordinance in particular.

Commissioner Paul Campbell addressed the audience. He stated that Scotland County did have an ordinance but because of enforcement issues the Commissioners scrapped it. Commissioner Campbell admitted that they have been working with a group of individuals to see if another ordinance could possibly be adopted; however, Commissioner Campbell reiterated that this was just talk. Nothing has formally been done. Commissioner Campbell stated that some points have come to the Commission that do not reflect well on the CAFOs in the County. Commissioner Campbell addressed the issue of applicators running up and down the road from the lagoon to the land where the manure is going to be applied. In this case manure is spilled on the roads and the neighbors do not like it. Additionally these full applicators are tearing up the county roads. Commissioner Campbell asked the producers to try to use good judgment when hauling and spreading manure. Be as clean as possible when hauling manure and, while the process is weather permitting, try to work the manure in as quickly as possible when spreading to help the smell and nutrient levels. Problems from dairies are getting blamed on CAFOs. Commissioner Campbell asked the producers to be aware of their neighbors. Please watch for drainage on your neighbors property if you cannot work the manure in quickly. He restated that these are merely points the Commission was asked to address. The Commission is not trying to govern the dairies. He then asked Presiding Commissioner Mike Stephenson and Commissioner Denis (Deny) Clatt if they had anything else to address.

Presiding Commissioner Stephenson and Commissioner Clatt replied that Commissioner Campbell had addressed all their concerns.

Mr. Edwin Brubaker addressed the audience about local dairy farms. He stated that there are currently 39 dairy farms in Scotland County, and those dairy farms employee approximately 50 families. He commented that these 39 dairies combined have around 3,000 cows, and last year those farms generated nearly $10 million in revenue. According to his statistics, each dollar generated by these dairies turns over seven times within the County equaling a $70 million impact on the County. The 39 local dairies paid approximately $100,000.00 in county taxes. Mr. Brubaker then spoke about some concerns he had with the proposed health ordinance. He stated that if a producer expands his business he will fall under the proposed ordinance because of the way it is written. He was also concerned about the citizens advisory board being composed of non-CAFO people. Mr. Brubaker felt that non-producers would not be qualified to be on the advisory board, and suggested that it would be difficult to determine who, besides employees of the Missouri Department of Natural Resources (DNR), would be qualified to be on that board. Mr. Brubaker said that all Grade A dairies must have an approved sewage system for their homes; whereas most country homes merely drain sewage into the grader ditch. He asked how water quality was affected differently between manure from a confinement and manure from a home. Mr. Brubaker addressed the problem of manure being spilled on the roads. He believes that all producers have the responsibility to be a good neighbor. While mistakes happen, there should be a plan of action in place to clean the spill. He suggested that the careless producers should have to clean the mess and fix the road. Mr. Brubaker also commented that grain trucks also tear up the rock roads, but they do not stink.

Dave Drenum with Missouri Dairy Association stated that there are only 18 counties in Missouri with a health ordinance. The Dairy Association is opposed to these ordinances because more restrictions results in increased costs to the producers. Missouri is a milk-deficit state (i.e. we haul more milk into Missouri than we produce), so he believes that the state needs more dairies. Increasing cost of production is not going to increase dairies. Mr. Drenum clarified that 210 cows equals 300 Animal Units (AU) (0.7 of a cow equals 1 AU). Producers must remember that all animals, hogs, dairy cows, dry cows, etc., are considered when figuring total AUs. The average dairy is 65 cows, however most dairies around here are smaller. Mr. Drenum believes that the proposed ordinance does not offer practical solutions for producers. The proposed ordinance mandates disposal of dead animals within 24 hours. This is not feasible because new laws require dead animals to have the brain and spinal cord removed. Not many rendering companies can do this without passing the cost on to the producer. Mr. Drenum also said that knifing in the manure would not be feasible. He expressed the need to adopt a Best Management Practices policy, not an ordinance. Dairies do not need an ordinance because they are highly inspected since they are dealing with a perishable product. Mr. Drenum introduced Kevin Frankenbock from Marion County, and stated that Barry Stevens at the University would be willing to help anyone with questions about this ordinance.

