- Associated Press - Sunday, December 7, 2014

SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) - Iowa cattle and hog producers are working to comply with new state rules that are designed to keep animal waste from polluting nearby waterways.

The Sioux City Journal reports (https://bit.ly/1G3VJ0K ) Craig Moss and his family created new concrete drainage systems with grates to ensure rain can leave their feedlot without carrying manure with it.

The new rule, supported by farm groups, took effect last month. It establishes new inspection and permit processes for livestock farms.

The state adopted the rules last year to satisfy the concerns of environmentalists and the Environmental Protection Agency. But the new rule doesn’t require mandatory permits for farms with repeat manure spills.

Moss, 31, said he isn’t worried about complying with the rule because of the proactive measures his family took on the 900-head feedlot.

“We make sure that fresh water flows around the yard and not through it,” Moss said. “The grey water that comes out of the yard goes through a series of settling grates. That water will end up in a terrace in the field.”

Iowa, the nation’s leading corn, pork and egg producer, struggles with managing the waste generated by 60 million chickens, 20 million pigs, 9 million turkeys and 4 million cows.

Over the past year, the state Department of Natural Resources conducted 724 on-site inspections and 1,131 office-based reviews of livestock facilities to prepare for the new rule.

But statewide there are 6,617 livestock confinement operations, so more inspections are needed.

“In general, we found kind of what we expected,” said Ken Hessenius, field office supervisor for the DNR office in Spencer. “By and large, the hog confinements don’t have runoff or discharge problems. But many of the open cattle lots do have issues that need to be dealt with. When it rains, you have potential for runoff.”

Dan Roeder said state officials inspected his turkey-feeding operation near Ida Grove last month. Roeder feeds about 67,500 birds in nine barns.

“Everything checked out,” Roeder said. “There were no issues. (The inspector) told our employee that we have a very clean and neat farm.”

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Information from: Sioux City Journal, https://www.siouxcityjournal.com


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