CSIF Tips of the Month – May 2014

05-08-2014 in Through The Gate

Rules and Regulations Highlight

Construction Requirements for Small Animal Feeding Operations

The requirements to build a new livestock or poultry confinement barn vary based on the animal unit capacity of the farm. Remember to include the animal units from the proposed project, as well as any other animals you own that are housed in a confinement in the total count.

In Iowa, any livestock facility under 500 animal units is considered a Small Animal Feeding Operation (SAFO). This includes farms with less than 1,250 market hogs, 5,000 nursery pigs, 500 cattle or 357 mature dairy cows. To quickly calculate the animal unit capacity for your farm, click here.

Although SAFOs are not required to submit a construction permit, master matrix or manure management plan to DNR, there are required separation distances to water and other siting considerations.

The construction requirements to build a new, stand-alone confinement SAFO include setback distances to water:

  • 500 feet from a water source (lake, river, reservoir, creek, stream, ditch or other body of water having definite banks and a bed). Note: this distance is 200 feet for deep-bedded barns.
  • 1000 feet from a major water source (navigable lake or river listed in DNR rules).
  • 100 feet from a deep well or 200 feet from a shallow well.
  • 2500 feet from a designated wetland.
  • 500 feet from an ag drainage well surface intake.
  • 1000 feet from a wellhead or cistern of an ag drainage well or known sinkhole.

Another prerequisite is to determine groundwater table separation. The two options to meet this requirement are 1) installing a tile line around the base of the underground manure pit or 2) measuring current groundwater levels with temporary monitoring wells or test pits to determine whether the level is above the proposed floor of the manure storage.

Make sure the proposed site is not located in alluvial or potential alluvial soils. If construction activities will disturb more than one acre of dirt, a storm water discharge permit is required.

For assistance assessing sites for new or expanding livestock farms, no matter the size, call the Coalition to Support Iowa’s Farmers at 800-932-2436.

Quote of the Month

“I contacted the Coalition because we were interested in putting up a barn. CSIF helped us find the best site. I would definitely recommend other farmers contact the Coalition with questions – they are helpful and informative.” – Mike Paustian, Scott County pork producer

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