Under new scrutiny, Owasco Lake watershed farm balances growth, water quality protections

It’s not easy to be a large dairy farm in the Owasco Lake watershed. Duane and Gary Allen know that firsthand.

Allen Farms, a large concentrated animal feeding operation in Scipio Center, has experienced its share of both successes and challenges. Due to its many best management practices to protect water quality, the Cayuga County Soil and Water Conservation District often highlights the farm as an example.

But the Allen brothers said they’re still recovering from a publicity nightmare in the spring of 2014 when a large amount of manure runoff contaminated an Owasco Lake tributary and a nearby private drinking well. Despite bolstering their farm’s initiatives to protect water quality, years later they said they still have people who slowly drive by, looking for any reason to report their farm to the state Department of Environmental Conservation.

The Citizen:
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