Environmental Issues are Uncommon on Illinois Livestock Farms

Truth #1

Truth 1“We were scrutinized by IDOA during the construction process and had to meet stringent NRCS engineering requirements for the new barns. This ensured that we met high environmental standards, and built better barns for the cows and the people caring for them. The barns will allow us to better utilize the nutrients in the manure as fertilizer for our crops. It’s a very sustainable and environmentally friendly system.”

– Rick Dean

In Illinois, the combination of existing, robust regulations, ongoing industry educational efforts and farmer investment have significantly improved the environmental performance of today’s livestock farmers over the past several decades. Due to these factors, there are minimal environmental issues that occur on livestock farms throughout the state.

Did you know?

  • Fig1Livestock farmers face multiple layers of regulations with which to comply with in Illinois.
  • Existing state laws and regulations, such as the Illinois Department of Agriculture’s (IDOA’s) Livestock Management Facilities Act (LMFA) and the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency’s (IEPA) livestock rules, are working.
    • Between 1997 and 2017, IDOA received an evaluated almost 2,300 Notices of Intent to Construct for proposed new or expanding livestock farms. The overwhelming majority of those were not controversial.
    • Fig3The number of complaints submitted to the IEPA regarding livestock farms has been trending downward and was at an all-time low in 2017.
  • Since January 2017, the Illinois’ livestock industry has distributed more than 6,000 resource guides to help farmers understand how the updated IEPA rules apply to farms. The Illinois livestock industry is committed to continuing and expanding its education efforts into the future.
  • Fig8Illinois livestock farmers voluntarily invest in their own environmental performance. In 2017 alone, Illinois livestock farmers combined their own funding with United States Department of Agriculture (USDA)-Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) funding to total approximately $10 million in environmental improvements. Types of projects funded included manure storage facilities, roofs and cover for feedlots, facilities to manage animal mortalities, and the development of Comprehensive Nutrient Management Plans.