Livestock producers fined for manure management violations

By: - November 29, 2022 4:17 pm

The application to farmland of manure produced by animal confinements is regulated to limit stream pollution. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)

Several livestock producers have been fined by the Iowa Department of Natural Resources in recent weeks for failing to comply with manure management requirements, according to DNR records.

Most of the violations pertained to required annual updates of manure management plans, which determine how much manure can be applied to fields to avoid excessive application. That can increase the likelihood of stream pollution.

“The (manure management plan) submittals are a crucial aspect of the DNR’s animal feeding operation program and the compliance fees are crucial to the budget of the animal feeding program,” according to recent DNR orders.

The livestock producers are also required to sample field soil every four years to develop a phosphorus index that helps determine application rates.

Those who didn’t comply with the requirements, according to DNR, and were fined in recent weeks included:

Sean Dolan, of Masonville in Buchanan County: Dolan operates an animal confinement with 1,500 swine and was ordered to pay a $2,000 fine for 11 late submissions of manure management plan updates from 2006 to 2022. His phosphorus index plans were also late in 2009, 2013 and 2021.

Cory Dornbier, of Wesley in Kossuth County: Dornbier operates two confinement buildings with 3,720 swine and was fined $3,000 for five late filings of manure management plan updates from 2013 to 2022.

Nick Grobe, of Oakland in Pottawattamie County: Grobe operates one confinement building with 2,400 swine and was fined $2,000 for submitting four late manure management plan updates from 2018 to 2022. The phosphorus index plan was also late in 2021.

Mike Hejlik, of Britt in Hancock County: Hejlik operates two confinement buildings with 2,400 swine and was ordered to pay a $2,000 fine for eight late submissions of manure management plan updates from 2012 to 2022. His phosphorus index plans were also late in 2013 and 2017.

John McDermott, of Cascade in Dubuque County: McDermott operates four confinement buildings with 5,200 swine and was ordered to pay a $2,000 fine for eight late submissions of manure management plan updates from 2010 to 2022. His phosphorus index plans were also late in 2016 and 2021.

Scott Tapper, of Webster City in Hamilton County: Tapper has five confinement buildings with about 3,060 swine and was fined $5,000 for 12 late submissions of manure management plan updates in from 2009 to 2020. He also submitted a late phosphorus index plan in 2021. That year, the DNR determined that Tapper’s manure application rates had been improperly calculated, which “resulted in the application of manure and commercial fertilizer in excess of the nitrogen use levels necessary to achieve optimum crop yields,” according to a recent DNR order. The DNR also determined that Tapper had applied manure after his certification expired in 2015.

WKC Farms, Inc., of Minden in Pottawattamie County: WKC has an animal confinement with 800 cattle and was ordered to pay a $2,000 fine for seven late submissions of manure management plan updates from 2014 to 2022. It further missed deadlines for submitting phosphorus index plans in 2017 and 2021.

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Jared Strong
Jared Strong

Senior reporter Jared Strong has written about Iowans and the important issues that affect them for more than 15 years, previously for the Carroll Times Herald and the Des Moines Register. His investigative work exposing police misconduct has notched several state and national awards. He is a longtime trustee of the Iowa Freedom of Information Council, which fights for open records and open government. He is a lifelong Iowan and has lived mostly in rural western parts of the state.

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