A manure run-off incident in Southern Door County last month is providing a teaching moment for farmers. Days before a manure application at a farm field in Kolberg took place, Dairy Dreams owner Don Niles and other team members consulted with the Door County Soil and Water Conservation Department on its plan. As a result, the county suggested at least three improvements be made before the application took place. The Casco-based farm was monitoring the site when warmer temperatures caused run-off to occur. As a result, farm workers closed up culverts to prevent water flow, contacted the Department of Natural Resources, and began pumping operations that would last more than a day to clean up. Niles says the incident was unfortunate but provided an important lesson in being proactive on the front and back ends of a job.
County officials alerted nearby neighbors of the run-off incident via the mail on December 23rd, a process some have said to be too slow given the situation. Door County Administrator Ken Pabich says they usually do not send letters until complaints of bad-smelling or discolored water are filed.