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  Know the Facts
About Water Quality
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Through Wisconsin statutes and rules, modeled after the Clean Water Act, the DNR regulates WPDES-permitted agricultural activities like Golden Sands Family Farm to protect water quality. The Golden Sands Family Farm has developed a Nutrient Management Plan that clearly outlines how surface and groundwater quality will be protected in the area.

Key Facts

The DNR's Water Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (WPDES) permit, required for large animal operations under the Clean Water Act, mandates zero discharge from the dairy production area to ensure that surface and groundwater impacts do not occur.
The DNR will not issue a WPDES permit without an approved Nutrient Management Plan (NMP) that documents how nutrients will be applied to minimize impacts to surface and groundwater.
Golden Sands Family Farm dairy's Nutrient Management Plan will contain field-specific regulatory requirements, precision agriculture tools and best management practices that are specifically designed to prevent nutrient discharges to surface and groundwater.
The Wysocki family has a proven track record of compliance with its WPDES permit and Nutrient Management Plan at its Central Sands Dairy operations.
The incorporation of Farming Full Circle practices will, over time, increase the carrying capacity for soils which will further protect water quality in the area.
 

Our Groundwater
Monitoring Program

Golden Sands Family Farm is the first dairy farm or vegetable grower in Wisconsin to voluntarily propose to install groundwater monitoring wells at land application fields.
A comprehensive groundwater level and water-quality monitoring plan has been developed for the Golden Sands Family Farm including the Agricultural Crop Fields proposed for conversion from pine plantation.
Sufficient monitoring wells have been proposed to evaluate potential water quality changes along five separate groundwater flows that traverse the converted agricultural fields.
Groundwater monitoring conducted pursuant to the monitoring plan will provide early warning of any potential adverse effects to water quality in neighboring residential wells.
All monitoring wells initially will be sampled monthly for eight months to establish background conditions.  The monitoring wells associated with converted agricultural fields will be sampled every 15 months thereafter.
Water samples collected from the wells will be analyzed for nitrate, nitrite, total organic nitrogen, ammonia, chloride, coliform, total dissolved solids, chemical oxygen demand, pH, specific conductivity and temperature.
The water-quality results from the groundwater monitoring program will be reviewed annually to determine if changes in cultivation practices are needed to reduce the potential for adverse water-quality changes.
Groundwater use will be submitted to the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources annually, as required pursuant to Wis.  Admin. Code Ch. NR 820.

Converted Agricultural Crop Fields Monitoring Wells
The monitoring wells proposed for the converted Agricultural Crop Fields consist of seven monitoring wells screened across the water table and four deeper monitoring wells (piezometers) screened below the New Rome member.
Three of the monitoring wells are located upgradient of the converted agricultural fields and the purpose of these wells is to quantify the quality of groundwater flowing into the fields from upgradient of the project.
Five water-table monitoring wells, and three deeper wells, are located downgradient of the converted agricultural fields and upgradient of clusters of residences to quantify the quality of water flowing beneath these fields.
The monitoring system is spatially configured to provide information on potential changes in groundwater quality from upgradient to downgradient of the converted agricultural fields and to provide data that will serve as a sentinel to potential adverse changes in downgradient residential wells.

Dairy Monitoring Wells

The monitoring plan for the dairy consists of five monitoring wells.
The five monitoring wells proposed for the dairy consist of an upgradient water-table monitoring well, three downgradient water-table monitoring wells and a downgradient deeper monitoring well.  The downgradient monitoring wells are located immediately downgradient of the manure and wastewater storage basins and the feed storage pad.
The monitoring wells associated with the dairy will be constructed within 60 days of completion of construction of the dairy facilities.

Nutrient Management
Planning & Water Quality

A CAFO WPDES permit requires an annual and field-specific Nutrient Management Plan (NMP). Implementation of a NMP helps prevent or minimize manure or other wastewater runoff from fields to surface water or groundwater. Nutrient management planning also ensures applied nutrients meet, but don’t exceed, crop needs.
Nutrient Management Plans may require:
  • Field soil testing reports;
  • Planned or actual rates, methods and timing for manure and process wastewater application;
  • Field soil erosion and phosphorus delivery to surface waters calculations and nutrient credits;
  • Maps showing detailed manure spreading restriction and soils;
  • Manure spreading field-specific reporting procedures; and
  • Detailed plan narratives.
Nutrient Management Plans have strict guidelines that prevent manure or wastewater from being applied:
  • Within 100 feet of a direct conduit to groundwater;
  • Within 100 feet of a private well or non-community system as defined in ch. NR 812; or
  • Within 1,000 feet of a community well as defined in ch. NR 811.
Our NMP accounts for all nutrient sources, commercial fertilizer, manure, organic byproducts, and crop residues to ensure proper utilization and to minimize the risk of impacts to water quality.
The Best Management Practices listed in our NMP are written to prevent pollution in accordance with Wisconsin Administrative Code sec. 243.14(2)(b)(1) – (13) as follows:
  • Manure or process wastewater may not pond on the application site.
  • During dry weather conditions, manure or process wastewater may not run off the application site, nor discharge to waters of the state through subsurface drains.
  • Manure or process wastewater may not cause the fecal contamination of water in a well.
  • Manure or process wastewater may not run off the application site nor discharge to waters of the state through subsurface drains due to precipitation or snowmelt, except if the permittee has complied with all land-application restrictions in this subchapter and the WPDES permit, and the runoff or discharge occurs as a result of a rain event that is equal to or greater than a 25-year, 24-hour rain event.
  • Manure or process wastewater may not be applied to saturated soils.
  • Land application practices shall maximize the use of available nutrients for crop production, prevent delivery of manure and process wastewater to waters of the state, and minimize the loss of nutrients and other contaminants to waters of the state to prevent exceedances of groundwater and surface water quality standards and to prevent impairment of wetland functional values. Practices shall retain land applied manure and process wastewater on the soil where they are applied with minimal movement.
  • Manure or process wastewater may not be applied on areas of a field with a depth to groundwater or bedrock of less than 24 inches.
  • Manure or process wastewater may not be applied within 100 feet of a direct conduit to groundwater.
  • Manure or process wastewater may not be applied within 100 feet of a private well or non-community system as defined in ch. NR 812 or within 1,000 feet of a community well, as defined in ch. NR 811.
  • On a field with soils that are 60 inches thick or less over fractured bedrock, manure or process wastewater may not be applied on frozen ground or where snow is present.
  • Manure or process wastewater may not be applied on fields when snow is actively melting such that water is flowing off the field.
  • Where incorporation of land applied manure is required under NRCS Standard 590, the incorporation shall occur within 48 hours of application.
  • Manure or process wastewater may not be surface applied when precipitation capable of producing runoff is forecast within 24 hours of the time of planned application.

