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Eight-barn poultry operation gains tentative approval in Madison County

January 19, 2019 GMT

Once again, there was no opposition expressed Thursday for another proposed poultry feeding operation in southern Madison County.

Following a public hearing, the Madison County Joint Planning Commission voted 8-0 to approve the application of K & K Poultry for a poultry feeding operation located about 6 miles west and a half-mile north of Newman Grove. At least six people said they were in favor of it, with nobody opposed.

The permit will next be considered by the Madison County board of commissioners, likely in February.

Shawn Korth of rural Lindsay said he plans to construct eight barns on about 11.5 acres. His father will manage the operation, which will be for broiler chickens.

The land is zoned AG-1, which is designated for the county’s most intensive ag uses.

Similar to other proposals considered by the county, plans are for the chickens to be fed and grown for six weeks, then shipped to market. Manure management will be taken care of over two weeks, with six flocks of chickens arriving, being fed and shipped each year.

It is anticipated that there will be about 380,000 broiler chickens in the barns.

Andy Scholting of Nutrient Advisors in West Point, which has been working with growers through the permitting process, said the site is marked by heavy, deep clay soil.

After the chickens are shipped to market, the manure will be composted and wind-rowed. It will dry, then heat up to kill pathogens.

It will be removed once a year so it can be transported elsewhere to be used as fertilizer on farm fields. Not all of the litter is removed, as it also helps to serve as insulation for the barns during the winter.

Once the litter is spread back out in the barns, it is treated with a product called Poultry Litter Treatment, which binds the ammonia to the litter.

Korth said the chickens will produce enough nitrogen to fertilize 350 acres of corn and enough phosphorous for 2,500 acres.

Between the land that the Korths farm and what some neighboring farmers want for manure, there are more than 2,600 acres available to spread the manure, he said.

Jessica Kolterman of Lincoln Premium Poultry, which is helping to supply chickens for a processing plant being built for Costco in Fremont, said it appears that the processing plant will open after Labor Day.

There are expected to be chickens already available locally to supply the plant, she said.

During earlier visits to the county, Kolterman said that within about a 60-mile radius of Fremont, about 100 to 125 sites would be chosen for barns.