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Hog confinement owners fined for improper manure applications

By: - December 27, 2022 9:00 am

The state regulates how much manure from animal confinements can be applied to fields. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)

Two northern Iowa hog confinement owners applied manure from their facilities to fields without proper certifications and potentially applied an incorrect amount of manure, according to the Iowa Department of Natural Resources.

Dan and Mike Staudt own and operate a total of four of the animal confinements, but the allegations against them are based on routine inspections of two of the facilities, according to a recent DNR order that fined them $6,000.

The inspections happened in June 2022 at facilities near Floyd and Rudd in Floyd County. They each have a capacity of about 2,400 swine.

The men are now certified confinement site manure applicators, but they lacked the certifications for about 12 years from 2009 to 2021, DNR records show. A DNR officer determined that despite that lack of certification, the Staudts each applied manure from the facilities for five of those years.

The officer also noted deficiencies in the two facilities’ manure management plans, which are meant to avoid the overapplication of manure on fields. One of the fields where manure was spread was not included in the plans. Further, the plans did not take into account additional commercial nitrogen fertilizer that was generally applied during planting, DNR records show.

“Dan and Mike Staudt own and operate at least four animal feeding operation(s) and had been previously certified to apply manure in the past,” the DNR order said. “They were aware of the requirements.”

As part of the DNR order, the Staudts agreed to pay the fine and comply with state requirements in the future.

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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.