WPDES & Water Quality

The purpose of a CAFO’s Wisconsin Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (WPDES) permit is to protect water quality. 
The Golden Sands Family Farm dairy CAFO WPDES permit will contain numerous restrictions and requirements that the farm must comply with, including, but not limited to:
  • Proper design, construction and operation of structures associated with manure and process wastewater handling at the site;
  • A zero-discharge effluent limitation for the production area;
  • Development and implementation of emergency response and operation, maintenance and monitoring plans;
  • Requirements to contain and properly manage runoff from animal housing, feed storage and manure storage facilities to meet effluent limitations and ground and surface water standards;
  • Daily, weekly, monthly and quarterly inspection requirements for facilities;
  • A requirement to maintain at least 180 days of manure and process wastewater storage on-site;
  • Restrictions on the amount, location, and timing of applications of manure and process wastewater through a Nutrient Management Plan; and
  • Significant recordkeeping and reporting requirements for land application activities.

Farming Full Circle &
Water Quality

The “Farming Full Circle” principles that will be followed at the Golden Sands Family Farm will ensure that nutrient and pesticides losses to groundwater and surface water are significantly reduced relative to those that occur with conventional unregulated agricultural practices that dominate in the Central Sands.
Numerous measures that are not required by law or any nutrient management planning standard, but are part of the Farming Full Circle concept, will be followed to minimize nutrient and pesticide losses.
These measures go far beyond the requirements of conventional NMPs and are consistent with recommendation of the U.S. EPA Science Advisory Board (USEPA, 2011) for management practices to reduce nitrogen leaching to groundwater.
These measures include:
  • Rotate crops from year to year and include crops in the rotation that have minimal nutrient requirements (alfalfa, peas, beans);
  • Minimize fall applications of manure/fertilizers;
  • Maximize multiple in-season application of nutrients such that nutrients are supplied as needed by the crops;
  • Analyze plant tissue from crops frequently during growing season to determine nutrient requirements;
  • Plant fall cover crops for additional nutrient uptake and to minimize wind erosion;
  • Raise crops, to the extent practicable, in which the harvest removes most of the plant matter (silage, alfalfa);
  • Raise crops, to the extent practicable, that are deep rooted (corn and alfalfa);
  • Manage crops for high-yield and uniform stand conditions (single soil type, uniform irrigation application, uniform tillage, uniform nutrient application); and
  • Use manure to increase soil water and nutrient retention capacities and to stimulate microbial activity that increases crop resistance to pathogens and decreases need for pesticides.
A recent study conducted at a research farm operated by Iowa State University indicated that multi-year crop rotation, such as will be practiced by the Golden Sands Family Farm, and the use of animal manure to provide some of the needed nutrients, such as will be practiced, can reduce the amounts of pollutants in groundwater by 200 fold over conventional agricultural practices using inorganic nutrients and no crop rotation (Bittman, 2012; Davis and others, 2012). 
The installation of an anaerobic digester at the Golden Sands Family Farm dairy will eliminate 95% to 98% or more of pathogens found in manure (Saunders and Harrison, 2012)

Farming Full Circle

  Know the Facts
About Water Quantity
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The Golden Sands Family Farm is applying for 37 High Capacity Well Permits for our 4,660 acres of Agricultural Crop Fields to be converted from pine plantation and two High Capacity Wells for our dairy facility.
Key Facts
Before DNR issues permits for the 39 proposed High Capacity Wells, Golden Sands Fmily Farm must demonstrate that the water withdrawals will not have direct and significant adverse impacts to Tenmile Creek, Sevenmile Creek, private wells and other water resources in the area.
The proposed High Capacity Wells are estimated to result in a reduction in net groundwater recharge of two inches per year, but the average annual precipitation in the area will keep the groundwater system sufficiently recharged.
The Golden Sands Family Farm proposal includes both DNR required and DNR approved water conservation and efficiency measures not required for any other farm in Wisconsin.
Based on the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resource’s practice of evaluating impacts to private wells, the Golden Sands Family Farm is not expected to cause significant impacts to nearby private wells.
The incorporation of Farming Full Circle practices will, over time, increase the capacity for soils to store and use water which will decrease the amount of irrigation required.
More Information About
 

Our Water Loss
Approval Permit

The Golden Sands Family Farm Project will be the first agricultural operation in Wisconsin to receive approvals pursuant to the WDNR’s Water Loss statute and rules.
No other Concentrated Animal Feeding Operation or farmer in Wisconsin has been subject to the Water Loss approval process or required to comply with the conservation measures we will be required to implement upon startup.
Before WDNR may approve a Water Loss Application, it must determine the following:
  • No public water rights in navigable waters will be adversely affected.
  • The proposed withdrawal does not conflict with any applicable plan for future uses of the waters of the state.
  • Both the applicant's current water use, if any, and the applicant's proposed plans for withdrawal, transportation, development and use of water resources incorporate reasonable conservation practices.
  • The proposed withdrawal and uses will not have a significant adverse impact on the environment and ecosystem of the Great Lakes basin or the upper Mississippi River basin.
  • The proposed withdrawal and uses are consistent with the protection of public health, safety and welfare and will not be detrimental to the public interest.
  • The proposed withdrawal will not have a significant detrimental effect on the quantity and quality of the waters of the state.
  • Any other conditions, limitations and restrictions that the department determines are necessary to protect the environment and the public health, safety and welfare and to ensure the conservation and proper management of the waters of the state.
  • Any requirements for metering, surveillance and reporting that the department determines are necessary to ensure compliance with other conditions, limitations or restrictions of the approval.
One requirement of a Water Loss approval is to implement significant Conservation Efficiency Measures (CEMs) to ensure efficient water use in accordance with the approval.
For each Water Loss approval, we are committed to implementing the following CEMs:
  • Water-use audits - Each year crops are planted, a water use audit will be performed at the end of the year to evaluate accuracy of the expected water use,
  • Irrigation Scheduling: The Wisconsin Irrigation Scheduling Program (WISP) will be used to schedule irrigation of the Agricultural Crop Fields. WISP is a tool that helps growers maximize the utilization of natural rainfall and minimizes over application. 
  • Target Areas: All irrigators will spray downward, reducing the amount of wind drift that can occur.  Additionally, irrigators will be designed and installed such that little, if any, impervious surfaces or non-target areas receive water. 
  • Leak detection and repair protocols will be implemented in accordance with approved CEMs.
  • Source measurement: Each well will be equipped with monitoring capabilities.  During the growing season, crops and soil moisture will be continuously evaluated for the need for water, which varies by crop and soil conditions, and irrigation will occur only as needed.  Data will be evaluated monthly, and efforts will be made to identify opportunities to improve water use efficiency.
  • Drift reduction measures will be implemented for irrigation.
  • Water reuse measures will be implemented at the dairy.
In addition, our dairy has been designed to ensure integrated water management practices are employed, that high infiltration areas are planted with low-water use grasses and that stormwater collection basins will facilitate infiltration of precipitation back to the aquifer. 

