Shelby County Supervisors approve hog confinement permit application

Ag/Outdoor, News

May 21st, 2013 by Ric Hanson

Officials in ShelbyCountyheard from concerned citizens during a regularly scheduled Shelby County Supervisors meeting this (Tuesday) morning. The residents voiced their concerns over the proposed construction of hog confinement facility. Under the proposal by John Arkfeld, of Arkfeld Pork, construction would take place at the intersection of Mulberry and 2400th Street.CountyOfficials along with the Iowa Department of Natural Resources went through the process by first announcing the proposal through a public notice and then had an on-site inspection last Tuesday. Following the inspection, the DNR andShelbyCounty officials went on to go through the process of the MasterMatrix. There are many items on the MasterMatrix and is scored on a points system. The area of land designated for the construction of the hog confinement was approved with a score of 465. The score to pass is 440. However, neighboring citizens are concerned about water usage for the hogs along with water quality and smell.

Shelby County Auditor Marsha Carter received 4 written comments with the first being a petition against the construction. The petition was signed by 10 residents in the area. Tim Graeve, another resident, wrote a letter to the county in favor of the construction, with a few considerations pertaining to an adjustment in where the site was at, and road upgrades. Following the written comments, several people spoke about their concerns over the construction of the hog confinement. 

The proposed hog confinement would hold around 10,000 head of hogs. Other concerns discussed by those in attendance were manure being transported in the area, dust on the roads and more well issues. After the issues from residents at the Supervisors meeting, John Arkfeld, one of the proprietors for the hog confinement being discussed, offered a response to the concerns. He said “One of the concerns is the water and I get that. This is a 9,600 unit but when the pigs are fat there will only be 7,200. With the finished head space they say you use 1 to 1.2 gallons of water a day. Farrowing units use 4 to 9 gallons per head per day. So if you look at the farrowing units and there are 2,000 sows, 4 to 9 gallons, which is almost twice as much water as I will use. I don’t think that should be an issue.” Arkfeld said should have been in better contact with the residents in the area before the notice went to the general public and apologized for that. Supervisor Steve Kenkel was next to speak.  He said he’s talked to the DNR about the role supervisor’s play in the process, and that is to approve the Matrix system based on a points system. The rating, along with comments made will be forwarded to the DNR, who has the final say on approving or not, the permit.

The Supervisors approved the MasterMatrix for Arkfeld Pork, because they said, it met the state required points.  

(Joel McCall/KNOD)