|Many years ago, the trend was toward huge yards with 20,000 50,000-head capacities with little thought given to the impact these operations may have on the environment. While their size is impressive, over the years, all of us have come to realize there are numerous drawbacks to these gigantic lots.
Today, in part because of increased public awareness and pressure, the movement is away from those big yards toward smaller, more environmentally responsible feedlots.
Silver Creek Feeders is a 3,000-head capacity feedyard that provides you the technologies of the large yards while protecting the environment.
We have begun construction has begun on our 1,200 head expansion. The addition is located just north of our existing feedlot, and will have 14 pens with a capacity of 80 head per pen. We believe this pen size better addresses the needs of our cow/calf operators, and allows us the opportunity to sort the cattle by weight and/or gender into similar groups at arrival. The facility will be the first in the state of Iowa to be permitted using a Non-Basin/Lagoon Technology System for manure run-off control, as required by the final AFO/CAFO rules released by the EPA in 2000. Our customers will benefit from our use of the Non-Basin Technology because of the significantly lower construction and maintenance costs associated with these systems.
A great deal of forethought was put into the design of our yard. Long before government regulations, our ancestors sought to achieve maximum advantage from the region while protecting our natural resources. Unlike the dry High Plains region, we have sufficient precipitation to guarantee a plentiful supply of pure drinking water for your cattle. The slight slope of the Loess Hills provides excellent drainage and keeps the pens clean and dry year-round. Because of our southeastern exposure, we have reduced solar exposure in the afternoon and, partnered with evergreen windbreaks, as a shield against winter winds. The wastes generated are recycled into an economical and natural fertilizer used by area grain farmers.
Silver Creek Feeders is currently one of only four sites in the state of Iowa enrolled in the EPA319 Program. The EPA319 Program is a voluntary, four-year program that allows for collection and study of groundwater surrounding feedlot operations. The program is funded by the Environmental Protection Agency, administered by the Iowa Department of Natural Resources and executed by the Iowa Geological Survey Bureau.
Leading the Way
Silver Creek Feeders has a solid reputation for putting into use many new and innovative practices. Our small size allows us to implement the newest technologies more quickly and effectively than the large yards.
Several years ago, Silver Creek Feeders was one of the first feedlots in the country to utilize ultrasound in beef cattle production. Likewise, we were one of the first feedlots to take advantage of the benefits of electronic identification tags.
From pre-shipment to harvest, our advanced computer and record-keeping systems will provide you with completely detailed, itemized, accurate, and timely information necessary to make sound business decisions.