Our Water Use Best
Management Practices

Through this process we have incorporated Best Management Practicess, as appropriate, like:
  • Computerized irrigation system pivots that can be remotely monitored to prevent overwatering.
  • Variable speed drives added to irrigators allowing the farm to vary the application rate to meet the crop need.
  • Soil moisture probes can be used to help determine if a field needs to be irrigated
  • Implementing low pressure irrigation systems increases the size of the water droplets applied to the crop, placing them closer to the developing crop.
  • Evapotranspiration losses from the crops are measured daily allowing irrigation personnel to replace the exact amount of water lost.
  • Professional meteorologists’ short-range local forecasts are consulted to reduce the amount of irrigation water needed.
  • Telemetry, including readings from wind meters and rain gauges mounted on the pivot, is used to remotely monitor and control each irrigation system.

Farming Full Circle

  Know the Facts
About Groundwater Monitoring
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Golden Sands Family Farm is the first dairy farm or vegetable grower in Wisconsin to voluntarily propose to install groundwater monitoring wells at land-application fields. Monitoring wells are also proposed for the dairy production area.
Key Facts
A comprehensive groundwater level and water-quality monitoring plan has been developed for the Golden Sands Family Farm.
Sufficient monitoring wells have been proposed to evaluate potential water quality changes along five separate groundwater flows that traverse the agricultural fields proposed for conversion from pine plantation.
Groundwater monitoring conducted pursuant to the monitoring plan will provide early warning of any potential adverse effects to water quality in neighboring residential wells.
The monitoring plan consists of 11 monitoring wells for agricultural fields proposed for conversion from pine plantation and five monitoring wells for the dairy.
More Information On...
 

Groundwater Monitoring at
Our Agricultural Field Crops

The monitoring wells proposed for the converted agricultural fields consist of seven monitoring wells screened across the water table and four deeper monitoring wells (piezometers) screened below the New Rome member.
Three of the monitoring wells will be located upgradient of the converted agricultural fields and the purpose of these wells is to quantify the quality of groundwater flowing into the fields from upgradient of the Golden Sands Family Farm project.
Five water-table monitoring wells, and three deeper wells, will be located downgradient of the converted agricultural fields and upgradient of clusters of residences to quantify the quality of water flowing beneath the converted fields.
The monitoring system is spatially configured to provide information on potential changes in groundwater quality from upgradient to downgradient of the converted agricultural fields and to provide data that will serve as a sentinel to potential adverse changes in downgradient residential wells.  
All monitoring wells initially will be sampled monthly for eight months to establish background conditions.  The monitoring wells associated with the converted agricultural fields will be sampled every 15 months thereafter. 
Water samples collected from the wells will be analyzed for nitrate, nitrite, total organic nitrogen, ammonia, chloride, coliform, total dissolved solids, chemical oxygen demand, pH, specific conductivity and temperature.
The water-quality results from the groundwater monitoring program will be reviewed annually to determine if changes in cultivation practices are needed to reduce the potential for adverse water-quality changes.
Groundwater use will be submitted to the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources annually, as required pursuant to Wis.  Admin. Code Ch. NR 820.

Groundwater Monitoring at
Our Dairy

The monitoring plan for the dairy consists of five monitoring wells.
The five monitoring wells proposed for the dairy consist of an upgradient water-table monitoring well, three downgradient water-table monitoring wells, and a downgradient deeper monitoring well.  The downgradient monitoring wells are located immediately downgradient of the manure and wastewater storage basins and the feed storage pad.
The monitoring wells associated with the dairy will be constructed within 60 days of completion of construction of the dairy facilities.
All monitoring wells initially will be sampled monthly for eight months to establish background conditions.  The monitoring wells associated with dairy will be sampled quarterly thereafter.
Water samples collected from the wells will be analyzed for nitrate, nitrite, total organic nitrogen, ammonia, chloride, coliform, total dissolved solids, chemical oxygen demand, pH, specific conductivity and temperature.
Groundwater use will be submitted to the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources annually, as required pursuant to Wis.  Admin. Code Ch. NR 820.

Farming Full Circle

  Know the Facts
About High Capacity Wells
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The Golden Sands Family Farm is applying for 37 High Capacity Well Permits to irrigate our 4,660 acres of Agricultural Crop Fields to be converted from pine plantation and two High Capacity Wells for our dairy facility. All proposed high capacity irrigation wells will be constructed in the sand and gravel aquifer, with expected well depths of about 100 feet below ground surface. 
Key Facts
Before DNR issues permits for the 39 proposed High Capacity Wells,  Golden Sands Family Farm must demonstrate that the water withdrawals will not have direct and significant adverse impacts to Tenmile Creek, Sevenmile Creek, private wells and other water resources in the area.
The proposed High Capacity Wells are estimated to result in a reduction in net groundwater recharge of two inches per year, but the average annual precipitation in the area will keep the groundwater system sufficiently recharged.
Golden Sands Family Farm is applying for a Water Loss Approval from the WDNR for our several High Capacity Well systems. Our farm in Saratoga will be the first agricultural operation in Wisconsin to receive approvals pursuant to the WDNR’s Water Loss statute and rules.
The Golden Sands Family Farm proposal includes both DNR-required and DNR-approved water conservation and efficiency measures not required for any other farm in Wisconsin.
No other CAFO or farmer in Wisconsin has been subject to the Water Loss Approval process or required to comply with the conservation measures we will be required to implement upon startup.
The incorporation of Farming Full Circle practices will, over time, increase the capacity for soils to store and use water which will decrease the amount of irrigation required.
More Information On...

High Capacity Wells

All proposed High Capacity Wells must be approved by WDNR prior to construction.
High Capacity Wells are those wells with the capacity to pump more than 100,000 gallons per day (70 gpm) or properties with multiple wells which, when totaled, have a cumulative capacity of 100,000 gallons per day.
If the combined water use from all wells on the same property will average more than 2 million gallons per day in any 30-day period, the applicant is required to submit an application for a “Water Loss Approval” pursuant to Wis. Stat. §281.35. 
The WDNR is required to consider any credible scientific information concerning potential impacts from a proposed well that is submitted to the agency during the High Capacity Well permit process.

