Wisconsin farm calls new agreement and manure management tech a “game changer”
May 18, 2023 by Manure Manager
The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) and environmental intervenors reached an agreement in April (fully executed May 11) under which the DNR will not require groundwater monitoring of land application sites if Casco-based Kinnard Farms “substantially eliminates” the land application of liquid manure within approximately four years.
In a statement, Kinnard Farms expressed excitement about the agreement, stating that this gives the business the opportunity to “move forward with the installation of state-of-the-art manure management technology.”
Kinnard Farms is installing technology to transform liquid manure into three separate, pathogen-free products: clean water, dry organic fertilizer and an organic ammonia fertilizer. According to the farm, this technology is the first of its kind in Wisconsin.”The technology will remove most of the truck traffic from our local roads and greatly reduce the need for long-term storage of liquid manure in lagoons,” the farm stated. “Removal of the water from the manure hastens our ability to increase our family’s already extensive use of regenerative agricultural practices, allowing us to plant cover crops and eliminate tillage on an even greater number of our fields. These practices are proven to regenerate soil health, prevent erosion and sequester carbon, and are highly protective of water quality.”
Kinnard Farms expressed appreciation on the part of other parties to “come to the table in pursuit of the common goal of protecting our precious water and soil resources.” The agreement formally recognizes that Kinnard Farms is currently working with a partner to develop this treatment facility, and also formally recognizes the benefits of the technology and the likelihood that it will eliminate the land application of liquid manure by the farm. As such, DNR will not take action to enforce permit terms that are currently stayed due to the pending contested case, and DNR will retain terms and conditions relating to groundwater monitoring of land application sites in Kinnard Farms’ reissued WPDES permit, making only limited changes to provisions concerning the mechanics of groundwater sampling.
Groundwater monitoring of land application sites will only need to be completed if Kinnard Farms proposes to land apply liquid manure after the fourth anniversary of the reissued WPDES permit — the target timeframe for Kinnard Farms to effectively eliminate its need to land apply liquid manure from its dairy.
The agreement includes project milestones, designed to ensure that efforts to construct and operate the facility remain on track. Kinnard Farms also commits to provide periodic progress reports to DNR and the intervenors.