Phosphorus rules may be revised

(February 26, 2004) - (Little Rock-AP) -- The state Soil and Water Conservation Commission is rethinking its proposed rules to restrict the application of fertilizer in some parts of the state. The rules were written to decrease chemical runoff into rivers and streams. But commission attorney Ed Swaim says the final rules may differ significantly from the current version. He says it's become clear that many farmers don't like the first draft. Farmers and others in affected areas are concerned the regulations will create new bureaucratic hurdles and hurt agriculture through decreased production. The rules govern nitrogen and phosphorus use on farms in large parts of ten counties. Those counties are Benton, Boone, Carroll, Crawford, Madison, Marion, Polk, Scott, Sebastian and Washington.