Manure Manager

News Business/Policy United States
Bill proposes moratorium on CAFOs

May 3, 2023  by  Bree Rody

A bill tabled in February, while not likely to be enacted, would propose sweeping changes for the farming industry and community.

Senate Bill 271 proposes a moratorium on the construction of new concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs) and would force large CAFOs to cease operations following Jan. 1, 2041. The bill, sponsored by progressive senators Corey Booker, Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders,

The bill would also financial incentives for operators to “permanently transition from operating an AFO to carrying out other activities on the property on which the AFO is located.”

The Bill has not been passed and there are plenty of doubters that it would ever be enacted; Farm Progress columnist Gary Baise said the bill “has no chance of passing out of the U.S. Senate Agriculture Committee.” However, the proposal is still creating some debate in the farming community.


The bill defines a “large CAFO” as an AFO at which no less than the following animals are present:

  • 700 mature dairy cows (milked or dry);
  • 1,000 veal calves
  • 1,000 cattle other than mature dairy cows or veal calves;
  • 2,500 swine (each weighing no less than 55 lbs)
  • 10,000 swine (each weighing no more than 55 lbs);
  • 500 horses;
  • 10,000 sheep or lambs;
  • 55,000 turkeys.

In the case of an AFO that uses a liquid manure handling system:

  • 30,000 laying hens or broilers; or
  • 5,000 ducks.

Or, in the case of an AFO that uses a system other than a liquid manure handling system:

  • 125,000 chickens (other than laying hens);
  • 82,000 laying hens; or
  • 30,000 ducks.


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