One legislator plans to introduce a bill that would effectively block most new lagoons, but would help hog farmers willing to experiment with other ways to treat hog waste. The bill would include $10 million in grants for 50 to 100 farmers to pay for new technology.
North Carolina is second only to Iowa in hog farming, with 10 million animals that produce 13 million pounds of manure and urine each day. The waste is typically flushed from barns into open-air lagoons and later sprayed on fields as fertilizer. But many neighbors are angered by the smell. And environmentalists have protested the lagoons because so many have broken and manure spilled into the state's waterways, killing fish.