Rooting Around from the Fairfield Weekly Reader
Do we in Iowa want to spend $22.7 million and take five years to study how to reduce odors from Confinement Animal Feeding Operations (CAFOs)? Do we want to pay CAFO owners to voluntarily adopt odor-control technologies? That is what Iowa’s Secretary of Agriculture, Director of the Department of Natural Resources, and Dean of Iowa State University’s College of Agriculture has jointly proposed.
The proposal was put forth by an interim Livestock Odor Study Committee of the Iowa Legislature last November. The legislative committee unanimously approved the proposal. More recently, Governor Culver also called for funding for more research on odor control.
JFAN feels there is ample information and technologies to deal with odor. In Minnesota, for example, proven odor-control technologies for CAFOs are already available and are required to be used where needed.
Research at the University of Minnesota has demonstrated that biofilters will reduce CAFO odors by 85% and hydrogen sulfide by 90%. A biofilter is a structure packed with plant material that absorbs gases exhausted from CAFO buildings. In addition to biofilters, a University of Minnesota Extension publication (published in 2001) lists 23 other odor-control technologies.
In Minnesota, a CAFO over 1000 animal units is required to submit an Air Emission Plan, which, among other things, must include “measures to be used to mitigate air emission.”
JFAN supports the use of odor control methods already available. Most importantly, we acknowledge odor is just one aspect of the CAFO issue and controlling only odor won’t fix all the health, environmental, economic, water pollution, antibiotic overuse, and quality of life problems also created by factory farms.
If you would like to join others from around Iowa in telling state leadersthat CAFOsshould be better regulated to protect our water and air quality—and that odor control should be required now without further unnecessary expenditures of taxpayer dollars – then attend the Capitol Rally sponsored by the Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement (CCI) at the State Capitol on Thursday, January 29 from 10:00 – 3:00 pm. The Capitol Rally will also address tenant rights and voterowned elections.
Meetings will take place between key legislators, top staff from the Governor’s office, and other executive departments. A coach bus will be available from Fairfield for the Capitol Rally. For more information call 515-282-0484 or 472-8554. For more information on CAFOs, visit our website at www.jfaniowa.org. We are currently updating our website, so watch for announcements of our new and improved web presence.