In the interest of efficiency, the DNR is looking for innovative ways to cut costs, so that vital services with an environmental benefit can be maintained.

Consequently, the DNR will no longer send reminder letters to 5,590 livestock and poul- try producers who must submit annual manure management plan updates to the agency.

“We have developed some alternative ways for producers to receive this information,” said Ken Hessenius, supervisor of the Spencer DNR field office. “Time was a big part of this decision. We would rather spend our staff time providing technical assistance and emergency response.

“While we would like to continue notifying producers, we’re confident that most Iowa producers are familiar with the MMP requirements, including the need to update their manure management plan annually with the DNR,” said Hessenius.

Like driver’s licenses, the updates are due on a staggered basis each month throughout the year.

Each facility will be notified of their annual due date through a final letter, which DNR field offices started sending out in March.

However, Hessenius says producers should not respond to the letter by sending in their updates immediately. “It’s important to wait until shortly before the month that it is due, because annual updates need to include changes in the plan up to the due date.”

Producers will also be able to check the DNR Web site at: www.iowadnr.gov/afo/ mmp_dates.html if they forget their due date. By early summer, producers will be able to access an online database that will include information about their facility and the due dates.

Since 2002 when a change in state law required the annual updates, the DNR has routinely sent a courtesy reminder letter to each facility 45 days before the update is due.

Hessenius estimates the DNR will save nearly 1,000 hours by no longer sending the reminders. “Time spent for data analysis and processing the letters, along with money spent on printing and mailing can be better used to help producers protect water quality,” he said.

Source: Iowa DNR

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