Floyd County Farmer Faces Water Quality Fines From Silage Silos
The Iowa Department of Natural Resources has fined a Charles City farmer as part of a resolution to water quality violations from silage discharge back in December.
Back on December 6th, the DNR received a complaint that the water in a tributary of the Little Cedar River in rural Charles City was discolored. DNR field office personnel followed the tributary upstream until they were able to trace high ammonia levels coming from a small animal feeding operation owned by Benjamin Martin.
The operation houses 48 head of dairy cattle as well as has three silage storage silos.
When the DNR personnel first started investigating the operation, they were unsure where the ammonia was coming from. They started by looking at the house to see if the discharge was from its septic system.
The DNR found that the ammonia was being released into the waterways through one of the property’s tiles. Upon returning to the operation days later, Martin showed the personnel where the tile ran, which happened to be one that drained two of the storage silos.
In January, the DNR issued Martin a Notice of Violation Letter for the violations they observed during the investigation of his operation. At the time, the letter said there would be further evaluation and enforcement on the issue.
In June, Martin was given orders from the DNR to address the violations. These orders included submitting a written plan to the DNR about how the silage runoff will be managed and paying a $3,000 fine. Both orders must be completed within 30 days.