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Open house set Tuesday on 5,200-cow-farm proposal

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ANN MARIE AMES
December 6, 2010
— If you've been curious about the possibility of a new, 5,200-cow dairy farm east of Janesville, Tuesday is your chance to learn more.

Nebraska dairy producer Todd Tuls will host an open house to give members of the public a chance to learn about his proposal. Tuls milks 10,000 cows on two farms in eastern Nebraska.


He wants to spend $35 million to build a farm on a 160-acre parcel at the intersection of Highway 14 and Scharine Road in Bradford Township. The site is about eight miles east of the Janesville city limits and 12 miles west of the Walworth County line.


The facility would include six freestall barns, each more than 300 yards long. It also would include four manure-storage lagoons that could hold 80 million gallons of waste.


Tuls has signed contracts with local property owners to apply the waste created by his cows to farm fields.


The manure could be spread on the field in solid form or injected into the soil in liquid form.


Tuls also is applying to pump wastewater from the lagoons onto growing crops through center-pivot irrigators.


This method of applying waste is common in western states, although it is not common in Wisconsin.


The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources has not approved Tuls' application. Nor has the town of Bradford.


Tuls must apply for many permits from the state, the town and Rock County. The two biggest permits he needs are a town of Bradford conditional-use permit and a permit from the state to discharge wastewater. Both are needed because of the large number of animals proposed for the site.


Tuls plans to break ground in March.


IF YOU GO
What: Informational open house about the proposed Rock Prairie Dairy
When: 5-7 p.m. Tuesday
Where: Bradford Town Hall, at the intersection of Bradford Town Hall Road and Carvers Rock Road.
Details: Nebraska dairy farmer Todd Tuls has filed local and state applications to build a 5,200-cow dairy on Highway 14 at Scharine Road in Bradford Township.

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