Our Water Loss
Approval Permit

The Golden Sands Family Farm Project will be the first agricultural operation in Wisconsin to receive approvals pursuant to the WDNR’s Water Loss statute and rules.
No other Concentrated Animal Feeding Operation or farmer in Wisconsin has been subject to the Water Loss approval process or required to comply with the conservation measures we will be required to implement upon startup.
Before WDNR may approve a Water Loss Application, it must determine the following:
  • No public water rights in navigable waters will be adversely affected.
  • The proposed withdrawal does not conflict with any applicable plan for future uses of the waters of the state.
  • Both the applicant's current water use, if any, and the applicant's proposed plans for withdrawal, transportation, development and use of water resources incorporate reasonable conservation practices.
  • The proposed withdrawal and uses will not have a significant adverse impact on the environment and ecosystem of the Great Lakes basin or the upper Mississippi River basin.
  • The proposed withdrawal and uses are consistent with the protection of public health, safety and welfare and will not be detrimental to the public interest.
  • The proposed withdrawal will not have a significant detrimental effect on the quantity and quality of the waters of the state.
  • Any other conditions, limitations and restrictions that the department determines are necessary to protect the environment and the public health, safety and welfare and to ensure the conservation and proper management of the waters of the state.
  • Any requirements for metering, surveillance and reporting that the department determines are necessary to ensure compliance with other conditions, limitations or restrictions of the approval.
One requirement of a Water Loss approval is to implement significant Conservation Efficiency Measures (CEMs) to ensure efficient water use in accordance with the approval.
For each Water Loss approval, we are committed to implementing the following CEMs:
  • Water use audits: Each year crops are planted, a water use audit will be performed at the end of the year to evaluate accuracy of the expected water use,
  • Irrigation Scheduling: The Wisconsin Irrigation Scheduling Program (WISP) will be used to schedule irrigation of the Agricultural Crop Fields. WISP is a tool that helps growers maximize the utilization of natural rainfall and minimizes over-application. 
  • Target Areas: All irrigators will spray downward, reducing the amount of wind drift that can occur.  Additionally, irrigators will be designed and installed such that little, if any, impervious surfaces or non-target areas receive water. 
  • Leak detection and repair protocols will be implemented in accordance with approved CEMs.
  • Source measurement: Each well will be equipped with monitoring capabilities.  During the growing season, crops and soil moisture will be continuously evaluated for the need for water, which varies by crop and soil conditions, and irrigation will occur only as needed.  Data will be evaluated monthly, and efforts will be made to identify opportunities to improve water use efficiency.
  • Drift reduction measures will be implemented for irrigation.
  • Water reuse measures will be implemented at the dairy.
In addition, our dairy has been designed to ensure integrated water management practices are employed, that high-infiltration areas are planted with low-water use grasses and that stormwater collection basins will facilitate infiltration of precipitation back to the aquifer. 

Farming Full Circle

  Know the Facts
About Odor Control
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Facilities covered by the Livestock Facility Siting Law must comply with an odor standard that uses a predictive model to determine acceptable odor levels from the farm areas, including manure storage, animal housing and open lots. Golden Sands Family Farm has incorporated odor control practices, including the installation of an anaerobic digester, as part of its proposal.
Key Facts
DATCP has established an odor standard that Golden Sands Family Farm will need to meet in order to receive a Livestock Facility Siting permit.
The Livestock Facility Siting permit application submitted by Golden Sands Family Farm demonstrates the facility will comply with all odor requirements.
The use of an anaerobic digester will significantly reduce air emissions and odor. The separated solids look, feel and smell similar to potting soils used by landscaping companies.
The digester will reduce pathogens from manure generated at the dairy by 95% to 98% and will have significant odor-reduction benefits for the dairy area and at fields receiving land applied manure

More About
Anaerobic Digesters

According to the US Environmental Protection Agency, manure digesters offer the following environmental benefits to livestock facilities: "Anaerobic digestion technologies provide air and water quality benefits including pathogen destruction, odor control, organic stability, greenhouse gas (methane) and hydrogen sulfide emissions reductions, and some nutirent management benefits."
Golden Sands Family Farm will be installing an anaerobic digester on site at the dairy. The digester will be fully integrated into the manure handling and processing facilities.
Manure generated in our free stall barns will be collected by vacuum tankers and transferred to a tank in our separation building. 
Once the sand is removed from the manure, the manure will be pumped to our digester, where it will be held for approximately 22 to 30 days.  The naturally-occurring bacteria in the digester consume organic solids in the manure and biologically transform the nutrients in the manure into forms that increase the efficiency of crop uptake of nutrients.
From the digester, digested manure will be pumped back to the separation building where manure solids will be mechanically separated and stacked on the separated solids pad.
Manure solids look, feel and smell similar to the potting soil you use in your garden. In fact, landscape companies use these post-digested solids as compost.
Specific details of the anaerobic digester plans have not yet been finalized because technology continues to advance and we prefer to construct and install the most advanced technology on the market at the time the facility is built and ensure the digester is properly sized. The digester is planned to be operational at the time the facility is populated with animals.

Farming Full Circle

  Know the Facts
About Manure Management
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Key Facts
Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations (CAFOs) like Golden Sands Family Farm dairy are regulated by the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources and have a zero discharge standard at the production area.
Golden Sands Family Farm will be installing an anaerobic digester on site at the dairy. The digester will be fully integrated into the manure handling and processing facilities.
All of the storage facilities are designed with watertight concrete liners with a secondary 8” clay liner to prevent stored material from coming into contact with subsurface soils.
Liquid and solid manure will be land applied in accordance with our Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources approved Nutrient Management Plan.
Our sister operation, Central Sands Dairy, has a strong track record of manure management in accordance with its regulatory permits.
More Information On...
 

