Letter to the Editor: How Many More Cows, DNR?

Finally, the Department of Natural Resources has recognized that the groundwater under Kewaunee County is contaminated and owners of private wells need relief. Owners of contaminated wells will now be provided with bottled water. It has taken far too long for the department to realize the connection between excessive manure and contaminated groundwater. But now that they acknowledge the connection perhaps they can answer a simple question that begs to be asked.

It is reported that there are approximately 100,000 cows in Kewaunee County, the majority of which are living on CAFOs. Based upon the criteria the department has used to approve the number of cows on these CAFOs, do they know how many more cows could be allowed in the county? It is a simple question that can put the manure/contaminated groundwater issue in perspective. The number of acres in Kewaunee County that are suitable for the spreading of manure is finite, the amount of manure allowed to be spread on a field is controlled by the department, therefore it should be simple math to come up with the number of additional cows that can be allowed.

Since the department has approved every CAFO expansion requested, I am sure they know exactly what the carrying capacity is in Kewaunee County. Seems like a simple enough question to answer.

Michael Dovichi

Algoma, Wis.

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