Jerry Foster, Cargill Environmental Manager (and past DNR employee) stated that 0.7 of a cow is 1 AU, and an animal counts once it is weaned. Mr. Foster informed the audience that DNR has composed an odor commission, but it only regulates Class IA Operations (Sharps is the only one in the state). This commission is backed by the Missouri Clean Air Commission. Mr. Foster said that DNR is also looking at new Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) laws and what effect they would have on Missouri Law affecting CAFOs.

Gigi Wahba asked Mr. Brubaker if dairies would be affected by this ordinance because they did not confine their cows for a 45-day period. Mr. Brubaker said that they take their cows to the barns every day, and that counts as confinement, thus the ordinance affects the dairies.

Mr. Drenum recognized Larry Frederick from Baring, who is also with the Missouri Dairy Association. He then asked Mr. Foster to answer questions from the audience.

Mr. Foster began by clarifying that he is no longer a DNR employee; he is a Cargill employee. If anyone has any questions for DNR he advised them to contact Joe England at DNR in Jefferson City (800) 361-4827 or Joe Bowdish at the Macon office.

Presiding Commissioner Stephenson asked Mr. Foster if he felt that state regulations were coming closer to regulating these CAFOs.

Mr. Foster replied that he felt state regulations were becoming more strict because they are developing a new nutrient management technical standard.

Mr. Jay Sensenig asked Mr. Foster about the proposed ordinance requiring the producer to inject manure 8 inches deep.

Mr. Foster stated that injecting manure 8 inches is a pretty severe requirement. He also replied that injecting the manure too deep causes more problems. For example, manure injected past the level where breakdown occurs would cause the manure to stay in the ground. Mr. Foster referred the question to Bryan Ripland, agronomist with Pennacal.

Mr. Ripland replied that he would be worried about injecting manure 8 inches because the root systems cannot get down that far in a wet year. Mr. Ripland went on to say that this proposed ordinance has some scary things in it. He asked who would regulate the ordinance. Who would be conducting the soil testing, and paying for that testing with the price of things going up? He suggested spending that money on educating producers as to what the County expected of them. Perhaps, he suggested, the County would be better off being proactive than reactive.

Commissioner Clatt asked Mr. Ripland how deep he would knife in the manure. Mr. Ripland replied that he thought 6 inches was ideal that way the manure is just covered and gets to where the roots are located.

Mr. Foster asked if injecting was always appropriate as some land is not suitable for injecting.

Mr. Brubaker commented that it is nearly impossible to inject dairy manure.

Mr. Ripland agreed with Mr. Brubaker as diary manure has more solids than hog manure. A larger injector would be required and add cost to the producer.

Commissioner Clatt asked Mr. Brubaker if he could disc in the manure immediately after spreading. Brubaker replied that the manure had to have time to dry before discing it in or he would get stuck.

Mr. Ripland said it would take a lot of time and money to do the testing this proposed ordinance requires and it would be difficult to prove the testing was actually being done. He also said the producers would have to be educated on how to do the testing.

Ms. Wahba stated that she is part of the group advocating the ordinance. She said that hog manure is different from dairy manure because of the antibiotics and genetically modified organisms (GMOs) being fed to the hogs. She suggested that the dairymen were being told this ordinance would apply to them in the future and she does not think they should believe it.

Mr. Ripland asked Ms. Wahba to whom this ordinance would apply. Ms. Wahba replied that this ordinance would apply to animals that are indoors all the time. There are 8 to 10 facilities in the County now, but the factory system has problems.

Mr. Ripland asked Ms. Wahba if those animals in confinements are treated differently from animals on pasture.

Ms. Wahba responded that animals in confinements are treated differently because they are fed large amounts of antibiotics and GMOs.

A gentleman stated that he had sows outside for years and recently moved them inside. Now he has large amounts of manure to haul out of his pit. He would like to know where all that manure went when the sows were outside.

