Number of feedlots increases in 2022

As of the end of 2022 there were 428 feedlots in Pipestone County that were required to be registered, according to the county’s annual feedlot report that was approved by Pipestone County Commissioners on March 14. That’s 12 more feedlots than were reported in 2021.

Nicole Schwebach, a conservationist at the Pipestone County Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD), said the increase was likely due to an increase in the number of animals at some sites. She said that if a producer has 50 or more animal units, or 10 or more in shoreland areas, they must register their site, so sites that added animals might have had to register their sites. She said there was also one new hog facility built in 2022.

The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) requires counties to inspect at least 7 percent of the feedlots in the county each year. Based on that, Pipestone County was required to inspect 31.5 sites in 2022. According to the annual feedlot report, it inspected 34 sites, which is about 7.9 percent.

According to the report, 32 of those were compliance inspections, one was a construction inspection and one was an in-field land application inspection. All of the sites that were inspected were in the county’s priority areas as designated in a work plan agreement with the MPCA. Sites in shoreland, drinking water supply management areas, that have previous violations, that have never been inspected before and with certain numbers of animal units are prioritized under that agreement.

According to the feedlot report, three of the feedlots inspected were found to be non-compliant with nitrogen and phosphorus requirements, and one was non-compliant with water quality discharge standards.
Schwebach said the SWCD works with non-complaint producers to bring them back into compliance and provides them with resources to help them correct whatever issue made them non-compliant.