Settlements have been reached in court cases stemming from three Kewaunee County manure-spreading incidents last fall, while court documents have been filed in connection with two other cases of liquid manure runoff.
The county filed civil forfeiture suits in all five cases, seeking the maximum $1,000 fine plus court costs for a total of $1,397.50 for violations of the county’s Agricultural Performance Standards Ordinance.
In each case a county conservation specialist, conducting a routine site inspection after manure was spread on farm fields, reported manure-laden water leaving the application site and eventually entering the waters of the state.
El-Na Farms and Dejardin Farms did not contest the fines and agreed to pay $500 in connection with incidents that occurred Sept. 6 and Oct. 11, respectively, court documents say.
Kinnard Farms filed an answer to the suit denying that any manure from an Aug. 7 incident in the town of Ahnapee entered the waters of the state. The farm later agreed to a stipulation in which it denied violating the ordinance but paid a $500 fine to avoid the expenses of further litigation.
Still pending are a case against Dejardin Farms, this one involving a Nov. 20 runoff incident in the town of Red River, and a case against Jaquet’s Hillside Dairy LLC related to an Oct. 28 incident in the town of Luxemburg, both filed since the first of the year.
County and state officials responded to more than a dozen liquid manure runoff incidents this fall as concentrated animal feeding operations scrambled to meet legal requirements to have at least six months of manure storage space in reserve while observing a ban on manure spreading over shallow soil between Jan. 1 and April 15.
The situation was exacerbated by an unusually wet fall. Most of the incidents occurred when heavy rainfall followed spreading.