Mr. Foster addressed the Commission by asking them to consider three questions. First, where do regulations stop? He questioned if the Commission was going to stop farmers from planting round-up ready soybeans (also a GMO)? He asked the Commission to consider land values. In his experience, land values are lower where ordinances are in place. Last he asked the Commission to consider what was driving this ordinance-health, social, or economic concerns.

An individual asked how manure compared to anhydrous.

Mr. Foster replied that manure is more natural than anhydrous; however, all things should be used in moderation. Anhydrous has more phosphorus than manure, which burns up earthworms and other microbes. As long as manure is not injected too deep it works with microbes to add organic matter (which soil in this area is lacking) to the soil. Anhydrous breaks down organic matter.

Kevin Frankenbock from Marion County said that Marion County threw out their ordinance. The Commission had a group of people come to them requesting to reinstate the ordinance. The Commission said they had no intent to do so, so the group went to the County Health Board and got the ordinance reinstated. He said that anytime the county did a referendum the producers won hands down.

Presiding Commissioner Stephenson apologized to all the producers in attendance for ever supporting the ordinance, and stated that he would continue to oppose reinstating the ordinance. He was received with ovations from the crowd.

Tim Steinkamp with Cargill spoke about confining animals and feeding them GMOs. He stated that this ordinance is a vehicle to stop commercial livestock production in Scotland County.

Dee Ruth asked the Commission how they would handle this proposed ordinance as they did not enforce the previous ordinance. She feels that producers need only be regulated by DNR.

A gentleman asked how much revenue a CAFO generates.

Mr. Frakenbock estimated that a 5,000 head unit would generate approximately $7,000 in tax revenue.

The Commission asked if they had this ordinance and it drove the numbers down what would they do to make up the revenue for schools.

The Commission replied that they did not heavily rely on this income, but if they did the only option they would have would be to raise the tax levy for the school.

Garth Lloyd said that he detected fear in the room. He said that the last ordinance did not affect the dairies and this one would not either.

Many dairy producers stated that this ordinance would affect them.

Mr. Clyde Zimmerman closed the meeting.

Special Legislative Session to Remedy Issue of Abortion Sanctuary Cities

by Rep. Craig Redmon

This week the House of Representatives is in Jefferson City, answering Governor Greitens’ call for a special session in response to some troubling events of the past few months. In April, a federal judge struck down years of regulations put in place to ensure abortion clinics met a certain standard of health requirements in order to operate in Missouri. In combination with the Abortion Sanctuary City ordinance in St. Louis, it is clear that pro-life Missourians and pregnancy care centers are under attack by abortion advocates from across the state and nation.

In the face of these attacks on pro-life Missourians, Governor Greitens has called a second extraordinary session this summer so we, the General Assembly, can send legislation to his desk to curtail these efforts to undermine our state’s healthcare regulations and to protect the lives of the innocent unborn.

The timing of the judge’s ruling in late April, more than a month after the deadline for new bill submissions, makes this topic wholly worthy of a special session, due to the timing making a full response during the regular session impossible. This session also gives the legislature the opportunity to remedy the issue of Abortion Sanctuary Cities. The Missouri Constitution explicitly gives Governor Greitens the ability to call special sessions of the General Assembly for extraordinary topics. The wiping of abortion regulations and allowing abortion clinics that were closed after failing to meet minimum health and safety standards to resume operation is one such extraordinary topic that requires action.

I am proud to support the health of women. I am proud to stand with the Governor. I am proud to be pro-life.

Last week the Senate passed a bill that would nullify the Sanctuary City ordinance, allow Missouri’s attorney general to prosecute violations of abortion laws, and require annual inspections of abortion clinics. In addition, it creates a set of guidelines requiring certain standards to be met for an abortion clinic to operate. Now the bill moves to the House of Representatives. I was elected as a pro-life legislator to advocate on the side of life, and it is my desire to work with my fellow Representatives to strengthen and pass this legislation in a way to protect Missouri families.

Culvert Replacements Will Temporarily Close Several Routes in Scotland County

HANNIBAL – Weather permitting, MoDOT crews will perform culvert work the below routes in Scotland County.

