Missouri Dairy Business Update Commercial Agriculture
Volume 2, Number 4

April 2002

EPA Proposed Animal Feeding

Wondering what upcoming EPA regulations may mean to your dairy business? A recent conversation with Dr. Ray Massey, crop and swine economist with the Commercial Ag Program revealed the following:

What do the proposed new EPA regulations mean for Missouri's dairy industry?

"Currently less than 10 Missouri dairies are over 1000 animal units and subject to CAFO regulations. If the EPA chooses to regulate 500 animal unit operations, Missouri could have almost 30 regulated diaries; if they regulate 300 animal unit operations, as many as 50 Missouri dairies would come under regulation."

What does becoming a "regulated dairy" mean?

"Regulated dairies would need to install monitoring wells to demonstrate no movement of manure nutrients to ground water. Any lagoon that does "leak" nutrients would need to be repaired or replaced.

Regulated dairies will have a significant increase in record keeping requirements. The EPA estimates that regulated operations will spend an additional 80 hours per year on record keeping and nutrient management planning activities."

What about the new "Phosphorous Rule?"

"The other major change is that dairies would be able to land-apply enough manure to supply the annual phosphorus removed by the crop receiving the manure. Currently dairies are limited by the nitrogen needs of the crop.

Assuming manure is stored in a lagoon and surface applied, switching from a nitrogen limit to a phosphorus limit increases the number of acres needed for lagoon effluent application to corn by 50%. For lagoon effluent applied to soybeans, alfalfa or other hay, the required acres increase by 175%"

To learn more about the new proposed EPA regulations, check out this 2 page brochure developed by the Commercial Ag Program on the new regulations:

For more detailed information on the proposed EPA regulations, here are additional links:

Commercial Agriculture Nutrient Management Team Comment Report to EPA

USDA Agricultural Outlook magazine, April Issue

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