Franklin County is largely an agricultural area. Much of the rural land is actively used for growing crops, feeding/ranging livestock, and mineral resources. Owning rural land means knowing how to care for it. There are a few things you need to know:
5.1 - Farmers often work around the clock, especially during planting and harvest time. Dairy operators sometimes milk without stopping and hay is often swathed or baled at night. Low-flying crop dusting planes may fly overhead during irregular hours. It is possible that adjoining agricultural uses may disturb your peace and quiet. Franklin County is a "Right to Farm" county.
5.2 - Land preparation and other operations can cause dust, especially during windy and dry weather.
5.3 - Farmers occasionally burn their fields and ditches to keep them clean of debris, weeds, pests, and other obstructions; grain growers burn stubble to help generate next year's crops. This burning creates smoke that you may find objectionable.
5.4 - Chemicals (mainly fertilizers and herbicides) are often used in growing crops. You may be sensitive to these substances and many people actually have severe allergic reactions. Many of these chemicals are applied by airplanes that fly early in the morning.
5.5 - Animals and their manure can cause objectionable odors. What else can we say?
5.6 - Agriculture is an important business in Franklin County. If you choose to live among the farms and ranches of our rural countryside, do not expect county government to intervene in the normal day-to-day operations of your agri-business neighbors. In fact, Washington State protects farmers and ranchers from nuisance and liability lawsuits. This enables them to continue producing food and fiber.
5.7 - Washington State has a closed range law except for specific roads. This means that your neighbor's cattle, sheep or other livestock should not be on your property. It is the responsibility of the rancher or farmer to keep his/her livestock off your property.
5.8 - Before buying land you should know if it has noxious weeds that may be expensive to control and you may be required to control. Some plants are poisonous to horses and other livestock.
5.9 - Animals can be dangerous. Bulls, stallions, pigs, rams, etc. can attack human beings. Children need to know that it is not safe to enter pens where animals are kept.
5.10 - Much of Franklin County receives very little precipitation throughout the year. As a result, we have a problem with overgrazing, and fugitive dust. Without irrigation, grass does not grow very well. There is a limit to the amount of grazing the land can handle. The Franklin County Cooperative Extension Office can help you with these issues.