October 27, 2019
Manure madness continues here in the tributaries to the Western Lake Erie Basin, interrupted only by heavy rains. Under the rules of Michigan’s NPDES CAFO permit (similar to Ohio’s CAFF permit), and the guidelines in Michigan’s Right-to-Farm GAAMPs for non-permitted livestock farms, manure is not to be spread within 24 hours of a 70% chance of a 1/2″ or greater rainfall. Those conditions were present on Friday, October 25, in the National Weather Service prediction for Saturday, Oct. 26. Despite this rule, several farms were applying manure anyway. These events have been reported to MDEGLE’s office in Jackson.
Heavy rain did fall, nearly 1 inch in 24 hours, from Oct. 26 to Oct. 27.
ECCSCM was out checking the conditions of our fields (sad) and water (bigly sad). Manure slathered everywhere on harvested corn and soy bean fields. We saw tractors and pumps all set to go at the lagoons, hooked up to the draglines that pipe liquid manure sometimes miles away to be applied on fields. Fields are so saturated, there’s so much ponding, so much runoff, the ditches are filling up and the tiles are nearly full. The crops aren’t even out of the fields yet; the lagoons and stockpiles are still full and these farms have to have 6 months’ worth of storage on site at some point between Nov. 1 and Dec. 15. What happens next?
The Nightmare on Forrister Road continues … Van Brunt’s CAFO Con-Post pile’s still there. Violation notice said they were to have all problems fixed by Dec. 1, 2019. So far – no impervious pad, runoff still coming from (even bigger) piles and ponding around standpipe to groundwater/Hazen Creek/South Branch/Raisin watershed.
Hartland Farms, manure dragline from lagoon lying in ponded water, Beecher Rd., east of Hughes Hwy. (Bear Cr./Raisin)
Hartland field, after liquid manure application from dragline on corn stubble, east of Hughes Hwy. north of M34 (Bear Cr./Raisin)
Hudson Dairy liquid manure dragline from dump box setup, M34 west of Kelso Rd. (Bean/Tiffin/Maumee)
The photo above, the one below, and the Stench Alert from Oct. 23 are all part of a multiple-day Hudson Dairy liquid manure application covering a large area in eastern Hillsdale County. All in the Bean/Tiffin/Maumee watershed.
Hudson Dairy liquid manure dragline from dump box setup, M34 west of Nye Rd. (still there, from Oct. 23)