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Farm City, AFO/CAFO hold meetings

The Butler County Farm City Banquet was held on Nov. 13 at the Greenville YMCA. Ann Payne, who is the first woman president of the Alabama Cattlemen's Association, was the guest speaker. Payne is from Ramer, Ala., where her family has a large cattle operation.

Some interesting facts she gave during her presentation was in World War I, when the average farmer fed himself and three other people. Today, the average farmer feeds himself and 129 other people. She also mentioned how all great civilizations such as the Egyptians, Greeks and Romans were able to advance due to their superior food production systems at that time. When most civilizations declined, it was due to their dependency on food from other sources and cultures.

The Farm City Banquet was sponsored by the Greenville Kiwanis Club and the Butler County Farmers Federation. Payne was presented a smoked turkey from Bates Farms by Myron Salter, president of the Butler County Farmers Federation. She also received a camellia plant grown by Paul Langford from Richard Branum, compliments of the Greenville Kiwanis Club.

On Nov. 15, Dr. Ted Tyson, Extension Ag Engineer from Auburn University, presented a program on AFO/CAFO (Animal Feeding Operation/Concentrated Animal Feeding Operation) rules at a meeting sponsored by the Butler County Poultry and Egg Association and the Butler County Farmers Federation. It was stated that all poultry producers will be required to have nutrient management plans that meet or exceed NRCS (Natural Resources Conservation Service) standards. If a poultry producer has on his farm 125,000 or more birds at one time, they are considered a CAFO. Less than 125,000 birds puts them into the category of AFO. The CAFO's in addition to the AFO's will be required to go through a registration procedure.

AFO's can formulate their own nutrient management plans that will meet or exceed NRCS standards. Since there are a large number of CAFO's and they are first in priority, the NRCS will be tied up for a while doing nutrient management plans for them. If you are an AFO and would like to do your own Nutriet Management Plan, you can come by the Butler County Extension Office and ask for circular ANR-926 Nutrient Management Planning for Small AFO's, Broiler Operations. The circular will tell you what you need and the five steps to follow.

The regulations come from the guidelines of ADEM AFO/CAFO rules adopted March 31, 1999. A Comprehensive Nutrient Management Plan is one way to help meet this requirement for both AFO's and CAFO's. Those with questions may contact the Butler County NRCS office or the Butler County Extension office.