The Iowa Legislature has unanimously approved a plan to reduce livestock odors. The proposal provides incentives to producers to utilize technology available to reduce livestock odors. The five-year proposal, which calls for $22.7 million in funding, was presented to the committee by Iowa Department of Natural Resources Director Richard Leopold, Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey and Iowa State University Dean of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, Wendy Wintersteen.

“Odors associated with livestock facilities has been a divisive issue for far too long in our state. It is time to re-direct our efforts into finding effective, long-term solutions,” said Leopold. “The fact that a bi-partisan committee of Legislators can agree that this proposal offers a significant opportunity for progress on this very difficult issue is definitely a giant step in the right direction,” he added.

The interim committee has directed staff to begin working on language for a bill. The proposal will later be considered by the full Legislature in the upcoming session.

Under the proposal, incentives would be offered to producers to use technologies designed to reduce odors including biofiltration, diet manipulation, manure storage covers and vegetative environmental buffers. Other technologies that could be used include wet scrubbers, biocurtains, ultraviolet light treatment, topical treatments and digesters.

Iowa State University would conduct monitoring and research to measure the effectiveness of different methods on emerging technologies used to reduce odors. Data collected would evaluate variables such as effectiveness, design, costs, and management.

Leopold emphasized that the goal of the project is to put odor reducing technologies at hundreds of livestock facilities around the state. “Making these technologies available to just a few scattered facilities around the state is simply not acceptable. We need to get these technologies in the hands of as many producers and at as many sites as we possibly can,” he added.