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4/9/07:  HB 3000 banning agriculture burning had a hearing in House Health Care Committee on Friday, April 6th in Salem

Send a letter of testimony before April 23rd to Katie Fast (katie@oregonfb.org) and she will get in to the committee

Here are some tips for writing an effective letter (or phone calling, or e-mailing), from Oregon Women for Agriculture  

While this bill is being brought forward by the anti-field burning zealots, it does more than attack field burning.  It also bans burning of Christmas trees, burning of grain crops, and propane flaming of mint stubble, along with, the burning of grass seed fields. 

Other segments of agriculture are not left out of the bill.  It requires the Environmental Quality Commission to issue permits for open burning of agricultural waste (any organic waste material generated or used by an agricultural operation).  This permit requirement includes your use of a burn barrel.

The hearing will focus on health effects.  We need farmers to come to the Capitol on Friday and testify that their farm practices have not impacted their health.  If the proponents’ claims were correct then farmers would be at the most risk.  According to Department of Environmental Quality field burning accounts for 2% of the emissions in the Willamette Valley during the field burning season. 

Your support and letters are needed!

For more information, contact Katie Fast – 503-510-5293 or katie@oregonfb.org


Below are testimonies regarding HB3000. Please write your legislators!

Testimony on HB 3000, Banning Agriculture Burning

Arlene Kovash
Oregon Women for Agriculture
Monmouth, OR 97361
April 6, 2007

To the House Health Care Committee,

I am both an asthmatic AND married to a farmer and am opposed to HB 3000 on agricultural burning. Field burning doesn't affect me, but dust affects me horribly.

Before passing HB 3000, eliminating agricultural burning, please consider what the alternatives are and if they're worse! Our alternatives are:
1. Many more passes over the field, adding greatly to the impact of dust (which has a much finer particulate matter that is more easily ingested).
2. The use of more pesticides to kill the weeds and insects not burned and fungus that is harmful to both humans and livestock.

And if these same people talk the legislature into also eliminating pesticides and not allowing dust, the next alternative is to discontinue farming;
No more food grown in our state and eventually our country (other states follow us), and then
The land is left untended, weedy and dusty, and then
The land will be converted to homes, factories, stores, and concrete parking lots.

To create, beautiful, lush green fields which purify the air and keep our economy strong and able to afford health care, we MUST be able to take the bad with the good when we farm AND when we live in rural areas! IT IS FARMING THAT KEEPS OREGON GREEN.

Thank you for giving me the opportunity to testify.

Arlene Kovash
11425 Pedee Creek Rd
Monmouth, OR 97361

More testimony:

Those people who request that burning be stopped for the sake of health, do not understand how burning actually contributes to good health for those who are susceptible to lung diseases and allergies.

Farmers and others before them have been burning for thousands of years, as a natural way to control disease in crops, add to the nutrients in the soil, and to reduce the need for herbicides to control weeds. When burning is not permitted on fields, to plant a crop a farmer must go over a field several times more than when burning is allowed, adding greatly to the impact of dust (which has a much finer particulate matter that is much more easily ingested), and pesticides.

Burning provides a much higher quality seed, keeps down dust and the use of pesticides, controls noxious weeds, eliminates some fungus that are harmful to humans and can cause abortions in livestock.

When farmers can use burning as a tool, the smoke is a short term problem, as well as cost-effective, which keeps farmers, who work on a small margin anyway, growing our beautiful grass seed fields and crops necessary for our survival and certainly to keep crops grown in our own country. This is far better than dusty, weedy, untended fields, which would surely be converted to homes, factories, stores, and concrete parking lots in short order! Why allow this to happen?

It would be unthinkable that all agriculture burning be banned at the request of those who don’t understand how burning helps! Picture this: one groups wants to eliminate burning, another wants to eliminate the use of pesticides, and another wants no dust raised—how exactly do they all think a crop gets into the ground and back out again without tools?

Please, keep our farmers in business, growing the safest, healthiest, most abundant food in the world!


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