Feedlots, Agriculture, Weeds & Seeds

2022 Waseca Annual CFO Report

MN Rules Chapter 7020 Animal Feedlots

Feedlot Permits

FSIT Meeting Request Form

General Weed Notice

Minnesota Department of Ag

University of MN Extension

Agricultural Utilization Research Institute

Southern Research & Outreach Center

MN Ag Interpretive Center - Farmamerica

2022 MPCA County Feedlot Financial Report

Feedlot Definitions

Animal Feedlot: A lot, building, or combination of lots and buildings intended for the confined feeding, breeding, raising, or holding of animals and specifically designed as a confinement area in which manure may accumulate, or where the concentration of animals is such that a vegetative cover cannot be maintained within the enclosure. For purposes of these parts, open lots used for the feeding and rearing of poultry are considered animal feedlots. Pastures, animal mortality composting facility and rendering pick-up structures shall not be considered animal feedlots under these parts.

Animal Unit:

A unit of measure used to compare differences in the production of animal manure that employs as a standard the amount of manure produced on a regular basis by a slaughter steer or heifer.

Dairy Cattle
Animal Unit
Mature cow over 1,000 pounds
Mature cow under 1,000 pounds
Beef Cattle

Slaughter steer or stock cow
Feeder cattle or heifer
Cow and calf pair

Over 300 pounds
Between 55 and 300 pounds
Under 55 pounds

Chicken over 5 pounds (dry manure)

County Feedlot Officer:

The County Employee designated by the County Board to receive and process feedlot permits and applications, and identified by the MPCA as the Feedlot Pollution Control Officer.

Environmental Assessment Worksheet (EAW):

A brief document, which is designed to set out the basic facts necessary to determine if an Environmental Impact Statement is required for the project.

Feedlot (new):

 A feedlot constructed at a site where no feedlot existed previously or where pre-existing feedlot has been abandoned or unused for a period of five years.

Manure Storage Area:

An area where feedlot runoff, manure, manure effluent or other diluted animal waste is stored or treated, including but not limited to stockpiles, earthen manure storage basins, and concrete pits, or glass lined storage.


 Areas where grass or other growing plants are used for grazing and where the concentration of animals is such that a vegetative ground cover is maintained during the growing season except in the immediate vicinity of temporary supplemental feeding or watering devices.


Lands transitional between terrestrial and aquatic systems where the water table is usually at or near the surface or the land is covered by shallow water.

Feedlot Site Inspection Team:

The FSIT meets at the building site for any new feedlots or when the animal units at an existing site will increase by two hundred (200) animal units or greater within a two (2) year period. The FSIT provides the owner/operator with written recommendations regarding setback, location, stormwater, runoff, groundwater and odor concerns. These meetings are open to the public, and a notice is mailed to every landowner within 1 mile of the proposed new feedlot or expansion. All recommendations of the FSIT are kept on file and stay with the feedlot, not the owner.


National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System-Animal numbers, not Animal Units, are used to determine if a new or expanding feedlot is a Large CAFO and if it will need an NPDES permit.

Large CAFO:

A Concentrated Animal Feedlot Operation with at least:

  • 2500 swine greater than 55 lbs
  • 10,000 swine less than 55 lbs
  • 1,000 cattle
  • 700 mature dairy cows
  • 55,000 turkeys

Feedlot FAQs

What are the feedlot setbacks?

Feedlot Setbacks in feet

Property line
Public Roads: front centerline of road
Shoreland: river, stream, drainage ditch
Existing feedlot under separate ownership
Residence (other than owner/applicant)
Golf Courses, private or public
Shoreland: Lakes
Incorporated Municipality
Airport (FAA approved)
Private & Public Wells

How much land do I need for a feedlot?

The minimum parcel size for a feedlot is 1 acre. Feedlot owners are not required to own all the land where manure is applied however they must have enough acres available by agreement.

What are the manure application setbacks?

Manure Application Setbacks for Most Common Features

Surface applied
or winter**
<24 hrs or

Lake, Stream*
Drainage Ditches*
Open tile intakes

*Non-winter setbacks may be reduced to 100’ (lakes & perennial streams) or 50’ (wetlands, ditches, & intermittent streams), for grass buffers at least 100’ or 50’ wide.

**NPDES sites: Emergency winter application only.

Manure applications are randomly inspected so be sure to follow these setbacks!

