New Missouri law may impact Greene County regulations on animal feeding operations

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. -- A new Missouri law may give more freedom to farmers with concentrated animal feeding operations.

About 10 years ago, Greene County placed regulations in place for CAFO's, or concentrated animal feeding operations. Commissioner Harold Bensch says the commission worked with the agriculture community to carefully come up with regulations both supporting the farming community and protecting the environment here in southwest Missouri.

Under Senate Bill 391, Missouri counties would not be able place stricter regulations more than the state department of natural resources or department of health. So Greene County may have to change its laws. County staff is still comparing the local regulations to the new state law to see if there are conflicts. They haven't found any yet, but Commissioner Bengsch says that doesn't mean they won't.

Governor Parson calls it a big win for Missouri agriculture. One Lawrence County poultry farmer believes it will be good for rural counties, because more barns full of animals will bring increased tax revenue. But officials in Greene County have concerns about losing local control, especially because of the unique features of the Ozarks.

"That's our concern when you get into legislation that tries to address and entire area and not take into consideration, you have different geological and morphological issues that you have to deal with," said Bengsch. "And sometimes you have to have regulations that are different for those areas."

The new law, Senate Bill 391, goes into effect at the end of August. Click HERE.