A legislative interim study committee's support of a plan to mitigate odors on hundreds of farms and test a variety of technologies is being praised by Iowa Farm Bureau Federation leaders and livestock producers. The legislative study committee released the report last week.
The five-year $22.7 million project came from the joint efforts of the Department of Natural Resources Director Richard Leopold, Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey and Iowa State University Dean of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Wendy Wintersteen.
The proposal would install a variety of odor-reducing technologies on hog, cattle, chicken and egg farms including: biofiltration, livestock diet changes, manure storage covers, tree plantings and siting assistance, which considers weather patterns and the location of nearby residences. ISU will conduct the monitoring and research with livestock producers on a voluntary, confidential basis.
Will put best measures to work on the farm
The goal is to reduce livestock odors on hundreds of farms through measures which are best put to work and tested on the farm, not in a lab. The five-year, state-funded project is designed to find measures that assist all Iowa livestock growers in reducing excessive odors from a crucial industry that feeds and fuels a growing world population.
"We are extremely pleased to see these three entities - the DNR, IDALS and Iowa State researchers - working together to help Iowa farmers find real, on-farm solutions to livestock odor issues which have caused too much division and misunderstanding in rural Iowa," says Farm Bureau President Craig Lang. "Livestock farmers have proven that they care about their animals and the environment. And, we know they will also welcome tools to help solve an odor issue which has maligned the centuries-old industry of livestock production."