Water Protection Program

Animal Feeding Operation versus Concentrated Animal Feeding Operation

An operation is defined as an animal feeding operation, or AFO, if the facility confines, stables, or feeds animals for 45 days or more in a 12-month period and a ground cover of vegetation is not sustained over at least 50 percent of the confinement area.

An operation is defined as a concentrated animal feeding operation, or CAFO, if it meets the definition of an animal feeding operation (above) and also confines more than 1,000 animal units (1,000 animal units is equal to 2,500 swine; 100,000 broilers; 700 dairy cows; or 1,000 beef steers).

An operation’s "class size" is a category that is based upon the total number of animal units confined at an operation. The Class IC, IB and IA are categories that start at 1,000, 3,000 and 7,000 animal units respectively, and are required by state regulation to obtain a permit.

Class II operations confine less than 1,000 animal units and, by definition, are only an animal feeding operation. Class II operations are not required to have a permit, although many voluntarily obtain one anyway. The department can also require a Class II operation to obtain a permit when an unauthorized discharge has occurred or when a discharge results in a violation of water quality standards. The class II operations that appear on these maps include only those that are currently permitted and do not represent the total state-wide count of all Class II operations in Missouri. The department does not track nor have records of non-permitted Class II operations.


Animal Feeding Operation Map

Map of AFO sites in Missouri.