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Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations

photo of farmBackground - In just the past 20 years, there has been dramatic change in animal agricultural production in Missouri and the United States.  These changes have included a significant increase in the overall size of individual operations, an increase in the number of animals raised per operation and a shift towards raising poultry and certain livestock within production barns.  Concentrated animal feeding operations, frequently referred to as CAFOs, are large animal agricultural facilities that raise a specific number of animals in production barns or confinement pens. 

The development and implementation of technology along with specialized production systems over the years has led to remarkable production efficiencies in raising animals, and has given farmers the capability of achieving precise control and management of animal manure and other farm- based nutrients as a fertilizer source on farm land.

While modern agricultural systems, including CAFOs, can help reduce the overall environmental impact of livestock and poultry production, the increase in animal concentration in barns has led to an increase in the environmental risk on an individual farm.  Each one of these operations will generate a large amount of animal manure that must be managed properly. When this is accomplished, farmers will have a safe, reliable and sustainable fertilizer source for their farming operation.  When it is not, the farm has the potential to negatively impact the state’s water resources. 

Photo of poulty operation

Missouri's CAFO laws and regulations are designed to minimize these risks and are important for the long term protection of the environment.  Laws and regulations are also important to preserve and maintain a strong and profitable agricultural industry for generations to come.  Protecting the environment and the agricultural industry is a shared responsibility and doing so may have a positive impact on the environment, our food supply and local and state economies.

 

Ariel photo of farmCAFO Permitting - At the state level, water quality is protected through the department’s permit application and approval process.  Water pollution construction and operating permits are a requirement for all size and types of CAFOs.  These permits typically have a list of very specific and stringent requirements to follow and operations are expected to keep detailed records of farm related activities and submit them to the state agency for review each year.   In addition, the Missouri Department of Natural Resources has developed stringent state technical standards that CAFOs must follow and relate to the handling and land application of animal manure.

Maps, Publications, Fact Sheets and other information

General Permit Renewals and Meeting Information

Permitting Resources 

CAFO Statutes and Regulations

Weather Related Websites

CAFO Related Websites

 Other Relevant Websites

Permit Applications of Public Interest