Researchers at Iowa State University, the Iowa Department of Agriculture, and the Iowa Department of Natural Resources are proposing a more than $22 million, five-year program to fight livestock odors. DNR Director Richard Leopold says the issue of farm odors is something Iowans have been dealing with for decades. He believes the plan presented to a legislative committee Wednesday will address many of the concerns Iowans have with large livestock operations.
"I think we have a proposal here that’s going to move us quickly into a direction to mitigate some of the odor concerns we have across the state," Leopold told Radio Iowa after his meeting with lawmakers. Under the plan, up to 300 livestock facilities in the state would incorporate bio-filters, animal diet manipulation, covers for landfills, vegetative buffers, and other technology to minimize odors.
"We know some things that work," Leopold says, "and we need to get those out in a big way. We’ve got some pilot projects, we’ve been learning, doing research for years…it’s time for some more widespread adoption of practices." The livestock operations would pay for a portion of the improvements, with the price depending on the effectiveness of the technology.
So-called "tier one" technologies are considered the "proven and most effective" tools.Leopold says "tier two" technologies are those that are showing promise in fighting livestock odors, but need more research. An interim legislative committee on livestock odors approved the proposal Wednesday, sending it to the full legislature for consideration during the 2008 session.