Work will be done on Route M on June 27, with the road temporarily closed just north of Scotland County Route W for a culvert replacement. The road will be closed from 7:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Scotland County Route V will be temporarily closed between 1 mile of Scotland County Route M and 2 miles of Route M for a culvert replacement on June 28th The road will be closed from 7:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Work will be done on Scotland County Route D on June 29, with the road temporarily closed between 3 miles of Missouri Route 15 and 3.1 miles of Route 50 for a culvert replacement. The road will be closed from 7:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Motorists will need to use alternate routes during these times.

Again, this work is weather dependent and could be rescheduled or delayed. For more information, contact MoDOT’s Customer Service Center toll-free at 1-888-ASK MoDOT (275-6636). All roadwork is posted on the traveler information map. You can also visit us online at www.modot.org/northeast.

Extension Expert Says Delayed Hay Harvest Calls for Testing

This year’s delayed hay harvest calls for hay testing.

University of Missouri Extension agronomy specialist Anthony Ohmes says farmers benefit from routine hay testing.

Hay quality varies based on forage species, maturity, management, harvest conditions, and insect or disease damage. Guessing the quality of hay fed to livestock could result in lower profits, Ohmes says. Knowing the hay’s nutrient value can help livestock owners decide if animals need supplements.

Ohmes suggests that farmers sample each lot separately. A lot comes from the same field and forage makeup, and is grown and harvested under the same environmental conditions. “Every field and cutting will be different,” Ohmes says.

Use a 12- to 24-inch hay probe, he says. It should be 3/8 to 5/8 of an inch in diameter. Do not grab or hand pull samples. Samples collected that way do not provide uniform results and could lead to misleading values.

Sample multiple bales out of a hay lot. The lot should represent at least 10 percent, or at least 15 random bales.

The sampling method varies for each bale type. On large round bales, take samples on the curved side of the bale and remove the outer layer if moldy. Avoid sampling from the outside of the bale. On large square bales, take samples at a 45-degree angle on the side of the bale or 90-degree angle on the end of the bale. Sample small square bales through the center and end.

Keep each lot separate, Ohmes says. Mix samples in a bucket and fill a quart  plastic bag. Samples perish quickly, so send them to the lab on the same day as the sampling. If this is not possible, keep samples away from direct sunlight and store in a cool, dry place until sending. Freeze high-moisture samples (above 15 percent) such as baleage or silage if they cannot be sent right away.

Mark the sample by date, cutting, location and owner before shipping.

Some MU Extension centers lend probes at no cost. Find information on hay sampling at crops.missouri.edu/forage.

Hay tests cost about $20 each at certified labs throughout the state. You can find information on how to read results at extension.missouri.edu/aginfocus/forage-testing.aspx.

Rural Hospital are a Lifeline

by U.S. Congressman Sam Graves

Rural hospitals are a literal lifeline for tens of millions of people across this country. In communities that don’t have enough primary care doctors or health facilities, rural hospitals provide a critical, lifesaving service that otherwise would not be here for us.

Unfortunately, about 80 rural hospitals have closed since 2010. What’s worse, one third of all rural hospitals in the U.S. could close in the next few years. That’s 12 million Americans at risk of losing access to the closest emergency room. A devastating number, and something we can’t allow to continue in rural America.

Cuts to hospital payments have worsened the problem, and as populations decrease in rural communities, so-called “medical desserts” are popping up across rural America. It leaves people living on farms or in small towns dangerously vulnerable to medical emergency – particularly older Americans.

This week, I am joining with my colleague from Iowa, Dave Loebsack, to introduce the Save Rural Hospitals Act. This bipartisan bill looks to reverse the trend of rural hospital closures, in part by eliminating unrealistic federal regulations like the “96 hour rule,” which forces rural hospitals to move a patient within 96 hours in order to get reimbursed by Medicare.

The average rural hospital creates 195 jobs and generates $8.4 million in annual payroll. But more than that, these facilities make communities livable, ensuring a doctor isn’t far away when a medical emergency strikes.

