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Is your feedlot registered?

The following information was provided by the Todd County Soil and Water Conservation District.

SWCD technicians will be assisting landowners and the Todd County Feedlot Program in acquiring farm site registrations in Todd County throughout the months of November and December.

An ongoing aerial survey of Todd County feedlots has occurred throughout 2017 in a process to ensure all farms sites requiring feedlot registration by the county and State MN 7020 rules have done so.

Livestock sites with 10 or more animal units are typically required to register here in Todd County. The state requires that all farms with 50 or more animal units and/or having the ability to confine livestock (whether in a barn or a continuous feeding area) or the ability to store manure from livestock must register.

In shoreland areas, the livestock equivalence reduces to 10 animal units with shoreland being defined as land within 1,000 feet of any lake or 300 feet from public waterways such as streams and creeks.

The last feedlot survey, done by road travel, was completed in 2001. Since then, there has been an increase in smaller farms throughout the county, mainly beef or goat farms less than 100 animal units that haven't registered as well as farms who have sold out but have retained manure pits on site.

The feedlot registration here in Todd County protects landowners in many ways. One example is if a zoning change occurs. Currently, parcels zoned in shoreland or residential areas cannot have livestock, including horses, on site unless it is strictly for a summer grazing situation. Residents are often shocked to discover what appears to be rural properties zoned as residential. However, a feedlot registration can protect that parcel with the right to maintain livestock. This is attractive for many home buyers as well who may want to raise horses or their own beef and poultry.

For larger farms, well locations are "grandfathered" in from the current 100-foot well setback for lots or barns as required in MN 7020.2005. For shallow wells, this setback increases to 200 feet — well beyond the Department of Health's requirement of a 50 and 100 foot setback, respectively.

Of course, the original intent behind the registration is to record where livestock are located throughout the county for water quality assessment and biosecurity reasons, such as a disease epidemic amongst specific types of livestock. Sites with more than 50 animal units are subject to inspection with the landowner being informed in advance of any such inspection occurring by the county feedlot officer.

Those farms falling under feedlot definition by state could potentially go into state violation if they are unwilling to register. This involves notification to and involvement of the state level MPCA. Todd County is hoping to maintain voluntary compliance through local efforts.

Technicians will conduct door to door site visits to talk with landowners who haven't yet registered to discuss the importance and value of feedlot registration. Every site is unique and while some may not fall under the registration requirement, the majority of farm sites in Todd County do. The technicians are not inspecting your property. They are providing valued information for you as a service to Todd County citizens regarding the value in or requirement of registering your farm. Please feel free to ask questions about other programs, as well. Call 320-732-2644.

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