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Governor Scott Walker has signed a Wisconsin Farm Bureau-backed bill that would give clear authority for local municipalities to permit the piping of liquid manure within a highway right-of-way.

Senate Bill 390, authored by State Senator Jerry Petrowski (R-Marathon) and State Rep. James Edming (R-Glen Flora) would also play a role in preserving roads. SB 390 passed the State Senate on January 20. The State Assembly passed the bill on February 10.

'With the idea of limiting excessive road use by semi tractors and manure tankers to help preserve an aging and underfunded infrastructure, it's important we find alternative means to transport liquid manure from point source to the fields,' said Rob Richard, WFBF's Senior Director of Governmental Relations.

'Senate Bill 390 is certainly one concept that local governments and farmers can utilize to implement best management practices for manure application. This is a step in the right direction,' Richard said. 'Farm Bureau members wish to thank Senator Petrowski and Assemblyman Edming for their leadership on this bill.'

As an $88 billion piece of Wisconsin's economy, Richard said it was important that we continue to promote agriculture's growth and use best management practices to keep that growth sustainable. He added that the bill preserves landowner rights and does not lessen someone's responsibility to prevent, clean up or pay for a manure spill.

The Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation is the state's largest general farm organization. Made up of 61 county Farm Bureaus, it represents agriculturists and farms of every size, commodity and management style.

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