Kansas bill opens doors to poultry operations

? A Kansas bill receiving widespread support would allow the expansion of confined chicken growing operations within proximity to residential areas.

The Topeka Capital-Journal reports that the Senate bill was endorsed Monday by two of the state’s largest agriculture industry organizations, Kansas State University faculty and county development groups.

The proposed legislation would set boundaries on concentration of chicken houses and the number of birds at each site in order to improve recruitment of companies interested in making investments in new production facilities.

Agriculture leaders say that Kansas has a modest poultry footprint while surrounding states have embraced poultry farming.

The bill follows community backlash last year to Tyson Foods’ proposal to build a $320 million poultry complex near Tonganoxie. The company pulled out of its incentive-laden deal after public outcry.