As you spread hog manure on cropland, you need to plan ahead. While the nutrients may be great for the crops, they’re not necessarily great for neighbor relations, unless you take some preventative measures. Here are a few pointers from Eldon McAfee, attorney at Beving, Swanson and Forrest, to avoid being a nuisance. He’s also legal counsel for the Iowa Pork Producers Association.

  • Know the neighborhood.
  • Meet the neighbors.
  • Sincerely respond to concerns that neighbors express.
  • Meet and exceed all legal requirements for the area.
  • Design and construct your operation to minimize its impact on the neighborhood.
  • Stay up-to-date on and use new technology and management practices to minimize odor.
  • Inject or incorporate manure.
  • Apply manure as far from concerned neighbors as possible.
  • Avoid manure and mud on roads as much as possible.
  • Notify neighbors before you apply manure to fields.
  • Watch wind, temperature and other weather conditions as you apply manure.
  • Apply manure as few times as possible to minimize impact.
  • If you need more land, consider offering manure to neighbors.
  • Consider ownership of neighboring residences or purchasing and re-selling with nuisance covenants.
  • Keep detailed records.
  • Inform employees about proper neighbor practices and make sure they follow them.
  • Require all manure applicators, input suppliers and livestock haulers to follow proper neighbor practices.
  • Avoid saying or thinking the following: - “Nothing will satisfy those people.” - “If I make changes now, I’ll be admitting there is a problem.”