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Letter: Hurting farmers

The problems of these proposed (manure) regulations are that our state government assumes that us farmers are making static decisions when managing our farms. As the article said, if an alfalfa crop gets winter killed, we have to till it up and apply manure to provide nutrients for the next crop to grow. If we can’t use the on-farm resources that provide a natural, closed and sustainable nutrient loop, the application of synthetic fertilizer will increase to meet the nutrient demand of our crops. This is going to lead to increased production costs, slimmer margins and more than one farm going out of business.

Secondly, the article fails to mention that expensive manure storage systems will need to be built to store all the manure that we can no longer spread. On many farms, there are simply not enough cows to service that much debt. My family’s dairy would close in heartbeat unless the state would foot at least half the bill of putting in such a manure storage system because, as I said, we are too small an operation to carry that much of a debt load.

When people on Beacon Hill try to implement policies without having spoken with producers, they are going to do more to hurt farmers than to help them.

ETHAN ROBERTSON

Ashfield

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