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Hay, Hay, What’d You Say?

 

“When hay is outlawed, only outlaws will have hay…
From my cold, dead hoof!”  — Buttercup

 

 

 

.

The EPA, which recently required Dairy Farmers to develop Milk Spill Disaster Plans (I’m not making this up) for each of their dairy facilities, is at it again.

Being a guy whose blog features Cows on a regular basis, I’ve got to tell you, I feel a bit Moo-dy right now.  I think they’re picking on me – and I don’t HAVE an actual cow.  I’d hate to be a Dairy Farmer in the US, you know, between the Milk Spill Disaster Planning requirements and Schools looking to ban Chocolate Milk - I’d think someone within the government ‘has it in’ for me.  But, you know, that’s just me.  I’m thinking someone’s been after me for years – only question is…  Who?

Yeah, I might be paranoid…  But it doesn’t mean that THEY’RE not after me…

Okay, so which toxic substance has the EPA set its sights upon this month?

“Hay, glorious Hay, I’m gonna Eat Some!!!”

From the article found online: In a news release last week, the Environmental Protection Agency labeled hay a pollutant, according to the Ranchers-Cattlemen Action Legal Fund, United Stockgrowers of America (R-CALF USA). A non-profit organization representing thousands of U.S. cattle producers, R-CALF USA says the EPA’s outlandish affidavit could potentially require farmers and ranchers to store hay in pollution containment zones.

The EPA’s ‘Beef’?  During the 12th Annual R-CALF USA Convention held in late August, Kansas cattle feeder Mike Callicrate was asked, “Has the Environmental Protection Agency declared hay a pollutant?” Callicrate responded affirmatively, while he described the EPA’s enforcement action against his Kansas feedlot for failing to store hay in a pollution containment zone.

“Now that EPA has declared hay a pollutant, every farmer and rancher that stores hay, or that leaves a broken hay bale in the field is potentially violating EPA rules and subject to an EPA enforcement action,” he charged. “How far are we going to let this agency go before we stand up and do something about it?”

Callicrate and other small to mid-sized feedlots claim that the EPA’s compliance order is a ploy for corporate beef packers to eliminate small feeders from the market, as the agency is singling out only certain feeding enterprises. “I believe the EPA’s enforcement action is a premeditated effort by EPA to partner with the beef packers to finish the job the beef packer’s couldn’t do alone,” Callicrate alleged. “Along with my feedlot, the EPA has filed enforcement actions against five other smaller feedlots, including one with only 400 cattle.”

Callicrate contends that while badgering small feedlots with burdensome regulations the EPA is overlooking the large corporate operations: “EPA is turning a blind eye toward the mega-feedlots that are a real risk for pollution and, instead, is antagonizing small to mid-sized family operations in an effort to help their packer-partners capture the entire live cattle supply chain away from family farm and ranch operations.”

Okay, so here’s the deal, it’s the contention of Callicrate that the EPA is after his, and other smaller feed lots at the behest of the ‘mega-feedlots’.  Is it true?  I don’t know.  

What I do know is that once again the EPA is looking to add regulations and monitoring requirements to American Farmers who grow, store, and possibly distribute… Hay.

The people who grow corn for chicken feed won’t be happy about this.  Hmm, what else is corn used for?

Oh, that’s right, it’s used to make Ethanol – that corn-based gasoline additive which Congress LOVES to subsidize since it’s NOT a fossil fuel.  I’m sure that the EPA must be riding rough-shod over the Corn Growers of America too, right?  You can’t just have corn lying about all ‘Willy Nilly’, now can you?

I found this at Chemical & Engineering News online (February, 2010):  EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson has announced a determination by the agency that corn-based ethanol qualifies as a renewable energy fuel if made in a modern, low-carbon-dioxide-emitting facility. This determination, made last week, allows producers of corn-based ethanol to have their product designated as a “renewable fuel”…

EPA’s determination also aids corn growers by providing an exemption for currently operating ethanol plants that use coal-based energy sources. Under the decision, these plants can be designated as renewable fuel producers, too. Also last week, the Obama Administration created an interagency government panel to develop within 90 days a plan to have five to 10 commercial-scale carbon capture and sequestration demonstration projects on-line by 2016.

So, the EPA will allow you to get a carbon-footprint penalty ‘exemption’ for the production of Ethanol (since the Federal Government incents farmers to grow corn to chunk into gas tanks), but if you dare feed your cow, hay, well, you’re pretty much out of luck. 

I guess the only answer is to create Congressional ‘Methane-Subsidy’ legislation in which bovine ‘gaseous discharges’ will be collected to power ‘Green’ vehicles nationwide.  I’ll bet that hay (particularly ‘gassy hay’) will become okie dokie with the EPA once some lunatic decides that farts are about as ‘natural’ of a gas as you’re going to find.

I’m thinking that cow flatulence is a ‘Renewable Fuel’ also.  Come to think about it, this would make my son’s Boy Scout Troop a ‘Renewable Fuel’ source following their annual Chili cook-off each February at the Scout Cabin at Chenango State Park. 

Only problem is, no one wants to be close enough to the cabin to collect the methane weeping through the rafters of the 60+ year-old cabin.  

