Winter 2006

State Revolving Fund Loans Available for Manure Management

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By Gene Tinker, Iowa Department of Natural Resources

CattleLow interest loans are available for purchase of equipment or construction of manure control structures and implementation of management practices that can improve water quality protection for livestock operations. These loans are available through many local banks and the Iowa Agricultural Development Authority. The maximum interest rate is 3 percent and there are no loan fees. 

Almost any kind of equipment or runoff control structure is eligible for funding. The primary purpose of the loan must be to improve water quality protection, which also often results in better use of livestock manure for fertilization of crop production. Currently cattle confinement facilities that also act as manure storage, such as deep bedded barns, are not eligible. Rule changes are being explored that would allow them as replacements for existing open feedlots or to encourage their construction in lieu of new open lots.

One limiting factor is the livestock operation cannot be a Concentrated Animal Feeding Operation or CAFO. These are generally operations that have capacity for 1,000 animal units, such as 1,000 head of feeder cattle or 2,500 head of swine over 55 pounds. There is often confusion in determining if an operation is a CAFO if the operation has both confinement and open feedlot facilities and more than one species, such as swine and beef cattle.

State law combines all operations based on housing type - capacity for all open feedlot operations are combined and capacity for all confinements are combined, but there is no combination of capacity of open feedlots with confinements. The species of animals doesn’t have any impact. This is different from federal law which ignores the housing type, but combines capacity for all facilities used to house the same species of animals. For example, if an operation feeds cattle in a confinement building and open lots, the capacity of the confinement and open lots are combined to determine if the operation is a CAFO under federal law.

If interested in learning more about the Livestock Water Quality Facilities Loan Program, please contact Jeff Ward at the Iowa Agricultural Development Authority at (515) 281-6444.

 

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