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March 27, 2002

Revised confined feeding rules require on-farm records

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – Large Indiana livestock operations that raise animals in farm buildings now are required to document how they use or dispose of livestock manure.

Revised confined feeding operation (CFO) rules took effect earlier this month. Producers have until Monday (4/1) to complete a manure management plan, which includes soil tests and a nutrient analysis of animal waste.

The new rules were approved by the state's Water Pollution Control Board this past fall, and are enforced by the Indiana Department of Environmental Management (IDEM).

CFOs affected by the rules include operations with at least 300 cattle, or 600 swine or sheep, or 30,000 chickens, turkeys or ducks, or any size operation that causes water quality violations.

About 2,900 operations statewide fall under the new regulations.

Hoosier livestock producers should have no trouble complying if they understand the rules, said Don Jones, Purdue University Cooperative Extension Service livestock housing and manure management specialist.

"The new rules are not much more stringent than those in place previously," Jones said. "What's unique about the new regulations is producers will have to keep some on-farm records."

Those records include:

• A copy of a producer's original confined feeding approval from IDEM.

• The producer's manure management plan.

• Reports of monthly livestock waste facility self-inspections.

• A manure application log, plus any setback waivers, land use agreements and distribution information.

• An emergency spill plan and any documented spill responses.

"An emergency spill plan is a sort of 'What do you do?' if a spill occurs, and what actions you might take to prevent it from becoming worse," Jones said. "The monthly inspection of their livestock waste facility involves walking around the barns and lagoons, looking for specific problems and documenting them.

"The land application record is how much manure they put on, where they put it, a calculation of how they determine how much to put on and when it was applied."

While it sounds like a lot of extra work, producers shouldn't have to spend an inordinate amount of time in recordkeeping, Jones said.

"It shouldn't take a producer more than five or six hours a year, maximum, to accomplish," he said. "Most of our producers keep records already. A lot of them do it in their heads or on the back of an envelope. Now they'll have to document them on paper, keep those records on file and make them available to IDEM inspectors."

Indiana was one of the first states to develop CFO rules, adopting standards in 1971. IDEM issued new CFO guidelines in 1997 and established an inspection system in 1998. Work on the revised rules began in 1998.

Each confined feeding operation is inspected by an IDEM representative every three to five years, said Kristin Whittington, the department's director of agriculture relations.

"We have 14 inspectors who conduct inspections across the state," Whittington said. "They look for water quality issues, how the manure is handled and stored, and manure land application practices. Roughly 94 percent to 96 percent of the farms we inspect have no problems."

Rules violations are addressed on a case-by-case basis, Whittington said. State law allows IDEM to fine violators up to $25,000 per day.

State livestock producers do an outstanding job handling and utilizing animal manure, Jones said.

"Indiana producers have an excellent record of environmental management," he said. "In terms of our livestock production, we do a better job than almost any other state in minimizing spills."

For more information about the CFO rules, visit the IDEM Confined Feeding Program Web site. For general information about livestock manure management, log onto the Purdue Animal Manure Solutions Web page.

Writer: Steve Leer, (765) 494-8415, sleer@aes.purdue.edu

Sources: Don Jones, (765) 494-1178, jonesd@purdue.edu

Kristin Whittington, (317) 232-8587, kawhitti@dem.state.in.us

Ag Communications: (765) 494-2722; Beth Forbes, bforbes@aes.purdue.edu; http://www.agriculture.purdue.edu/AgComm/public/agnews/

Purdue News Service: (765) 494-2096; purduenews@purdue.edu


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