June 10 2020 01:01 PM

Some dairy farmers have been asked by their dairy processor to dispose of, or dump, milk as a result of disruptions in the milk processing chain. This milk often ends up in manure storage structures and is eventually land-applied.

In Wisconsin, the Department of Agriculture, Trade, and Consumer Protection (DATCP) and the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) offered the following to assist dairy farmers during this emergency:

For permitted CAFOs, on a case-by-case basis, DNR can reduce the number of days required for public comment for modifications to a nutrient management plan (NMP), such as adding fields, which will allow CAFOs flexibility to quickly change their land application plans if necessary.

For non-permitted farms, DATCP staff will assist with updating NMPs at no cost. If staff are not able to assist directly, DATCP will determine how to get help with updates to NMPs and the best way to assist with any cost.

For non-permitted farms, the Governor’s Emergency Order No. 17 suspends the requirement in NR 151.07 to comply with a NMP during the emergency if a farmer demonstrates to the DNR that they do not have sufficient available storage capacity for unused milk and cannot comply with their current NMP when land-applying the milk.

The agencies did indicate that these emergency actions should not cause an unpermitted discharge of pollutants to waters of the state. More information about land-applying milk can be found on page 9.

This article appeared in the May 2020 issue of Journal of Nutrient Management on page 4.
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