CAFOs and Environmental Health: Some articles to
get you up to speed.
If you prefer NOT to use PayPal, you can send a check
Bob Gifford for County Board,
P.O. Box 387
Stevens Point, WI 54481
Flooded fields like this one from Calumet County, in May 2013, are innocuous when the ground below is clay, which protects the aquifers below. But if there are karst features like cracks or sinkholes, flooding means more risk that agricultural chemicals or manure will get into the groundwater below.
Wisconsin Environmental Health Network has a variety of stories on CAFOs, particularly the Kewaunee County, WI story.
“According to the Social Responsible Agriculture project, Kewaunee County ranks first in the state (Wisconsin) for CAFO density per acre, cattle density, and herd growth. Click here to see more about the Wisconsin DNR’s report.
These CAFOs have caused a lot of public health concerns for citizens of Kewaunee County and one of the main worries has been how the water supply is impacted. Click here to read about the well water contamination many families are faced with Animal Feeding Operations on Water Quality
MORE FROM OTHER SOURCES:
CAFO Concerns Continue As DNR Considers Kewaunee County Expansion
(The most alarming part of this story was this comment by Robyn Mulhaney, in the comments below the story):
“Here is my own last communication with the DNR when expressing concern about manure spreading during rain events. Weather alerts were sounding for flooding and torrential rains. For 3 days raw manure was injected into acreage less than a mile to Lake Michigan at 20,000 gallons per acre. When I contacted the DNR I was told it was a permitted practice regardless of the impending storms. I contacted the DNR the next day to explain that there was standing water in the fields and injection had resumed..Again, I was told this was an acceptable practice.
“The topic of manure has surpassed technicalities in our county. It has become a moral issue based upon human health. Citizens working towards solutions are engaged and asking for attainable change rather than regulations that are not geo-specific addressing Kewaunee County’s waterways, KARST bedrock and cattle density”.
Judge blames toxic Kewaunee County wells on ‘massive regulatory failure’
DNR must require groundwater monitoring at giant Kinnard Farms dairy, but expansion allowed to proceed
“An administrative law judge says “massive regulatory failure” led to groundwater contamination in a dairy farming region and the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources must use its powers to prevent further pollution.
“In a ruling issued Wednesday, Judge Jeffrey Boldt ordered the DNR to modify a discharge permit for Kinnard Farms, an industrial-sized dairy farm in Kewaunee County, by requiring the operation to install at least six monitoring wells. Two of the wells should be on fields where manure is being spread, Boldt said. He also ordered the agency to cap the number of cows allowed on the big dairy, though he did not specify a maximum.
“DNR officials previously testified that no large, permitted dairies, also known as concentrated animal feeding operations, or CAFOs, had ever been required to install monitoring wells.”
This 2014 Article from Wisconsin Farmer provides lots of helpful numbers about the scale of CAFOs in Kewaunee County, and statewide.
CAFOs of Kewaunee County draw state-wide attention
By Ray Mueller
March 24, 2014
“Keuning reported that 21 percent of the dairy cows in Wisconsin are housed at CAFO sites. From 1944 to the present, the number of dairy farms in Wisconsin has fallen from nearly 150,000 to approximately 10,500, she added.
“According to Wisconsin’s agricultural statistics official report, Kewaunee County had approximately 42,000 dairy cows on 187 farms as of April 1, 2013. With the DNR’s formula of 1.4 animal units for each milking cow, the county’s dairy cows would account for 58,800 animal units.
“The waste produced by one animal unit is the equivalent of that for 18 humans, Wallander stated. This means that the county’s 51,379 animal units in the permitted CAFOs alone are producing the waste equivalent of 924,882 humans, he pointed out.”