A North Carolina Senate bill has been amended to extend a state ban on new or expanded pork production operations to Sept. 1, 2007. The original bill proposed extending the current moratorium for another two years, which would have been Sept.1, 2005.

The N.C. House of Representatives was expected to consider the amendment before recessing. Governor Easley is expected to sign the extended moratorium proposal. He strongly endorses allowing the two additional years for North Carolina State University scientists to test alternative swine-waste technologies.

While serving as North Carolina's Attorney General, Easley engineered the 2000 Smithfield Foods agreement, which committed  $15 million to North Carolina State for alternative-technology development. He reached a similar commitment from Premium Standard Farms for $2.1 million.

On-farm studies, environmental and cost-benefit analyses on 11 of the 18 technologies are projected to be complete by mid-2004, with the remaining technologies due to be complete in 2005.