- Associated Press - Friday, November 6, 2015

VALE, Ore. (AP) - The Malheur County Court tentatively approved a permit for a fly farm despite neighbors’ pleas for the operation to buzz off.

After a lengthy hearing at its Wednesday session, the court - which is the county’s governing body - upheld the planning commission’s decision to back the permit, The Argus Observer reported (https://bit.ly/1NwZljt ).

Fly Farm Products owner Skip Cockerum, of Ontario, said his company produces fish bait and feed for caged or wild birds. He said his property is large enough for the small-scale project, which includes bringing in fresh cow manure for the flies to eat.

About 20 people who live near Cockerum have voiced concerns about the fly farm lowering property values, the effect of manure on water and whether the flies would be contained.

Joseph Holton said he is worried that the manure’s odor would attract even more flies. Lindsey Johnson said she is concerned about the proposed fly farm opening within a few miles of a school.

Cockerum said the flies would be contained in tents. If a tent can keep out mosquitoes, it could certainly contain a larger fly, he said.

In testimony before the planning commission, Cockerum said the manure will be liquefied and the flies eat bacteria and yeast from it. The process turns the manure into what look like dried coffee grounds in five days and then it is taken away, he said.

The city clerk in nearby Payette, Idaho, said in a letter to the court that Cockerum operated his business in Payette for several years and the city did not receive any complaints.

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Information from: Argus Observer, https://www.argusobserver.com


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