Oneida County farmer Ben Simons was willing to answer the difficult question on the radio? What about the terrible smell lurking in people's backyards after farmers spread their special liquified manure on a hot day?

It seems worse this year than ever, and Ben says it might just be.

It turns out out that the heat and humidity and the lack of rain before the last few days makes the smell so much worse and all it takes is a little breeze and the smell will travel for miles.

WIBX received complaints from listeners who said the smell interrupted their backyard barbecues and in one case, even a wedding shower. So, we decided to call on Ben to get some answers and hopefully some advice.

Ben acknowledged that it is a problem, but it's one that can't be easily avoided. The liquid manure is stored by large farmers in giant vats where it basically ferments in the heat and waits for that perfect day to spread, using a few days before rain is predicted.

Simons says the manure is concentrated, highly potent and effective, and is the one thing that allows a farmer's crops to succeed as the demand for food and grains continues to grow leaps and bounds around the country and around the world. Once the manure is spread, it seeps into the ground and into the plants until a good steady rain completes the process, which ultimately washes the smell away.

Simons said it's important for both the farmer and community to work together with the issue. The fact is, Oneida, Herkimer and Madison counties are farming communities and these farms are essential to our food supply. However, the smell of the fermented dung can be overwhelming and can certainly destroy a neighbor's outdoor gathering.

Simons recommends that if you have a special event coming up, try speaking with the farmer and ask if he or she could hold off until after your event. He said it's important for both the farmer and the community member to work together. He also admitted, if you invite the farmer to your party, that's almost certain to solve the problem for the day.

By the way and this is an editor's note, all of these farming lands which are now home to more and more non-farming residents, are indeed classified as farmland. The farmer ultimately has every right to spread the manure as he sees fit in order to ensure the best possible crop. In other words, hiring an attorney to stop it, is just a waste of money. However, the use of this fertilizing process is highly regulated by New York State and there are many regulations and inspections that farmers must follow in order to remain in proper compliance.

Listen to the complete interview with Simons on WIBX. He covers 3 big topics, including 1.) the manure spreading stench issue, 2.) the way China dictates the U.S. (and local) grain markets, and 3.) an easy way to kill weeds that is safe and doesn't cause cancer.

Listen below.


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