You've reached the Virginia Cooperative Extension Newsletter Archive. These files cover more than ten years of newsletters posted on our old website (through April/May 2009), and are provided for historical purposes only. As such, they may contain out-of-date references and broken links.

To see our latest newsletters and current information, visit our website at

Newsletter Archive index:

Virginia Cooperative Extension -
 Knowledge for the CommonWealth

Changes in Va. and N.C. Swine Waste Regulations

Livestock Update, November 1996

Allen Harper, Extension Animal Scientist-Swine, Tidewater AREC

During the late 1980s and early 1990s, North Carolina experienced unprecedented growth in swine production. In the four year period from 1990 to 1994 the "Tar Heel" state rose from seventh in national ranking with a 2.8 million hog inventory to second among the U.S. states with a 6.6 million hog inventory. During this same era, growth in Virginia's swine industry was stagnant and the December 1, 1995, inventory of 380,000 head was only about 55 % of typical Virginia hog and pig inventories before 1980.

Certainly a combination of factors were involved in establishing record growth in North Carolina's swine industry while Virginia experienced a decline. But one often cited contributing factor was the considerable difference in regulations for operating confined livestock feeding operations in the two states. In short, North Carolina's regulations were considered lenient, inexpensive and "producer friendly" while Virginia's were considered strict, costly and discouraging to larger confinement hog operations. Regulatory changes in both states within the past two years have the potential to impact regional swine industry growth in the near term future. As described in Dave Kenyon's VCE publication 446-049, the "General Permit for Confined Animal Feeding Operations" was adopted by the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) and became effective on November 16, 1994. A July 1, 1996, regulatory update letter from the North Carolina Pork Producers Association reported on significant changes in regulations for confined swine operations in their state. The following outline provides some of the primary considerations in the new Virginia and North Carolina regulatory policies as related to swine operations.

Virginia General Permit for Confined Animal Feeding Operations (adapted from VCE publication 446-049, D. Kenyon, 1995):

New Waste Handling Permits for North Carolina Swine Feed Operations (Adapted from North Carolina Pork Producers Association Newsletter, July 1, 1996):

With proper implementation by conscientious producers, it is reasonable to suggest that the current VPA regulations create an opportunity for moderate swine production growth while protecting Virginia's natural resources. It is also reasonable to suggest that some swine industry growth would be beneficial by creating additional agricultural opportunities in rural Virginia.

Visit Virginia Cooperative Extension