Our Manure
Management Process

Golden Sands Family Farm dairy will be classified as a Concentrated Animal Feeding Operation (CAFO) by the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources. As a CAFO, there is a zero-discharge standard for the production area.
CAFO permit requirements include DNR approval of reviewable facilities including manure storage facilities; runoff control structures; manure treatment or transfer systems, including those related to animal housing; digesters for biogas production; and other structures or systems associated with the storage, containment, treatment, or handling of manure or process wastewater.
Golden Sands Family Farm will be installing an anaerobic digester on site at the dairy. The digester will be fully integrated into the manure handling and processing facilities.
Manure generated in our free stall barns will be collected by vacuum tankers and transferred to a tank in our separation building. 
Once the sand is removed from the manure, the manure will be pumped to our digester, where it will be held for approximately 22 to 30 days.  The naturally-occurring bacteria in the digester consume organic solids in the manure and biologically transform the nutrients in the manure into a more stable form that maximizes the efficiency of our Nutrient Management Plan.
From the digester, digested manure will be pumped back to the separation building where manure solids will be mechanically separated and stacked on the separated solids pad. The separated solids pad is concrete and designed to be watertight to prevent runoff from coming into contact with subsurface soils.
Manure solids look, feel and smell similar to the potting soil you use in your garden. In fact, landscape companies use these post-digested solids as compost.
The digested liquid manure that remains after the solids are separated will be pumped to the manure storage basin. All of the storage facilities are designed with water tight concrete liners with a secondary 8” clay liner to prevent stored materials from coming into contact with subsurface soils.
Liquid and solid manure will be land applied in accordance with our Department of Natural Resources approved Nutrient Management Plan, in accordance with Wis. Admin. Code Ch. NR 243 and the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NCRS) Code 590 conservation practice standards for nutrient management.

WPDES &
Manure Management

The purpose of a CAFO’s Wisconsin Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (WPDES) permit is to protect water quality. 
The Golden Sands Family Farm dairy CAFO WPDES permit will contain numerous restrictions and requirements that the farm must comply with, including, but not limited to:
  • Proper design, construction and operation of structures associated with manure and process wastewater handling at the site;
  • A zero-discharge effluent limitation for the production area;
  • Development and implementation of emergency response and operation, maintenance and monitoring plans;
  • Requirements to contain and properly manage runoff from animal housing, feed storage and manure storage facilities to meet effluent limitations and ground and surface water standards;
  • Daily, weekly, monthly and quarterly inspection requirements for facilities;
  • A requirement to maintain at least 180 days of manure and process wastewater storage on-site;
  • Restrictions on the amount, location, and timing of applications of manure and process wastewater through a Nutrient Management Plan; and
  • Significant recordkeeping and reporting requirements for land application activities.

Nutrient Management
Planning & Manure Management

A CAFO WPDES permit requires an annual and field-specific nutrient management plan (NMP). Implementation of a NMP helps prevent or minimize manure or other wastewater runoff from fields to surface water or groundwater. Nutrient management planning also ensures applied nutrients meet, but don’t exceed, crop needs.
Nutrient management plans may require:
  • Field soil testing reports;
  • Planned or actual rates, methods and timing for manure and process wastewater application;
  • Field soil erosion and phosphorus delivery to surface waters calculations and nutrient credits;
  • Maps showing detailed manure spreading restriction and soils;
  • Manure spreading field-specific reporting procedures; and
  • Detailed plan narratives.
Nutrient Management Plans have strict guidelines that prevent manure or wastewater from being applied:
  • Within 100 feet of a direct conduit to groundwater;
  • Within 100 feet of a private well or non-community system as defined in ch. NR 812; or
  • Within 1,000 feet of a community well as defined in ch. NR 811
Our NMP accounts for all nutrient sources, including soil reserves, commercial fertilizer, manure, organic byproducts, and crop residues to ensure proper utilization and to minimize the risk of impacts to water quality.
The Best Management Practices listed in our NMP are written to prevent pollution in accordance with Wisconsin Administrative Code sec. 243.14(2)(b)(1) – (13) as follows:
  • Manure or process wastewater may not pond on the application site.
  • During dry weather conditions, manure or process wastewater may not run off the application site, nor discharge to waters of the state through subsurface drains.
  • Manure or process wastewater may not cause the fecal contamination of water in a well.
  • Manure or process wastewater may not run off the application site nor discharge to waters of the state through subsurface drains due to precipitation or snowmelt, except if the permittee has complied with all land application restrictions in this subchapter and the WPDES permit, and the runoff or discharge occurs as a result of a rain event that is equal to or greater than a 25-year, 24-hour rain event.
  • Manure or process wastewater may not be applied to saturated soils.
  • Land application practices shall maximize the use of available nutrients for crop production, prevent delivery of manure and process wastewater to waters of the state, and minimize the loss of nutrients and other contaminants to waters of the state to prevent exceedances of groundwater and surface water quality standards and to prevent impairment of wetland functional values. Practices shall retain land-applied manure and process wastewater on the soil where they are applied with minimal movement.
  • Manure or process wastewater may not be applied on areas of a field with a depth to groundwater or bedrock of less than 24 inches.
  • Manure or process wastewater may not be applied within 100 feet of a direct conduit to groundwater.
  • Manure or process wastewater may not be applied within 100 feet of a private well or non-community system as defined in ch. NR 812 or within 1,000 feet of a community well as defined in ch. NR 811.
  • On a field with soils that are 60 inches thick or less over fractured bedrock, manure or process wastewater may not be applied on frozen ground or where snow is present.
  • Manure or process wastewater may not be applied on fields when snow is actively melting such that water is flowing off the field.
  • Where incorporation of land applied manure is required under NRCS Standard 590, the incorporation shall occur within 48 hours of application.
  • Manure or process wastewater may not be surface applied when precipitation capable of producing runoff is forecast within 24 hours of the time of planned application.

