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Feedlot expansion hearings held in Otter Tail

County commissioners, on Jan. 2, convened two public meetings on feedlot expansions, on behalf of the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA).

County board members reminded attendees that testimony summaries are sent to the MPCA in St. Paul, with final decisions made at the state level and not the county level.

The MPCA is responsible for issuing permits for proposed feedlot expansions.

At 9:35 a.m. a public meeting convened for the proposed CMS Farms feedlot expansion. CMS Farms wants to increase its swine feedlot at 470th Avenue in Otto Township, west of New York Mills.

Neighbors within 5,000 feet of the project had been notified by certified mail.

The project includes increasing animal units and expanding the outdoor, concrete manure storage basin. The swine facility has been in operation in this location since 1975.

Concerns expressed by area residents, during the public hearing in Fergus Falls, included the increased smell with a larger operation, possible adverse effects of the outdoor, concrete manure storage basin, effects on the ground water, nitrates and other issues.

Animal unit calculations

The number of swine more than 3,000 pounds is multiplied by 0.4 to calculate a animal unit. The number of swine between 55 and 300 pounds is multiplied by 0.3 to calculate a animal unit.

As examples used at the county board hearing, 3,600 head of swine more than 300 pounds would come in at 1,440 animal units (3,600 times 0.4).

A total of 675 head of swine between 55 and 300 pounds would come in at 202.5 animal units (675 times 0.3).

The total would come to 1,642.5 animal units.

Another feedlot proposal

At 11:15 a.m. on Jan. 2, County Board Chairman Wayne Johnson of Pelican Rapids convened a public meeting for the Jorgenson Dairy, Inc. feedlot expansion.

This proposal is for a project planned at 455th Street near Perham.

The owner, Mark Jorgenson, followed the county process and provided notification to neighbors regarding the expansion and corresponding public meeting.

No one from the public was present and there were no written comments received.

Board Chairman Johnson and County Commissioners Lee Rogness of Fergus Falls, Doug Huebsch of Perham, Roger Froemming of Parkers Prairie and John Lindquist of Dalton agree that it's proper for neighbors within 5,000 feet of proposed feedlot projects be been notified by certified mail about upcoming public hearings.