116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
Environmental groups spoke out this week against a third attempt to open an 11,600-head cattle feedlot near Monona.
The public meeting Monday was over the nutrient management plan submitted by Supreme Beef, owned by Mike Walz, Dean Walz and Jared Walz.
The men have been trying to open a feedlot on the site since 2017, but the proposal has met ongoing opposition from some neighbors and environmentalists concerned about the 34.5 million gallons a year of manure coming from the feedlot polluting streams and groundwater.
'We have several significant concerns about the (nutrient management plan),” said Mike Schmidt, staff attorney for the Iowa Environmental Council. 'It proposes over-application of manure, makes unfounded assumptions regarding manure nutrient content, does not list conservation practices, and will pose a threat to water quality in the region.”
Steve Veysey, a retired Iowa State University employee and water quality advocate, said the computations used in the plan to show how much manure can safely be applied are inaccurate. He compared it to having 100 jelly beans, separated different ways. In one method, there are 50 beans in two jars. In another, there are 10 beans in 10 jars.
'If someone wants to know how many beans you have, you can't multiply the number of jars from the first scenario with the number of beans from the second scenario,” Veysey said. 'The result is she's claiming four times less nitrogen and six times less phosphorus than actually will be produced” by the manure from the feedlot.
The Supreme Beef nutrient management plan was prepared by Becky Sexton at Twin Lake Environmental Services in Rockwell City.
Jared Walz attended the virtual hearing, but did not speak about the proposal.
He said in a meeting Aug. 31 that people often get stuck on the 'potential pitfalls” of a new business venture rather than the good that can come from it. He said at that time the 11,000 cows will be fed with commodities from Eastern Iowa.
The DNR in October approved Supreme Beef for 2,700 cattle, but the company wants a larger operation.
Iowans with additional written comments about the nutrient management plan may email Kelli Book through Monday at firstname.lastname@example.org. DNR staff will make a decision about the plan by April 2.
Comments: (319) 339-3157; email@example.com