Farming Full Circle

  Know the Facts
About Nutrient Management &
Runoff Prevention
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A CAFO WPDES permit requires an annual and field-specific Nutrient Management Plan (NMP). Implementation of a NMP helps prevent or minimize manure or other wastewater runoff from fields to surface water or groundwater. Nutrient management planning also ensures applied nutrients meet, but don’t exceed, crop needs.
Key Facts
Nutrient Management Plans may require:
  • Field soil testing reports;
  • Planned or actual rates, methods and timing for manure and process wastewater application;
  • Field soil erosion and phosphorus delivery to surface waters calculations and nutrient credits;
  • Maps showing detailed manure spreading restriction and soils;
  • Manure spreading field-specific reporting procedures; and
  • Detailed plan narratives.
Nutrient Management Plans have strict guidelines that prevent manure or wastewater from being applied:
  • Within 100 feet of a direct conduit to groundwater;
  • Within 100 feet of a private well or non-community system as defined in ch. NR 812; or
  • Within 1,000 feet of a community well as defined in ch. NR 811
Our NMP accounts for all nutrient sources, including soil reserves, commercial fertilizer, manure, organic byproducts, and crop residues to ensure proper utilization and to minimize the risk of impacts to water quality.
The Best Management Practices listed in our NMP are written to prevent pollution in accordance with Wisconsin Administrative Code sec. 243.14(2)(b)(1) – (13) as follows:
  • Manure or process wastewater may not pond on the application site.
  • During dry weather conditions, manure or process wastewater may not run off the application site, nor discharge to waters of the state through subsurface drains.
  • Manure or process wastewater may not cause the fecal contamination of water in a well.
  • Manure or process wastewater may not run off the application site nor discharge to waters of the state through subsurface drains due to precipitation or snowmelt, except if the permittee has complied with all land application restrictions in this subchapter and the WPDES permit, and the runoff or discharge occurs as a result of a rain event that is equal to or greater than a 25-year, 24-hour rain event.
  • Manure or process wastewater may not be applied to saturated soils.
  • Land application practices shall maximize the use of available nutrients for crop production, prevent delivery of manure and process wastewater to waters of the state, and minimize the loss of nutrients and other contaminants to waters of the state to prevent exceedances of groundwater and surface water quality standards and to prevent impairment of wetland functional values. Practices shall retain land-applied manure and process wastewater on the soil where they are applied with minimal movement.
  • Manure or process wastewater may not be applied on areas of a field with a depth to groundwater or bedrock of less than 24 inches.
  • Manure or process wastewater may not be applied within 100 feet of a direct conduit to groundwater.
  • Manure or process wastewater may not be applied within 100 feet of a private well or non-community system as defined in ch. NR 812 or within 1,000 feet of a community well as defined in ch. NR 811.
  • On a field with soils that are 60 inches thick or less over fractured bedrock, manure or process wastewater may not be applied on frozen ground or where snow is present.
  • Manure or process wastewater may not be applied on fields when snow is actively melting such that water is flowing off the field.
  • Where incorporation of land applied manure is required under NRCS Standard 590, the incorporation shall occur within 48 hours of application.
  • Manure or process wastewater may not be surface applied when precipitation capable of producing runoff is forecast within 24 hours of the time of planned application.

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  Know the Facts
About Sevenmile & Tenmile Creeks
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The acres proposed for conversion from red pine plantation to irrigated crop fields for the Golden Sands Family Farm are located within the Sevenmile Creek, Tenmile Creek and the Wisconsin River watersheds. Due to their proximity to the Golden Sands Family Farm dairy and agricultural crop fields, we have gone to great lengths to evaluate potential impacts to the Sevenmile and Tenmile Creeks.  The scientific research and quantitative analysis conducted to evaluate potential impacts has helped the Wysocki family engineer a dairy and crop farming operation that will most effectively protect these watersheds.

Key Facts
Tenmile Creek is a class 2 and class 3 trout stream near the project area, and has no tributaries other than a system of agricultural drainage ditches near the headwaters in Portage County.  Tenmile Creek discharges to the Wisconsin River.
Sevenmile Creek is a class 1 trout stream for 3.2 miles until it discharges to the Wisconsin River.
Tenmile Creek has significantly greater flow than Sevenmile Creek, and is used regularly for recreational fishing.
A cranberry operation is located on Sevenmile Creek approximately 2 miles upstream of the Wisconsin River, and diverts 100% of flow from Sevenmile Creek as necessary to maintain cranberry productivity.
The wells proposed to irrigate the Agricultural Crop Fields have been located a sufficient distance away from Sevenmile Creek to minimize potential impacts to flow in this resource.
In a normal year, the effect of our proposed withdrawals is an average annual decrease in the flow of Tenmile Creek by about two percent and an average annual decrease in the flow of Sevenmile Creek by less than one percent.
To prevent impacts to water quality, the Golden Sands Family Farm dairy farm facilities are required to be designed and operated to a zero discharge standard during normal operations.
The Golden Sands Family Farm Agricultural Crop Fields will be managed in compliance with a nutrient management plan to minimize and prevent impacts to water quality.
The Agricultural Crop Fields have been laid out such that significant buffers are maintained along the fields adjacent to stream corridors of Sevenmile and Tenmile Creeks.
The buffers that will be maintained between the fields and stream corridors are greater than 400 feet and far exceed the 25-foot mandatory buffer required in NR 243.14(4)(1).  The smallest buffer width between a converted field and a stream corridor is approximately 430 feet. These significant buffers will further minimize potential impacts from farming activities on the land.
Changes to stream water quality are not expected from runoff of nutrients applied to the land in accordance with our WDNR approved Nutrient Management Plan.
Small changes to stream water quality have been calculated due to changes in groundwater quality and the discharge of groundwater to Sevenmile and Tenmile Creeks.
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Tenmile Creek

The Tenmile Creek watershed is approximately 84 square miles in size.
Tenmile Creek is a Class 3 trout stream along the two mile long reach from County Trunk Highway (CTH) U to Bell Road, and a Class 2 trout stream along the reach from Bell Road to the Wisconsin River.
The U.S. Geological Survey maintains a stream gaging station on Tenmile Creek at STH 13, with a drainage area of about 73 square miles upstream of this gage.  Daily flow data at this location are available for the periods 1965 to 1979, 1987 to 1994, and 1998 to the present.  The most recent average annual flow at this gage, based on the period 2000 through 2011, is 55 cubic feet per second.
Based on the USGS data, the average monthly flow in Tenmile Creek can range from 10 cubic feet per second (cfs) to nearly 100 cfs.
Flow measurements were taken in Tenmile Creek as part of the EIR process to understand groundwater discharge to Tenmile Creek during the low flow conditions in the summer of 2012. Measured flows indicate that significant groundwater discharge occurs to Tenmile Creek in the vicinity of the Golden Sands Family Farm Project during extended dry periods.
The WDNR has classified the natural community in Tenmile Creek in the 7.58 mile reach upstream from the Wisconsin River to Bell Road as “cool-water warm transition”, and classified the temperature regime as “warm” (WDNR, 2012a).
Water quality samples from Tenmile Creek at Rangeline Road collected by WDNR between November 2009 and March 2012 for nutrient analyses provide a baseline for understanding the water quality in Tenmile Creek.  During this period nitrate concentrations averaged 3.8 mg/L (based on 55 samples) and nitrate concentrations ranged from a minimum of 1.5 mg/L to a maximum of 8.5 mg/L; Kjeldahl nitrogen (a measure of total organic nitrogen) concentrations averaged 0.7 mg/L and ranged from 0.2 mg/L to 1.6 mg/L; and total phosphorus concentrations averaged 0.05 mg/L and ranged from 0.025 to 0.16 mg/L.
Additional water quality samples were taken in August 2012 as part of this EIR process. During the August 2012 sampling event, measured nitrate concentrations gradually decreased from a maximum of 1.7 mg/L at the upstream location at CTH U to 0.68 mg/L at CTH Z.  During the August 2012 sampling event, phosphorus concentration ranged from a low of 0.047 mg/L to a high of 0.5 mg/L at STH 73.  Nitrate concentrations during this sampling event were lower than those reported by the WDNR in the sampling conducted between November 2009 and March 2012.
Flow in Tenmile Creek during the WDNR water quality sampling events were much larger than during the August 2012 sampling event conducted for this EIR.  The larger concentrations identified by WDNR likely reflect the larger flow.  By contrast, the flow in August 2012 was very low, and as such, the measured nitrate concentrations in the stream reflect nitrate concentrations in the groundwater near Tenmile Creek.

