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Hog CAFO proposed in Posey Township

Nearly a half mile into this cornfield along County Road 650-W., south of the property-line fenceat left, Andrew Dora is proposing a Concentrated Animal Feeding Operation to feed hogs.

By DARRELL SMITH - dsmith@newsexaminer.com

A proposed Concentrated Animal Feeding Operation for feeding hogs is being proposed in southwestern Posey Township. Some of the neighbors are not happy.

Andrew Dora of Rush County is proposing to construct two buildings on his family’s property about one-half mile east of County Road 850-W. and one-half mile south of County Road 600-N. It’s on the Rush County line, north and west of Connersville.

He submitted his application to the Indiana Department of Environmental Management March 1 and sent letters to surrounding property owners informing them of the plan. The nearest residence is 1,620 feet to the southwest.

According to the application, the operation will be jointly owned by Andrew Dora and his parents, Michael and Denise Dora, and he will be manager. The Fayette County plat book lists the parents and others as the owner of the property. 

Neighbors had a meeting earlier this week to plan their strategy to oppose the CAFO. Craig Mosburg, who lives near the proposed site, said the neighbors will talk about their strategy later but will will send letters to the Indiana Department of Environmental Management in opposition and then fight the application at the Area Planning Commission level when it comes before that board.

In Dora’s letter to the neighbors, he said the plan is for two buildings, each 277 feet long by 71 feet wide. An entrance lane from County Road 850-W. will be constructed to the proposed site.

Five thousand pigs weighing 12-14 pounds will be delivered to each building and raised to about 45 pounds. At that time, about 2,500 of the hogs from each barn will be moved to a barn on one of the family’s other farms and 2,500 each will be raised to market weight, about 300 pounds. The hogs will drink an average of 1.5 gallons of water a day.

The application indicates the maximum number at the site will be 5,000 of the larger finishing hogs and 5,000 of the smaller animals once the facility is operating as planned.

The barns will be built over concrete manure pits that Dora said are designed to hold more than year’s amount of manure. There will be no open manure lagoon.

He said an additive will be placed into the feed to reduce odor in the pit. Another additive will be put into the pit to reduce odor. Shelterbelts will be planted as well. Those are trees or shrubs planted around the facility to reduce wind and odor from the barns.

Manure will be injected on land owned by the family, he wrote in an email to the Connersville News-Examiner. The amount injected will be based on soil tests and take approximately 150 acres of the family’s total of 3,000 acres, although the application indicates the need for 356.6 acres for manure applications. The manure applications will typically be in the spring and fall and take four to five days per year. Neighbors will be notified before manure applications begin.

The hogs will be owned by JBS USA, which will provide feed and veterinary services. Feed trucks will come to the farm about three times a week. Twice a year, two trucks will bring pigs to the farm and once every 27 weeks, trucks will take market sized-hogs away.

Dora said the expansion will allow him to continue the family tradition of raising hogs. The family has been in the area for six generations.

Those who want to make a comment to IDEM have 33 days from the time of the filing to submit those comments to the department and IDEM must make a decision on whether to allow the farm within 90 days.

If IDEM approves the permit, Dora said he will begin the local approval process at the Area Plan Commission.

According to its website, IDEM regulates design and construction which is more stringent than the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency regulations.

The Indiana State Board of Animal Health regulates disposal of dead animals. Local government can evaluate local effects on property values, public road conditions, ground water usage, traffic and odors.