A confinement feeding operation confines animals to areas that are totally roofed. All confinements, including small animal feeding operations (500 or less animal unit capacity), are required to follow state regulations when building or operating a facility. For existing confinement feeding operations, most requirements pertain to manure management and land application. All operations, regardless of size, must at a minimum:
Types of confinement feeding operations:
Based on size and storage type, there are three basic categories of confinement feeding operations. To determine size of operation, fill out DNR form 542-0020, Animals to Animal Units Conversion.
- Permitted - A construction permit is required prior to building, modifying or expanding an operation that uses formed storage if the final animal unit capacity will be 1,000 animal units or more. Large operations must also have an approved manure management plan and use a certified manure applicator to apply manure. Additional requirements may apply as a condition of a construction permit, including those found in the Master Matrix. A construction permit is also required prior to building, modifying or expanding operations that use unformed storage, regardless of size.
- Non-permitted - A construction permit is not required for building, modifying or expanding a confinement feeding operation with a proposed animal unit capacity greater than 500 but less than 1,000 animal units that uses formed storage. However, pre-construction requirements and design standards must be met before construction begins. This size of operation must also have an approved manure management plan and use a certified manure applicator to apply manure.
- Small - Neither a construction permit or a manure management plan are required for small operations, 500 or less animal units, that use formed manure storage, but separation distances requirements apply.
For confinement feeding operations that plan to build a new site, or modify or expand an existing site, see the Construction Requirements page to determine the specific regulations that apply.
Livestock producers who have a combined operation with animals in confinement (totally roofed) and open feedlot (partially roofed or unroofed) facilities face a more complex situation than producers with one type of housing. They may need a National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit required by federal regulations if a discharge would be expected from the facility. The non-discharging open feedlot that is part of a combined operation needs to follow state regulations for open feedlots. The confinement part needs to follow state regulations when operating or building a confinement facility. Combined operations can be confusing, so producers should contact their local DNR field office to ensure correct requirements are followed.