Sevenmile Creek

Sevenmile Creek is located about two and one-half miles to the north of Tenmile Creek, and has a watershed approximately 23.7 square miles in size.
Sevenmile Creek is significantly smaller than Tenmile Creek and it is likely that historical drainage activities diverted a portion of the headwater flow of Sevenmile Creek into Tenmile Creek.
Sevenmile Creek from Rangeline Road to the Wisconsin River, a 3.2-mile long reach, is a designated Class I trout stream and is a designated Exceptional Resource Water.  This reach is perennial, where the creek flows year round (except when diverted for the cranberry operation).This reach is where significant groundwater discharge occurs to Sevenmile Creek. 
There is no meaningful historical flow data for Sevenmile Creek.  Flows in Sevenmile Creek were measured for the EIR and ranged from less than 1 cubic feet per second(cfs) to nearly 6 cfs at different locations.
Upstream of Rangeline Road Sevenmile Creek is ephemeral, meaning this area of the creek may not be wet every year, and during the years it is wet, it may only be wet for a short period of time.
The Nekoosa East cranberry operation is located on Sevenmile Creek about two miles upstream of the Wisconsin River, and water is diverted via constructed dam from Sevenmile Creek to the cranberry operations as needed.  Historic and continued water diversions from the cranberry operation have and will continue to periodically reduce or eliminate the flow of Sevenmile Creek in this area.  The water diverted by Nekoosa East is not discharged back to Sevenmile Creek, but rather is discharged directly into the Wisconsin River.
Flow measurements were taken in Sevenmile Creek as part of the EIR process to understand groundwater discharge to Sevenmile Creek during the low flow conditions in the summer of 2012. These data indicate that significant fluctuations occur in this system, but groundwater discharge occurs in the lower reach of Sevenmile Creek even following a very hot and dry summer.
The WDNR has classified the natural community in Sevenmile Creek in the Golden Sands Family Farm Project Area as cool-water cold transition, and classified the temperature regime as cold.
There is no meaningful historical water quality data for Sevenmile Creek.  Water quality samples were taken in August and October 2012 as part of this EIR process. In August 2012, samples were collected at the crossing of Young Street and at Hollywood Road; nitrate concentrations (nitrogen, nitrate plus nitrite) were 0.21 mg/L and 0.45 mg/L, Kjeldahl nitrogen concentrations were 0.51 mg/L and 0.58 mg/L, and phosphorus concentrations were 0.065 mg/L and 0.11 mg/L, respectively.  In October 2012, samples were collected at CTH Z and Rangeline Road; nitrate concentrations were 0.36 mg/L and less than 0.052 mg/L, and phosphorus concentrations were 0.079 mg/L and 0.30 mg/L, respectively.
During the August and October sampling events, Sevenmile Creek was dry a short distance upstream of the stream sampling locations and the flow in the creek represented groundwater discharge to the creek.  As such, the measured nitrate concentrations in the stream reflect nitrate concentrations in the groundwater near Sevenmile Creek.

Water Flows in
Sevenmile & Tenmile Creeks

A three-dimensional groundwater flow model was developed as part of the EIR process to evaluate potential changes in flow in Sevenmile and Tenmile Creeks as a result of the 2 wells proposed for the dairy and the 37 proposed and one existing well which will irrigate the acres converted from pine plantation to vegetable and forage crops.
The groundwater model incorporates information about the subsurface geologic layers, the rate of water flow through the subsurface, local annual precipitation, expected recharge based on land use and geology, and evapotranspiration rates of existing pine plantation and proposed vegetable and forage crops.
The groundwater model encompasses an area of approximately 600 square miles, called the model domain.
In a normal year, the effect of Golden Sands Family Farm’s proposed withdrawals is an average annual decrease in the flow of Tenmile Creek by about 2 % and an average annual decrease in the flow of Sevenmile Creek by less than 1%.
The change in median monthly flows during the summer months, especially the month of August, is often used to evaluate potential impacts to the ecological health of a stream.
The calculated changes in median monthly flows during the summer months in Sevenmile Creek are far less than 4%, which is the threshold used by the State of Michigan for determining an adverse resource impact in a stream classified as cold-water transitional in the month of August.
The calculated median monthly changes in Tenmile Creek are less than 5%, which are significantly less than the 25% threshold used in Michigan for determining an adverse resource impact in a stream classified as cool-water warm transitional in the month of August.
In a dry year, such as occurred in 2012, the stream flow in Sevenmile Creek is expected to increase as a result of the proposed withdrawals from the project and the flows of Tenmile Creek are estimated to decline about 10% in the month of August
Existing conditions, including the current irrigation pumping within the model domain, were used as the baseline conditions from which to determine potential impacts from the proposed pumping for the project.
The groundwater model calculated potential changes in flow during normal conditions and dry conditions. Normal conditions are based on median monthly hydrologic conditions during the twelve year period 2000 through 2011 and dry conditions are based on hydrologic conditions in 2012.
To calculate the long-term effects of the proposed groundwater pumping, the model was run with monthly time steps for fifty years.  Normal climatic conditions were simulated for the first 48 years and for the 50th year, and dry climatic conditions were simulated for the 49th year.
On the basis of initial evaluations of modeled effects of the project on stream flows, irrigation and dairy well locations were adjusted to minimize modeled declines in the flow of Sevenmile Creek.  Adjusting well locations included designing an underground piping system to transport water from particular wells to the fields they will serve.  The well locations were moved to the south such that effects on Tenmile Creek became larger and effects on Sevenmile Creek became smaller relative to those calculated with initial proposed well locations.
The flow in Sevenmile Creek increases in dry years as the result of the project because irrigation wells located in the Tenmile Creek watershed will be used to apply water to fields in close proximity to the Sevenmile Creek.  The water applications in close proximity to Sevenmile Creek will increase recharge to the Sevenmile Creek, in some cases significantly, and increase baseflow over and above the dry year summer flow conditions the creek would naturally experience in August.