What do I do if I have a spill?

  • Stop the spill, terminate the source and block the spill from entering any surface water or conduit to surface water, such as intakes and road ditches.
  • If you spill any hazardous materials, including petroleum products and manure, you must call the Minnesota Duty Office at 800-422-0795 to avoid extensive penalties.
  • Contain the spill the best you can.

Am I required to compost mortality an how do I do it if I choose?

The trend towards composting has been industry driven because of greater concerns about biosecurity. There is no indication that composting will ever be required by law.

Though there are minimum composting structure requirements, it is mostly defined by how it is managed. Throwing a carcass on a manure stockpile is not composting. Composting requires a minimum amount of management. Covering the carcass, monitoring the compost temperature and moisture, and keeping the right nitrogen/carbon ratio are some of the things that need to managed. Manure can be used as a nitrogen source and straw, wood chips, sawdust, or even dried vegetation can be used for carbon. A structure is not required but compost must be on an impermeable pad. A structure is, however, more practical and effective. A structure would require a zoning permit:

Set backs for compost structures:

  • Residence: 300’
  • Public road (from centerline): 125’
  • Rear/side property line: 40’
  • Other feedlots: 300’

Do I need to keep manure application records?

Feedlots over 100 Animal Units (AU) must keep records for the last three crop years, including

  • When (date manure was applied)
  • Where (Fields by ID)
  • How (surface applied, injected, etc)
  • How much (volume of manure and acres)

Manure from storage areas of 100 AU or more must be tested!

Do I need a Manure Management Plan?

In addition to manure application records, feedlots over 300 AU or over 100 AU that are getting a permit need a manure management plan, including:

  • Anticipated crop rotation
  • Expected yield
  • Manure nutrient test results (N,P,K) & date
  • Soil tests (N, P)

How long does it take to get a feedlot permit?

It depends on the type of permit you are getting which depends on the size of your feedlot. Larger feedlots (NPDES/SDS sites) are permitted by the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency and can take up to 3 months. Smaller feedlots usually take around 3 weeks. A bulk of this time is due to the public notice and public comment period.

Ag Regulation


County Ag Inspector:

The duties of the County Agricultural Inspector (CAI) are to see that all laws and rules dealing with seeds and noxious weeds are carried out within their jurisdiction. They also administer commercial/non-commercial pesticide and manure applicator testing.

Restricted Use Pesticides (RUP):

Pesticides that are not available to the general public. The "Restricted Use" classification restricts a product, or its uses, to use by a certificated pesticide applicator or under the direct supervision of a certified applicator. This means that a license is required to purchase and apply the product. Certification programs are administered by the Minnesota Department of Ag with the County Ag Inspector.

Pesticide Applicators License:

Certification that you have successfully passed the written test or have attended the appropriate workshops and are qualified to apply Restricted Use Pesticides. There are two kinds: Private - when you apply RUPs on your own land, and Commercial - for when you apply RUPs for hire. Each person who applies RUPs must hold a license.

Ag Regulations FAQs

What weeds am I supposed to control?

Minnesota State weed law requires that you control noxious weeds on land that you own or control. The weed lists are now subject to change. They can be found here:  https://www.mda.state.mn.us/plants-insects/minnesota-noxious-weed-list

How long is it to get a permit for an ag structure?

About 2 weeks, assuming you do not need a variance or a conditional use permit.

How do I get my pesticide applicator’s license?

If applying Restricted Use Pesticides on your own land you will need a Private Applicators License. You can get the Private Pesticide Applicator Manual at the Minnesota Extension Service (Waseca County Fairgrounds) or download it from here: https://extension.umn.edu/pesticide-safety-and-certification/private-pesticide-applicators The exam is an open book test and can be taken online.

If you apply restricted use pesticides for hire you will need to take a closed book test. You will first need to get the study guides (https://bookstores.umn.edu/books/pesticide-manuals) then call 835-0652 to schedule a test here at the Waseca County Planning & Zoning Office. It will take about two weeks to get your test results. If you passed the test you will get your card. If you did not pass you will receive a letter stating your score and instructions for re-taking the test

Private or commercial pesticide applicators may keep their certification current by attending workshops or re-testing. https://www.mda.state.mn.us/licensing/licensetypes/pesticideapplicator/recertreqs