Permit approved for county’s largest cattle barnWORTHINGTON — The Nobles County Planning and Zoning Commission approved five requests for conditional use permits at its Wednesday night meeting, which will result in the expansion of existing swine, beef and dairy feeding operations near Ellsworth, Adrian, Wilmont and Worthington.
By: Julie Buntjer, Worthington Daily Globe
WORTHINGTON — The Nobles County Planning and Zoning Commission approved five requests for conditional use permits at its Wednesday night meeting, which will result in the expansion of existing swine, beef and dairy feeding operations near Ellsworth, Adrian, Wilmont and Worthington.
The largest expansion will be to the Brake Farms near Wilmont, where the family plans to construct a 180- by 655-foot deep-pitted cattle finishing barn to house 2,000 head of cattle. The proposed facility would be the largest of its kind in Nobles County when it is completed.
Jerry Brake said the barn will make it easier to manage feed intake and offers more protection from the weather. Cattle will be moved into the barn during the last 100 to 120 days needed to reach market weight.
Nobles County Feedlot Officer Al Langseth said the manure storage pit under the barn will extend out 12 feet on each end, allowing for ease when the pit is pumped out.
Randy Honermann, who lives a half-mile north of the proposed facility in the northeast quarter of Section 21, Wilmont Township, was present at the meeting to ask if the Brakes had adequate land to handle the amount of manure generated by the additional cattle.
“Yes, they have adequate land to spread at agronomic rates,” Langseth said, adding a Lakefield firm has written the manure management plan for the cattle feeding operation.
No other public testimony was provided on the Brakes’ request.
Commission member Brent Fiekema moved to approve the permit request, saying, “I think it’s a step in the right direction. With (the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency), the more livestock you can get under roof, the more they like it.”
Because of the number of animal units housed on the site, the Brakes also need an NPDES (National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System) permit. The public comment period for that request ends today.
The goal of the Brakes is to begin construction on the new finishing barn within the next year.
The commission set one condition on the permit, stating that manure from the pit must be incorporated on farmland. The request will now advance to the Nobles County Board of Commissioners for final approval at their July 17 meeting.
Other permits approved Wednesday by the commission include:
* Clayton Schilling, Ellsworth, to construct a 61- by 128-foot deep-pitted finishing barn for 960 head of swine in the northwest quarter of Section 26, Grand Prairie Township. No conditions were placed on the permit.
* Seth Darling, Worthington, to convert an existing 50- by 120-foot structure from a hay shed to an animal confinement building to house 240 head of calves; to convert a 36- by 100-foot commodity shed for confinement of 75 head of sheep; and for future construction of a 150-foot addition to an existing 50- by 120-foot livestock structure for additional livestock. The projects will be done on a 16.68 acre parcel in the south half of the southwest quarter of Section 2, Indian Lake Township. The only condition set on the permit is that the projects be completed within two years.
* Steve Elias, Adrian, to construct a 102- by 192-foot total confinement barn with a concrete pit below to house 2,400 head of swine in the east half of the southeast quarter of Section 11, Westside Township. The new building will be identical to, and within 100 feet of, an existing confinement barn. Because the parcel is located within one mile of the city of Adrian, Elias received prior approval from the Adrian City Council for construction. Also, since the site will exceed 1,000 animal units, an NPDES permit was required from the MPCA. That permit has already been approved. Conditions placed on the county permit include that the good neighbor policy be adhered to, that manure be incorporated and that a structure be provided for dead animal containment.
* Brad and Ryan Lonneman, Adrian, to construct a 101- by 192-foot total confinement barn to house swine in the northeast quarter of the southeast quarter of Section 26, Westside Township. The additional barn will boost the number of animal units on the site to 1,440, which requires it to have an NPDES permit. The public comment period conducted by the MPCA for that permit ends July 2. The county permit was approved pending approval of the NPDES permit. Conditions placed on the permit include that manure be incorporated and the good neighbor policy be adhered to.
Daily Globe Reporter Julie Buntjer may be reached at 376-7330.