Calhoun County hog producer to pay $3,000 penalty

DNR: Manure release killed 2 acres of corn

LOHRVILLE — A hog producer in Calhoun County has agreed to pay a $3,000 penalty after the Iowa Department of Natural Resources said a manure release killed about two acres of corn in a neighbor’s field.

The DNR received a complaint on July 18, 2017, from the neighbor who said manure from Ryan Kent’s facility was running into his field, according to a consent order from the DNR signed this week.

Kent, of Auburn, owns and operates a 3,600 head confinement nursery pig operation in the Lohrville area, the DNR said.

According to the order, Kent told DNR Environmental Specialist Brandon Miner that there had been a water leak and he pumped some of the water off the top of the pit.

The operation has two confinement buildings with underbuilding pits for manure storage, according to the order.

“He stated he did not have an available pasture or alfalfa field to pump the manure to, so he pumped it to the corn field,” the order states. “He did not think it would kill the corn. Mr. Miner followed the manure flow to the corn field and observed pooled manure on the ground in several areas.”

Approximately two acres of corn were killed by the manure flow. It didn’t appear that any manure had reached a water of the state, the DNR said.

Iowa code requires retention of all manure produced in confinement enclosures between periods of manure applications. The code also requires anyone storing or handling manure to notify the DNR as soon as they become aware of a release, which Kent did not do, according to the order.

The producer has 30 days to pay the penalty.