Oregon Field Burning may Come to an end

Two decades after one of Oregon’s biggest tragedies, democratic senators are pushing legislation to put a ban on seed field burning.
Farmers use the practice to quickly sterilize fields. Burning fields ensures high-quality seeds for the next growing season. It helps control weeds, slugs and voles. Farmers also have to use less pesticides and fertilizers.
Most farmers use it in areas that are uphill, have high erosion or is difficult to reach with tilling.
Residents feel the burning is harmful to people with respiratory problems, children, elderly and air quality in general.
Although some parents are complaining the soot is thick and creates a dangerous environments, some parents disagree. Nikki Schumacher a mother of three said her 6-year-old daughter has asthma, but the burning does not affect her breathing. “She watches daddy burn every year,” Schumacher told OregonLive.com, ” I take motherhood very seriously. I would not do anything to my children to harm them.”
Government policies have changed over the years, especially since the 1988 tragedy that caused seven automobile-related deaths on Interstate 5.
Farmers can burn only 65,000 acres in comparison to the previous 250,000. The Department of Agriculture only allows burning on days when the wind is blowing east- away from Salem and Eugene and over the Cascades.
Regardless of the 463 complaints received, legislators are considering two bills- House Bill 2183 and Senate Bill 528 that will ban all burning.
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