eManure Management Plans
Animal Feeding Operations (AFO) and Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations (CAFO) are required to submit an annual manure management plan (MMP). Annually, 7,000 MMPs were submitted on paper, delivered to each county where manure was applied, then submitted to the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) for review and approval. What worked well in 2006 for 2,200 farmers and 6 DNR staff was totally inadequate to address the increasing number of plan submittals and public requests for better access to data. While the plans submitted more than tripled, staff did not, straining capabilities of state and counties and leaving a pile of paper behind.
Designing an electronic version of the MMP had to balance the diverse backgrounds and competing interests of a single farmer with one plan or a consultant who submits more than 1,000 plans annually. DNR identified the best way meet all stakeholder needs by starting with a Lean Process improvement event with more than 100 stakeholders investing more than 480 hours to map the new process and reaching consensus to tackle Manure Management Plan (MMP) short form submittals.
In March of 2018, DNR rolled out electronic Manure Management Plan (eMMP) the online submittal option. The eMMP application supports quality data, eliminates duplicative data entry for subsequent plans, reminds farmers of due dates and notifies counties after plans are successfully submitted. Accessible from home, office or smart phone, users submitted 94 plans, in the first two weeks.
- Farmers and consultants have reduced the time it takes to submit a plan from approximately 60 minutes per plan to less than 10.
- Using the Bureau of Labor Statistics income information from 2011 for farmers this represents a savings of $27.00/filing or $189,000/year.
- The eMMP submission process also dramatically reduces miles driven to county offices by at least 175,000 which represents a $95,000 savings to the farming community in Iowa.