In summary, your EPA is addressing critical environmental dangers facing America today:

  • Hay storage
  • Curtailing Cow Flatulence by witholding the ‘Cow Chow’
  • Making sure that food prices continue to rise by shoving inexpensive corn into stills, and squeezing out Ethanol

Don’t ask questions.  Just go with it. 

It’s for your own good.

It’s all for your own good.

Yeah, it’s ALL good.

My name is Mike Kane. I've been writing stories for years. Most are a release valve from the weirdness of everyday life. Some of these will find their way here, others will fade off into the ether. A select few will be sent via e-mail directly to friends, family, and sometimes complete strangers (you have been warned (assuming that you are 'completely strange')). I've been in Sales all of my adult life. Sometimes sales are good, sometimes sales are bad, but in reality, 'life' is always good (regardless of sales). Well, 'LIFE' is a lot better than the alternative, at least. p.s.: No cows were injured in the generation of this blog. However, a trace amount of methane was released moments ago... For this, if nothing else, I am sorry.

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  • http://loopyloo305.wordpress.com Particia Pledger

    Moos, is there anything left on the farm that the EPA is not regulating?

    • http://grumpyelder.com/members/grumpy/ grumpy

      Agenda 21– if the Senate refuses to ratify it, regulate it into existence?

  • http://grumpyelder.com/members/moos-of-the-day/ Moos

    Patricia, Unfortunately, there does not appear to be. I would have said the ‘manure’, but given that the EPA has their fingers all over ‘THAT’ too; no, I don’t believe that there is.

    It’s no surprise that multi-generational dairy farms in Upstate New York are holding auctions daily, selling their assets, livestock, and livelihoods to conglomerate dairy groups. The days of the small country farmer are being regulated out of existence…

    Grumpy, “That which you can not legislate – regulate.”

    • http://grumpyelder.com/members/grumpy/ grumpy

      Moos, for all it’s flaws– an idiotic Congress is favorable to a dictatorial President…

      Now if the dummies in Congress would quit the fund raising, posturing, and soliciting money long enough to read a few of the laws they pass and tell the president to stay off their turff we’d all be better off.

  • http://www.epa.gov/region07/priorities/agriculture/epa_never_said_hay.htm Kris Lancaster

    EPA Never Said Hay is a Pollutant

    By Karl Brooks, EPA Region 7 Administrator

    A Kansas feedlot operator is trying to make hay by falsely claiming that EPA defined hay as a water pollutant.

    The owner of the Callicrate Feeding Company has been spinning a “hay-as-pollutant” myth through the blogosphere for a couple of weeks now. While the company is certainly entitled to its own opinions about EPA, the company is not entitled to its own set of facts.

    Here are the facts. On August 15, EPA’s Region 7, which includes Kansas, Missouri, Iowa, Nebraska and nine tribal nations, took action to correct several serious environmental violations at the Callicrate Feeding Company in St. Francis, Kansas. EPA found water permit violations at Callicrate’s operation that needed to be addressed. The compliance order was not based on hay. Nor would EPA have issued such an action based on hay.

    To be clear: The order had nothing to do with hay. At no place in the 11-page order is the word “hay” mentioned. Nor is there mention of alfalfa or grass.

    EPA cited the Callicrate operation for failure to control harmful runoff, maintain adequate manure storage capacity, keep adequate operation records, and meet the state and federal requirements of its nutrient management plan. Compliance Order (PDF) (11 pp, 1.5MB, About PDF)

    EPA inspectors observed silage, and dried distillers grains within the uncontrolled feedstock storage area.

    When stored inappropriately, the silage and grains can turn into a liquid material that contains contaminants detrimental to water quality. EPA inspectors also observed slaughter wastes being stored outside in an uncontrolled area. The EPA order was based on those contaminants and the other violations mentioned above.

    The Callicrate facility is permitted by the State of Kansas for a capacity of 12,000 head of beef cattle and had 3,200 head at the time of the inspection. Under EPA definitions, 1,000 head of beef is considered a large Concentrated Animal Feeding Operation (CAFO). This is not a small operation. The permitted capacity puts the company in the top five percent of the largest animal feeding operations in Region 7.

    This action by EPA was issued to correct problems. Less than two weeks after the order was issued, Callicrate’s attorney informed us that the company had already taken action to address the problems identified in EPA’s order.

    We have some indication of how other producers have perceived this fracas in a feedlot. Region 7’s offer to meet with Kansas cattle producers to discuss CAFO enforcement was warmly received and we will be meeting within days. Drover/Cattle Network published an article debunking the “hay-as-pollutant” myth.

    As that article concludes: “But as the industry confronts and negotiates these genuine regulatory issues, R-CALF’s claim that ‘EPA declares hay a pollutant to antagonize small and mid-sized U.S. cattle feeders’ is unnecessary, inflammatory hyperbole.”

    Brooks is administrator for U.S. EPA Region 7 that includes Kansas, Missouri, Iowa, Nebraska and nine tribal nations.

  • http://grumpyelder.com/members/fishygal/ Fishygal

    Thank You Kris. I read the report and you are correct no where is the word “hay” mentioned.

    Holy “cow”, the government never met a piece of paper it didn’t love. This guy would need to hire someone just to keep up with the reports required by the EPA. I thought keeping up with the paperwork required for a HAACP permit was overkill now I see it isn’t just NOAA.

    I’m also curious why the EPA feels the need to monitor satirical blogs by a guy called MOO’S. I would add this is our tax dollars at work!