Livestock businesses seeking to expand

Farm Forum

MITCHELL – Two South Dakota livestock businesses are looking to expand their operations.

The state Department of Environment and Natural Resources has received separate applications from Mitchell Livestock Auction and Moke Swine.

Mitchell Livestock Auction, which has 55 employees, applied for a permit to add a holding pond at its location just east of the intersection of East Spruce Street and Highway 37 near Mitchell. Moke Swine hopes to build a barn six miles west and one mile north of Ethan.

Moke Swine, a family operation, already has 1,500 swine and is looking to add 1,200 more swine. Moke Swine currently has 500 swine weighing less than 55 pounds and 1,000 swine weighing more than 55 pounds. The new barn will be for the 1,200 new swine, weighing more than 55 pounds each. The new barn will be a deep-pit barn that will have at least 270 days of liquid storage capacity for manure management.

Mitchell Livestock’s project will add a second holding pond, consisting of a sedimentary basin with 365 days of storage capacity, for wastewater. The pond is not for future expansion, but to comply with a new regulation with the Department of Environmental Quality.

The manure from both livestock operations will be applied to fields.

Engineers with the DENR said they have not received written comments regarding either permit request. DENR Engineer Neal Konda said DENR tries to process permit requests within 60 days of receiving them, but the timespan could change, depending on whether applications are complete when they are submitted and if DENR receives comments.

“I wouldn’t say it would hold it up,” Konda said, “but we have to address the comments.”

Jason Moke, owner of Moke Swine, said he has heard no opposition to expanding his swine operation.

Final decisions by the DENR on the permits.