CSIF Tips of the Month – October 2015

10-08-2015 in Through The Gate

Looking Back at September

Growth by Design

Before starting construction in May 2015, the Hein family called the Coalition to help them navigate the rules for cattle confinement buildings and assess potential sites.

Ben Hein wanted to grow his livestock farm while working full-time off the farm, so he needed a cattle facility that required minimal labor and provided time efficiency. This deep-pitted cattle barn provides both.

Hunerdosse Family of Warren County Receives Good Farm Neighbor Award

The Hunerdosse family of Warren County was recognized in September as recipients of the Gary Wergin Good Farm Neighbor Award during a ceremony near Indianola. Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey presented the Hunerdosse family with the award at an open house with family, friends and neighbors.

“Along with mentoring young farmers, the Hunerdosse family is also very active helping neighbors and their community,” said Brian Waddingham, CSIF executive director. “This award recognizes Iowans like the Hunerdosse family who demonstrate who we’d all like to have as a neighbor.”


Rules & Regs Highlight: Check First, Then Build

When considering building a new confinement – no matter the size – be sure to check soil types of your proposed site early in the process. Iowa rules require CAFOs of all sizes to check for alluvial, or floodplain, soils. Even if you’ve never seen that area flood, it is still important to check.

“It is crucial to check for alluvial aquifers and ensure your proposed site is not in those designated areas,” CSIF Sr. Field Coordinator Kent Mowrer says. “If you build without checking and later determine that the site is in a designated alluvial aquifer area, DNR can require you to do additional tests to determine vertical separation from the aquifer. This testing can be costly and slow construction progress down.”

Livestock farms must also check for karst terrain before construction to determine whether additional requirements apply.

For no-cost and confidential assistance checking soil types of your farm, call the Coalition at 800-932-2436.


Outside the Box: Practical Agroforestry Options for Livestock Farms

Corey Hillebo, a Boone County farmer, recently planted 12.7 acres of aronia berries around his hog barns. This non-traditional approach to diversification is a growing trend, incorporating agroforestry into existing livestock farms. The shrubs Hillebo planted will provide visual appeal for his farm, but also create an additional revenue stream, further diversifying his business. Read more about Corey’s aronia berries on the Green Farmstead Partner program blog.

More in-depth information about agroforestry practices, along with some ideas that can be practically implemented on livestock farms, is available here.


Farmgate Quotables

“The Coalition told us a lot of stuff we didn’t know. (There were) a lot of things that if we would’ve done would have cost us a lot more money in the long run because of the rules and regulations. We may know some of them but we don’t know them all.” – Rick Cook, Dubuque County cattleman and dairy producer

Hear what other Iowa farmers have to say about CSIF 

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