Proposed chicken farm raises concern in Cerro Gordo County

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Mason City, Iowa (AP) – Residents and officials are uneasy about a proposed farm slated to house 98,000 chickens that will likely be approved with little oversight from Cerro Gordo County.

The Iowa Department of Natural Resources is reviewing a manure management plan for the proposed Wharam Creek Poultry facility.

The farm would be just 2,000 birds shy of requiring regulation for large animal feeding confinements in Iowa. Instead, it faces less strict regulations and less county input.

Among county officials’ concerns is that the application indicates owner Adam Pope doesn’t plan to incorporate the chicken waste into the field surface. Pope says he does plan to work the manure into the ground.

County officials say they fear the odor could affect residents, businesses or public spaces in the area, even if Pope does incorporate the waste.

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