This bill shines a light on the rural health crisis in Missouri and across the country. If we accept this reality – and neglect this much needed conversation – rural hospitals in Missouri will continue to close. This leaves thousands without access to health care, putting lives in jeopardy and affecting every family in Middle America. That’s simply not acceptable.

City Looking to Crack Down on Traffic Violations

Memphis residents are being reminded to monitor posted speed limits. Photo by Maddy Zahn.

With an increasing number of citizens voicing complaints regarding traffic concerns, the Memphis City Council recently agreed to move forward with an increased police presence while also encouraging a lower tolerance level for infractions.

Complaints have centered around speeding, stop sign adherence and non-traditional vehicle usage such as ATVs and golf carts.

“The City of Memphis has not written a lot of traffic tickets, but unfortunately that appears like it is going to have to change,” said Alderman Chris Feeney. “This isn’t about revenue, or being punitive, it is about public safety.”

Police Chief Bill Holland indicated officers have tried to use warnings and have allowed some leeway when dealing with speed enforcement.

Under the new council directive, that tolerance level will be reduced.

“In the past, we may have just flashed our lights at you, or offered a warning when a car was going a little too fast,” said Holland. “Now those cars going 30 in a 20 will likely be looking at a ticket.”

Holland stated the enforcement efforts have been ongoing, with officers performing additional traffic patrols. In an effort to enhance those efforts, a part-time officer has been added to the police force. Justin Allen from Clark County will be joining the MPD, and Holland indicated his initial responsibilities will focus on traffic control. The department has been shorthanded with the departure of officer Jason Ketchum, and Holland said efforts will continue to replace that full-time officer as well.

The council also has discussed the possibility of adding a radar camera system that could be deployed by the department in trouble areas to help deter speeding and produce data on traffic volume and speed habits of motorists.

“We are not turning a deaf ear to citizen complaints,” said Holland. “When we become aware of trouble spots, we increase our presence there, but it takes being in the right spot at exactly the right time to catch the people responsible for the complaints.”

Unless otherwise posted, the speed limit within the city limits is 25 mph. ATV’s, golf carts or utility vehicles are allowed on public streets only by special permit, available at city hall. They may only be driven by licensed drivers and are not to exceed 30 mph regardless if the posted speed limit is higher.

Holland noted that enforcement efforts are difficult with a small force, that typically only has one officer on duty, adding that police presence performing traffic patrol normally turns into a simple deterrent rather quickly as motorists become aware of the law enforcement presence and temporarily reduce speeds or choose alternate routes.

While automated traffic controls such as radar cameras and stop sign video surveillance are not particularly popular with the public, the city council expressed a willingness to at least consider such measures.

“I’m certain I have exceeded a posted speed limit at some time or other,” said Alderman Feeney. “In doing so I could be putting the public safety at risk. So I have a choice, I can either slow down and monitor my speed better, or I can risk paying a ticket.”

The council is hoping the community chooses the first option, but is anticipating it will take more of the later for the initiative to hit home and start to sink in for motorists.

Area Students Named to MU Dean’s List

Several area students were named to the University of Missouri spring semester 2017 dean’s list.

Kathryn Mary Howard of Memphis has been named to honor roll. Howard is a senior student.

Samantha Rachel Tobler, a senior, was named to the 2017 dean’s list for the spring semester.

Jaclyn Wiggins, a junior student in the arts and science school, was named to the honor roll as well.

More Than $988 Million in Unclaimed Property Waiting to be Returned  Statewide

JEFFERSON CITY – State Treasurer Eric Schmitt on June 15th announced the start of an annual effort to return Unclaimed Property to Missourians by publishing the names of owners in Missouri newspapers. Starting June 16, the names of more than 145,000 individuals, families, small businesses, and non-profits with Unclaimed Property will be printed in more than 100 publications across the state.

“Our team works hard every single day to financially empower Missourians by returning the money they are rightfully owed,” Schmitt said. “One in ten Missourians have Unclaimed Property, and this public awareness initiative is one of the many creative ways we work to get abandoned money back to its rightful owners. I encourage all Missourians to visit ShowMeMoney.com to see if they or someone they know has money waiting to be claimed free of charge.”

