WIUM Tristates Public Radio

South Morgan Acres Permit is Approved

May 30, 2012

The Illinois Department of Agriculture has approved the permit for South Morgan Acres to be built in the northwest part of McDonough County.

The farm will be the home for up to 18,000 hogs. About 6,000 would be adults. The rest would be suckling pigs, many weighing less than 15 pounds.

Barbara Adams and her husband live less than 3,000 feet from the site. She says they already have one large hog farm about a mile away. She opposed construction of South Morgan Acres. The news the permit was approved made her “sick to her stomach.”

Her husband has heart problems. She worries about odors and windblown particles from the site. They are considering moving from the house they have called home since 1978.

Carthage-based Professional Swine Management will run the day-to-day operation of the farm. Dr. Doug Groth of PSM says the design will prevent the farm bothering those who live nearby.

He says, “The location we've picked there is very suitable with very good tree cover around the facility and that helps block prevailing winds and helps control odor dispersement.”

Groth also says the manure pits will prevent groundwater contamination.

He says, “They're reinforced concrete with water-stops built into them. A very sound design, very well-proven to be a good structure for manure containment.”

Barbara Adams is still worried about contamination. She gets drinking water from a well. She says the location of the farm on a hill means any run-off would drain into the watershed.

She says, “The thing's going to be right over the top of the LaMoine River. If they've got a problem, a lot of people are going to have problems besides me.”

Groth says site preparation will begin next month. Construction should be completed in seven to 10 months.