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DNR closes door on Kinnard Farms expansion

You will not see any additional cows come to Kinnard Farms in Casco in the near future. On Friday, the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources announced that it had modified a wastewater discharge permit for Kinnard Farms to limit the dairy operation to 11,369 animal units, which is the equivalent of approximately 8,000 cows. That is about how many cows the farm cares for currently and is 1,500 less than what it proposed through the permitting process in November 2017. The draft version, which was subject to criticism earlier this year, was based on the farm’s manure pit storage capacity and the amount of land it operates. According to permit documents, Kinnard Farms planned on generating two million fewer gallons of manure than it did in 2017 while also operating on approximately 5,000 additional acres. The modified permit also strengthens groundwater monitoring requirements for spreading manure on fields near the facility. According to the Midwest Environmental Advocates, the new requirements are due to groundwater contamination already detected by monitoring wells installed around the production facility. Plans for the groundwater monitoring systems are due back to the DNR by May 25th. Kewaunee County residents like Nancy Utesch and Jodi Parins cheered the decision, crediting others for speaking up and voicing their concerns to the DNR. Lee Kinnard could not be reached to talk about the most recent DNR decision but had previously said there were no plans to expand their herd.

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