Saturday, September 1, 2012

Dairy Farming and Hydraulic Fracturing

The Viewpoint story by Sandra Steingraber and Michelle Bamberger (“Yogurt Industry and fracking don’t mix,” Aug. 20, 2012) doesn’t accurately portray the reality of being a dairy farmer. In fact, their hackneyed assertions and conspicuous lack of knowledge and understanding is an insult to every dairy farmer in our state. I’ve been a dairy farmer in Steuben County for 45 years and I have never witnessed a single cow harmed as a result of hydraulic fracturing. The petroleum industry has been active in Steuben County for years, on my property and within a few miles of my farm. In fact, the natural gas industry has done more to help small dairy farms than Ms Steingraber and Ms Bamberger can imagine. We are losing small dairy farms all over the country, not because of the natural gas industry. The average age of a dairy farmer is 62 years old and they’re still farming because of their financial condition, which generally isn’t good. Some smaller farms are being bought up by larger farms. Farmers are selling heads of cattle to neighboring farms to earn money to feed the rest of the herd. The price of feed is escalating while the price of milk per hundredweight is dropping. This is not sustainable. If a farmer is fortunate enough to have harvestable shale formations under their land, the revenue from the lease and royalties is a godsend. It means the core business can be sustained. A family farm can stay in the family for another generation. The farmer may decide to sell his herd if his health is declining or use the extra revenue for newer, safer equipment or structural upgrades. These are all investments in New York state’s future because of the natural gas industry and wise choices by farmers. By drilling a well, America becomes more energy independent, another American solider is safe at home and another family farm is saved in New York State. Neil C. Vitale

1 comment:

  1. Hello there! I'll be looking forward for your other posts. You have such a very informative post. It was very well said. Thank you so much for sharing your knowledge about hydrofracturing with us. Anyway, in addition to what you have written, Hydrofracturing is a well development process that involves injecting water under high pressure into a bedrock formation via the well. This is intended to increase the size and extent of existing bedrock fractures, pumping water into those fractures at pressures as high as 3000 psi and flow rates as high as 85 gallons per minute, this cleans out the fractures and allows them to interconnect with nearby water bearing fractures. Water can then flow back thru these fractures and into the well at a faster rate than before. We are an IGSHPA, Certified Installer and Certified Driller Hydrofracturing NH