DNR says Supreme Beef must submit new nutrient management plan

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By Audrey Posten, Times-Register


Supreme Beef, LLC has to submit a new nutrient management plan (NMP) that reflects the current operation of the 11,600-head feedlot near Monona, according to a May 3 letter to owner Jared Walz from the Iowa Department of Natural Resources (DNR).


The letter comes after an April 28 decision by the Polk County District Court to reverse the DNR’s approval of the Supreme Beef NMP. That was in response to a challenge by the Iowa Chapter of the Sierra Club and the Iowa State Council of Trout Unlimited (TU).


Based on the court’s decision, the DNR said the Supreme Beef facility currently does not have an approved NMP for the application of manure from the facility. Supreme Beef must submit a new NMP to the DNR Field Office 1 that addresses deficiencies noted in the court decision. 


The DNR letter listed several specific issues, including manure samples. 


“The previous NMP included representative manure samples from the Upper Iowa Beef facility. The court’s ruling held that use of these samples was incorrect. Since the facility now has actual manure samples from the facility, those samples should be used in the NMP,” the DNR told Supreme Beef.


Also noted were ephemeral gully erosion calculations. The DNR said it used photographs to determine the presence of ephemeral gullies in the previous NMP, but the court held this was an unacceptable manner to calculate. The facility must use the calculations prescribed by the NRCS Iowa Technical Note 25, according to the DNR.


Lastly, the DNR cited missing information.


“The court found that the facility failed to provide information regarding the Storage Structure Operation and Maintenance section of the NMP,” the letter read. “This information must be included.”


Until an NMP has been approved by the DNR, the department said no manure can be removed from the Supreme Beef facility.


Neither the ruling or letter prevent the feedlot from continuing to operate.

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