Iowa House backs new rules for downsizing barns

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — The Iowa House has backed a bill making it easier for livestock producers to downsize, and the measure now goes to Gov. Terry Branstad.

In an 85 to 14 vote Tuesday, the House approved the bill that would allow livestock producers to close barns and be reclassified as small operations. Then they would no longer need to file plans for manure disposal with the state.

Critics say the measure could allow farms to avoid environmental oversight. Supporters say the bill will help farmers who want to temporarily shutter some operations.

The proposal was amended in the Senate to require producers who want to store manure in idled barns to seek permission. The House voted on the measure for a second time to endorse the amendment and send it to Branstad.

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