Confined cattle feeding expanding in county

A public hearing is scheduled for Monday, May 1, on the application for a construction permit for a cattle confinement on Highway 30 one mile east of Scranton. Eason Feedlots LLC has operated at the site for decades, primarily as an open feedlot.

The county supervisors reviewed the master matrix at their April 24 meeting. The matrix scores 485 points, with 440 points needed for approval.

The company proposes building two deep bedded, deep pack confinement buildings similar to one already on the site. The additional buildings will increase the number of cattle in confinement by 950 head for a total capacity of 1,440. That number is above the threshold requiring Department of Natural Resources approval of the permit.

Eason Feedlots will continue to operate open feedlots at the site, with another 650 head outdoors. Becky Sexton of Twin Lakes Environmental Services told the supervisors the Easons have done additional engineering on the open lots and will have 100 percent containment of manure. “We’re still going to have cows out there in lots. It will still be like pretty Iowa countryside. However, it’s more maintained at this location,” Sexton said.

According to Sexton, cattle in confinement have a better rate of gain because they aren’t stressed by harsh temperatures in the winter and summer.

The master matrix scored 104.75 points for air quality, 106.5 points for water quality, and 273.75 points for community considerations. It includes a closure plan and emergency action plan, items the supervisors have recently requested on the matrices for hog confinements.

The public hearing will be held at 9 am in the board room on the second floor at the courthouse. The master matrix is posted on the Greene County website.


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