Missouri law requires these notices be published annually in order to list the names of individuals whose Unclaimed Property valued at $50 or more has been turned over to the State Treasurer’s Office in the past year.

Individuals, families, small businesses, and others can check to see if they have Unclaimed Property on ShowMeMoney.com. They can also sign up for email notifications when new assets come in matching their information and send notifications to family and friends to let them know about money being held in their name.

Treasurer Schmitt has returned more than $13.5 million to over 50,000 account holders since taking office in January. The average Unclaimed Property return is around $300.

Fireworks Season Will Run June 20th – July 10th in City of Memphis

As the Independence Day holiday approaches, the Memphis Police Department is reminding city residents of ordinances related to the discharge of fireworks in city limits.

Fireworks may be discharged from June 20 – July 10th from 8 a.m. to 11 p.m. daily. That coincides with the permitted sales period.

Fireworks are prohibited on public property, including parks and the municipal lakes. It is unlawful for any person to discharge any fireworks within the city limits of Memphis, except upon their own property or upon property whose owner has given his/her consent. It is also illegal to recklessly discharge fireworks in such a manner that the explosion of the same will be likely to endanger or cause injury or damage to any person or property within the city limits of Memphis.

Any person violating any of the provisions of the city’s fireworks ordinance shall, upon conviction, be punished by a fine not exceeding $500 or by imprisonment in the City or County Jail not exceeding ninety 90 days, or by both such fine and imprisonment; provided, that in any case wherein the penalty for an offense is fixed by a Statute of the State, the statutory penalty, and no other, shall be imposed for such offense.

Memphis Man Facing Charges Following Motorcycle Crash

A Memphis man is facing numerous charges following a motorcycle crash on Route MM Tuesday evening.

According to the Missouri State Highway Patrol, the accident occurred at 7:30 p.m. on June 13th, a half mile south of the Highway 136  intersection, just south of Memphis.

Russell B Matthew, 34, was southbound on Route MM on a 1993 Suzuki 500 motorcycle when the vehicle ran off the right side of the roadway and overturned. Matthew sustained moderate injuries in the crash. He was transported via patrol car to Scotland County Hospital.

Matthew was ticketed for driving while intoxicated, no valid license, leaving the scene of an accident, child endangerment, failure to wear approved headgear and failure to drive on right half of the roadway.

The Patrol was assisted at the scene by the Memphis Police Department and the Scotland County Sheriff’s Office.

Large Hail Storm Pounds Scotland County

Chrissy Myers put the hail to the ruler test, topping out at two inches in diameter.

Some brief power outages and several downed tree limbs  were all that law enforcement had to report following Saturday’s severe weather that hit northeast Missouri, but the real damage reports started rolling in Monday at local insurance offices.

The National Weather Service reported “Severe thunderstorms tracked across eastern Iowa, northeast Missouri, and north central Illinois Saturday afternoon and evening. Large hail, torrential rain, and damaging winds up to 65 mph were reported.  Very large hail fell in Muscatine, IA and Antioch, MO, where golf ball and baseball size hail was reported respectively.”

The heavy rains and high winds did minimal damage in Scotland County, but hail ranging in size from golf ball to as big as baseballs, was reported, leading to hundreds of claims for hail damage to vehicles, homes and businesses.

Local insurance agents and auto body repair specialists indicated it is too early to offer a  solid estimate for storm damages, but several speculated that with anywhere from 300 to 500 damaged vehicles and a smaller number of hail damaged homes and businesses, the total could easily eclipse $1 million.

At approximately 7:15 p.m. Saturday evening, the frozen precipitation hit the City of Memphis. Trained storm spotters reported hail up to two-inches in diameter, with reports and photos of larger bundles of ice making their rounds via social media.

Kris Lister collected this assortment of hail stones at his Memphis residence on Mi-Lor Street.

The storm continued east, with similar damage reports out of Kahoka and Clark County around 7:45 p.m.

More than 2 inches of rain was reported during the storm, with the hail dissipating as the storm left Missouri, but still resulting in significant rainfall in southeast Iowa and eastern Illinois.

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