Manure Management

Manure Management Planning To fall under manure management planning regulations in the state of Iowa, you must be considered a Confined Animal Feeding Operation (CAFO). A CAFO is any operation more than 500 animal units totally confined under roof. Animal Unit (AU) is the way the DNR defines the size of an operation. Below is a listing by species of the size when one operation is considered a CAFO. Remember all these animals must be in total confinement, and animal units are calculated based on the maximum capacity of the unit. Any animal that gets outside into a yard is not included.  

Finishing Swine: more than 1250 head (0.4 AU)
Nursery Swine: more than 5000 head (0.1 AU)
Dairy Cows: more than 357 head (1.4 AU)
Poultry: more than 50,000 head (0.01 AU)
Beef: more than 500 head (1.0 AU) 





If your current operation or planned expansion of an operation exceeds these numbers you will need to file a Manure Management Plan. Large operations over 1000 AU (twice the numbers listed above) have special regulations pertaining to them. Along with having a MMP, if you plan to apply your own manure, you will need to get a confinement manure applicator's license to haul your manure. Testing and certification for this license is done through the extension service.

 In addition to the required manure planning, it's a good idea to test your manure for nutrient value. Once you have a manure test, we can recommend specific rates/acre of manure to maximize your manure's nutrient value to the crop.

Current phosphorus based rules also mandate that soil tests be taken from each field in the plan every 4 years. We can do the necessary soil testing for you and incorporate the results right into your MMP. Current rules state that a soil test must be taken at a minimum of every 10 acres. Grid Mapping your field also fulfills this requirement.

We can assist in developing and maintaining MMP's for your operation. Please contact Evan Wielenga at 439-2831. For more information you can also check out the Iowa DNR Animal Feeding Operations website or the Iowa Manure Management Action Group website.