SAWYER, KS (AP)--The state has imposed a $49,000 fine on a Pratt County hog farm for alleged improper disposal of swine carcasses and allowing a waste lagoon to overflow into a nearby creek.

The farm owners say they have appealed the fine, saying it came after most of the problems had been resolved.

The 12-page order from the Kansas Department of Health and Environment sets several deadlines for the nearly 11,400-head Cromer Consolidated Holdings operation.

The order included a Sept. 15 deadline for posting a financial assurance for future closure of the operation.

Eric Cromer, co-owner of the farm with his father, John, said Sept. 1 he thinks they have met state demands.

He said their family farm, which has operated the same way for many years, has been caught in new hog laws passed in 1998, when corporate hog farms began moving into the state.

KDHE spokeswoman Sharon Watson said the department will continue to work with the Cromer farm to get it into compliance.

Watson said that although KDHE will set a hearing date within a few weeks, the appeal process could take several months.

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