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News Brief

Oct. 31, 2017DES MOINES, Iowa |  By: INS

Iowa pork production generates friends and foes

There is no state in the nation that produces more pork than Iowa and production is continuing to grow. But community activists concerned about the industry's impact on the environment are saying "enough." Iowa's largest pork producer, Iowa Select Farms, has filed applications for 19 more factory farms but Jess Mazour with Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement says a moratorium is needed so proper reviews can be completed. She says it's a matter of concern for all Iowans.

Iowa's corn and soybean market has been hit hard by drought and Iowa Select argues that their industry is trying to offset losses felt by grain farmers. Iowa CCI counters that manure and ammonia releases have reached threatening levels that aren't being properly monitored. They're asking that the state's Department of Natural Resources put a 90-day application review process in place for the proposed factory farm expansions.

Mazour says her group's research indicates that the concentration of hog farms in Iowa isn't merely a problem on the horizon, it's a demonstrated problem today.

Iowa Select Farms says it's committed to environmental reporting laws. The Iowa Falls based company also points to its role as a job creator and notes that it provides organic fertilizer to farmers throughout the state in the form of manure.