At what’s believed to be the first ever virtual Michigan Agriculture Commission meeting, the commission approved the pesticide and farm market Generally Accepted Agricultural and Management Practices (GAAMPs) for 2020 on Tuesday. The commission also made amendments to the site selection GAAMP for new and expanding livestock production facilities.
In 2019, the commission asked the Farm Market GAAMP taskforce to consider removing zoning conformance from the GAAMP to be consistent with changes made to the site selection GAAMP for livestock that also removed zoning conformance.
A new Farm Market GAAMP Taskforce was appointed by the new taskforce chair, Dr. Ron Goldy of MSU. Michigan Farm Bureau had representation on the taskforce, which rewrote the entire GAAMP and streamlined the document making it more concise, less confusing and removing zoning conformance.
Michigan Farm Bureau supported removing zoning conformance; it’s a longtime policy goal that the organization has worked on for years.
Previously, the commission approved in January the 2020 site selection GAAMP for livestock production facilities; however, today the commission made additional amendments in response to a recent court decision.
The siting GAAMP contains setback distances from non-farm neighbors and a local court ruled that per the language in the GAAMP MDARD should be measuring from the property lines and not where livestock are housed or where manure is stored.
The intent of the GAAMP since its inception 20 years ago has been to measure from where livestock are housed and where manure is stored not from the property lines. That court ruling is concerning because it not only affects the farm in the court case but thousands of others farms in the state.
Amendments Tuesday clear up where MDARD measures from keeping to the intent of the GAAMP.