If the thought of officials from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) flying over your farm makes you nervous, now is the time to get your questions answered and fix any potential problems. Both the Iowa Department of Natural Resource (DNR) and the EPA have indicated they will be doing inspections of livestock and poultry farms around the state, including on-site inspections, aerial surveillance and computer-based inspections (i.e. looking at the images on Google Earth and other Web sites with aerial images), says the Coalition to Support Iowa’s Farmers (CSIF).
Here are some questions from the CSIF to ask yourself to prepare your farm to pass an inspection:
- Is there runoff from my livestock pens, feed storage or feeding areas, and/or manure or bedding stockpiles reaching a nearby stream or river? If this is happening, contact the Coalition for suggestions on how to correct the problem at (800) 932-2436 or log onto www.supportfarmers.com.
- Am I counting the number of animals correctly? To determine federal compliance, animals in confinement need to be added to the animals in open lots. Also, if you have enough of one species to be considered a large CAFO (1,000 animal units), then all livestock, no matter the species, are counted, and runoff from those facilities must be contained, too.
- Do I have a manure/nutrient management plan? Be sure to keep records to show you are following the plan.
Here are some tips in case you receive a surprise inspection.
See a PDF document containing inspection tips below:
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