2015: A Year of Opportunity, Challenges in Livestock Industry

11-02-2015 in Livestock

The Coalition to Support Iowa’s Farmers (CSIF) has been busy this year providing assistance to livestock and poultry farmers across the state siting new facilities, interpreting rules and regulations, enhancing relationships with neighbors and implementing best management practices, including planting trees.

Growing the Livestock Industry

This year has been one of growth in the livestock and poultry sectors. At the end of October, the conclusion of the fiscal year, the organization has provided on-farm consultations to 245 farm families, which is up nearly 40% from 2011.

The Coalition received 419 new requests for assistance this year, and facilitated 353 requests for continued support, whether it was answering questions over the phone or providing an on-farm consultation.

Along with growth in the livestock industry and construction of new facilities also came neighbor relation problems. Fortunately, proper planning and effective communication with neighbors has proven to help mitigate these problems.

“Farmers interested in growing their livestock farm, or perhaps putting up their first building, are encouraged to take their time in the planning process. Generally, it takes 6-months to 1-year to be able to start construction,” said CSIF Field Coordinator Kent Mowrer. “The more time spent selecting good sites and visiting with neighbors prior to construction makes it easier to move forward. In extreme cases, problems with neighbors have delayed construction up to one year.”

Improving Relations with Neighbors

In addition to communicating with neighbors and community members, there are many other things farmers can do to enhance relationships. One way is by planting trees.

The Coalition offers the expertise of the Green Farmstead Partner program, an initiative designed to provide information, resources and contacts for farmers interested in planting trees on their farms. From providing visual screening, to improving eye appeal, to reducing odor (by 10-15%, according to Iowa State University research), tree plantings are a great way to help keep neighbors content. Not to mention the added benefits of wind and snow protection for the facility.

Further enhancing the resources available through the Green Farmstead Partner program, the Coalition launched a blog featuring case studies, design considerations and much more. Visit http://greenfarmstead.blogspot.com to learn more.

To date, nearly 66,000 trees have been planted on livestock and poultry farms through the program.

For more information, or to schedule a personal consultation, visit www.supportfarmers.com or call 800-932-2436.

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