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Published May 07, 2014, 09:52 AM

Minn. county approves hog barn to move forward

Nearly two weeks after neighbors raised a stink over a proposed hog confinement building east of Adrian, Minn., by Son-D-Farms, Nobles County commissioners on Tuesday accepted a recommendation from the planning commission to move the development forward.

By: Julie Buntjer , Forum News Service

WORTHINGTON, Minn. — Nearly two weeks after neighbors raised a stink over a proposed hog confinement building east of Adrian, Minn., by Son-D-Farms, Nobles County commissioners on Tuesday accepted a recommendation from the planning commission to move the development forward.

Doug Bullerman, representing Son-D-Farms, was present at Tuesday’s meeting along with Kim Kimmel, of Magnolia, who owns a farm in close proximity to the proposed site.

Kimmel, who said he was present on the advice of his attorney, is protesting the building of the hog confinement barn in the south half of the northeast quarter of Section 20, Olney Township. He said the barn would be within 800 feet of his door — “way less than one quarter mile.”

Son-D-Farms plans to construct a hog finishing barn with a concrete pit below, an office, load-out chute and generator shed on the site where there is currently no livestock. Bullerman said the site was selected because there is a need for fertilizer on land Son-D-Farms owns in that area.

“We call it a fertilizer plant so we have fertilizer from that area,” Bullerman said.

The proposed barn would be 800 feet outside the wellhead protection area for the city of Adrian, according to Nobles County Environmental Services Director Wayne Smith. He said the manure will be applied to ground within the wellhead protection area, and that the city of Adrian had no concerns with the site plan.

Adrian City Administrator Bruce Heitkamp said that because the barn is outside the city’s wellhead protection area and the drinking water supply management area, and because there are measures in place to protect water resources, the city didn’t have any initial concerns regarding Son-D-Farms’ request.

Kimmel cited several concerns about groundwater contamination, cancer, hog manure burning up soybean crops and the porcine epidemic diarrhea virus in his urging to commissioners to deny the permit application.

“It shall be determined by the Appellate Court if this building is allowed to be constructed,” he said. “There will be a lawsuit in federal court.

“I don’t want that building there,” Kimmel said in closing. “I’ve made my protest. I thank you for your time.”

Bullerman followed up Kimmel’s comments by saying there have been no issues with this size of barn or odors emitted from them, that Son-D-Farms plants corn because it feeds it to the livestock, and that PEDv is “something the government’s got to figure out.”

He explained that the barn will be used for iso-wean pigs, meaning they come into the barn at 10- to 12 pounds and don’t leave until they reach market weight of 270 pounds.

“There’s only two groups that go through these barns in a year,” Bullerman said. “Half the year you’ve got baby pigs in there that don’t provide a lot of manure.”

In contradiction to Kimmel’s statement about the proposed barn’s proximity to his property, Smith said information provided to the planning commission showed the barn would be 1,150 feet from Kimmel’s former home and 1,765 feet from the next nearest residence.

Commissioners accepted the recommendation of the planning commission with one addition to the conditions placed on the permit. That condition includes that a level 2 land application inspection be presented to Nobles County Environmental Services at each feedlot license renewal. A checklist will be provided by environmental services.

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