Janesville59°

Are water woes waning?

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GINA R. HEINE
December 19, 2007
— Preliminary tests results on water samples taken last month at Larson Acres show hope for improved water quality, town of Magnolia lawyer Glenn Reynolds said.

The town has received the results only from a conductivity test, indicating the farm has reduced manure use along the tile lines. Those results were dramatically less than previous test results at Larson Acres, Reynolds said.


Town officials hope that test results expected in a couple weeks also will show less nitrates, he said.


Rock County Judge James Welker on Nov. 30 gave the town permission to take samples from the tile lines and the well on the Larson farm on County B. The samples were taken later that day.


The preliminary results show what Larson Acres expected, Ed Larson said, because the farm has spread less manure and is using a different application method.


Instead of burying the fertilizer 4 to 6 inches deep in 40-inch spans like last year, this fall the farm started working it into the top of the soil and to about 3 inches deep, Larson said.


The state Department of Natural Resources suggested the method, Larson said. Because of new state laws, farms must spread less nitrogen as well, he said.


Final test results are expected in a couple weeks.


The town and farm were back in court Tuesday, and Welker denied a motion from Larson Acres to dismiss an appeal of a state decision regarding a permit for one of the farmís barns.


The town of Magnolia and a group of citizens have filed an appeal of the state Livestock Siting Review Board decision in July. State boardís decision overturned several conditions that the town had imposed as part of a conditional-use permit for Larson Acres.


The permit is to house up to 1,500 heifers in a barn on County B.


In its motion to dismiss the appeal, Larson Acres claimed the plaintiffs filed their appeal too early. Welker dismissed the motion, saying the state review board did not follow proper procedures to notify parties of its decision and of the process to appeal.



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