CAFO Plans

Beginning July 1, 1999 livestock farms in New York State are required to be covered by the General State Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (SPDES) Permit for Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations (CAFO) s.  Farms that meet the requirements to be a CAFO are required to file with The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation a Notice of Intent before January 1, 2000.  Farms that become a CAFO after that date are required to file a NOI 30 days before commencing operations.

A major requirement of the permit is to develop and implement an Agricultural Waste Management Plan that guides the operation of the CAFO under the permit.  The plan must be developed according to the NRCS practice standard “Waste Management System No. 312-NY” to properly manage liquid and solid waste, including runoff from concentrated areas.  The plan must be certified by a qualified Agricultural Environmental Management (AEM) Planner.

In practice the requirement to prepare a plan can be seen as another encumbrance on a farm business, or an opportunity to become a better steward of the land, to become a more environmentally friendly business, and to become a better managed farming operation.  All of these are possible with a properly developed and implemented Agricultural Waste Management Plan popularly called a “CAFO Plan.”

A CAFO Plan is a comprehensive plan covering most areas of operations on a livestock farm.  From dairy facilities to fields it addresses water runoff and conservation practices.  From feeding to manure handling and use, it addresses nutrient generation and utilization.  The plan determines what needs to be done, how it will be done, and he documentation to assure that it was done.  A CAFO Plan is a working document that must be kept current with changes in the farming operation and with each years cropping operations.  One plan does not fit all farms; it must be developed and planned for each individual farm business.

It is with this background that ConsulAgr. Inc. brings to New York’s farming a unique set of experiences.  We have a rich background of hands on farming experience.  We have over 35 years of professional consulting with a wide cross section of Northeast farmers.  We have strong background in the disciplines involved with both academic and continuing education training.  We are experienced in preparing comprehensive plans for many different kinds of projects.  Through professional affiliations we subscribe to and support a high level of professional standards and ethics.  We have an extensive network system with other professionals, organizations, and special people.

We view the process of developing a CAFO Plan to be a problem solving process.  We work with the farm’s management team to identify the issues that need to be addressed and to find the solutions that meet both the farms needs and that meet the requirements of the planning standards.

We have developed a protocol for developing and organizing the CAFO Plan so it will be a working management plan for the cropping program and the livestock operations.  The implementation of the required facility improvements or changes is scheduled to be workable within the farm’s resources and operations.  Finding creative solutions is an important aspect of the planning process.

Our goal is to bring to the farm an attitude and experience that will result in an improved business that meets today’s regulations and requirements, and to do it in an efficient and professional manner.

 
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