Water Quality in
Sevenmile & Tenmile Creeks

The area surrounding the Golden Sands Family Farm project has flat topography and relatively permeable soil types.  These characteristics significantly minimize the potential for runoff of applied nutrients to nearby the nearby Sevenmile and Tenmile Creeks.
The Golden Sands Family Farm nutrient management plan requires significant best management practices to be implemented to minimize soil and wind erosion further minimize the risk of nutrient runoff to surface waters.
In addition to the mandatory best management practices, Golden Sands Family Farm will voluntarily implement numerous additional best practices to further minimize potential impacts from the project.
Based on the topography, soil types and significant mandatory and voluntary best management practices to be implemented by Golden Sands Family Farm, impacts from runoff to surface waters is unlikely to occur as a result of the project.
Because Sevenmile and Tenmile Creeks are groundwater-fed streams, changes in groundwater quality over time could result in changes to stream water quality.
Phosphorus is not very susceptible to leaching to groundwater because it is adsorbed onto soil particles and the adsorption-desorption reactions in soil regulate the rate at which phosphorus may be released.  Phosphorus leaching may occur in sandy soils where over-application has increased the phosphorus levels in soil in excess of crop requirements; however adherence to the Golden Sands Family Farm Nutrient Management Plan and significant additional best practices will minimize the potential for over applications of phosphorus.
Nitrogen is more susceptible to leaching to groundwater because it is more mobile in the environment than phosphorus. As part of this EIR, WDNR requested Golden Sands Family Farm calculate or model a nitrogen mass balance to evaluate potential nitrate leaching to groundwater from nutrient applications to fields converted from pine plantation.  Golden Sands Family Farm understands this request is based on concerns regarding the potential increased risk of nitrogen leaching due to the permeable soils in and around the areas currently managed as pine plantation.
The state-of-the-science is that, due to a significant dearth of reliable data depicting the rates of complex processes in sandy soils, a reliable, accurate estimate of nitrogen loss to groundwater beneath the Golden Sands Family Farm Agricultural Crop Fields after conversion from pine plantation to vegetable and forage crops cannot be made using available methods.  Although nitrogen models do exist, their application here does not result in reliable or accurate estimations.
Despite the significant uncertainties in calculating a nitrogen mass balance, WDNR insisted the exercise be completed.  As such, Golden Sands Family Farm retained experts in the fields of soil science and hydrology and collected and reviewed information, data and research – both published and unpublished – to develop a nitrogen mass balance to depict, to the extent reasonably and scientifically possible, an average nitrogen leaching potential from nutrient applications to Golden Sands Family Farm Agricultural Crop Fields converted from pine plantation.
The 1,800 acres of existing irrigated crop land were not included in the nitrogen mass balance because there is no land conversion and those acres are already in crop production and no new adverse impacts will occur from continuing production.  Indeed, implementing NR 243 nutrient management planning requirements on those acres will reduce impacts and promote surface and groundwater protections.

The nitrogen balance for the converted Golden Sands Family Farm Agricultural Fields is based on a crop rotation that includes alfalfa, corn silage, grain corn, sweet corn, peas and snap beans.

The most likely potential nitrogen loss to groundwater is approximately 35 lbs/acre per year (Ngw = Ninputs - Noutputs = 287 – 252 = 35).  Based on the dissolution of this nitrogen in the volume of water that recharges the groundwater annually, the most likely potential loss of 35 lbs/acre per is equivalent to a nitrogen concentration of approximately 7.5 mg/L in the water that infiltrates beneath the rooting depth of the plants and recharges the groundwater table.
The most likely annual loss to groundwater is likely to be less than 35 lbs/acre because potential losses of nitrogen to the atmosphere directly from the plants and from denitrification have been assumed to be zero. Because these atmospheric losses are assumed to be zero, such losses are conservatively assumed as losses to groundwater.
The most likely annual loss to groundwater is likely to be less than 35 lbs/acre because every mass balance calculated and reported in research literature was demonstrated, based on groundwater quality sampling, to have overestimated the actual concentration of nitrate in groundwater.
The outputs from the nitrogen mass balance were used as inputs to a numerical groundwater model as a “fate and transport” element to evaluate the potential nitrate concentrations in groundwater downgradient of the Golden Sands Family Farm Project at specific distances, including where groundwater discharges to Sevenmile and Tenmile Creeks.
The fate and transport model was run for fifty years, but nitrate concentrations in groundwater reached steady state conditions after twenty years of Golden Sands Family Farm applying nutrients to the Golden Sands Family Farm Agricultural Crop Fields converted from pine plantation.  As such, all modeled impacts are reported in this document as impacts calculated after twenty years of Golden Sands Family Farm operations.
After twenty years of Golden Sands Family Farm operations under the most likely conditions, during periods when Sevenmile Creek is dry upstream of Rangeline Road, it was calculated that the average nitrate concentration at County Road Z would increase from 0.3 mg/L under existing conditions to 1.5  mg/L.
Average nitrate concentration in Tenmile Creek under existing conditions at Rangeline Road is approximately 3.8 mg/L; this average concentration is calculated to increase to about 4.1 mg/L after about twenty years of Golden Sands Family Farm operations under the most likely conditions.

Our Nutrient Management Plan

A CAFO WPDES permit requires an annual and field-specific nutrient management plan (NMP). Implementation of a NMP helps prevent or minimize manure or other wastewater runoff from fields to surface water or groundwater. Nutrient management planning also ensures applied nutrients meet, but don’t exceed, crop needs.
Nutrient management plans may require:
  • Field soil testing reports;
  • Planned or actual rates, methods and timing for manure and process wastewater application;
  • Field soil erosion and phosphorus delivery to surface waters calculations and nutrient credits;
  • Maps showing detailed manure spreading restriction and soils;
  • Manure spreading field-specific reporting procedures; and
  • Detailed plan narratives.
Nutrient Management Plans have strict guidelines that prevent manure or wastewater from being applied:
  • Within 100 feet of a direct conduit to groundwater;
  • Within 100 feet of a private well or non-community system as defined in ch. NR 812; or
  • Within 1000 feet of a community well as defined in ch. NR 811
Our NMP accounts for all nutrient sources, including soil reserves, commercial fertilizer, manure, organic byproducts, and crop residues to ensure proper utilization and to minimize the risk of impacts to water quality.
The Best Management Practices listed in our NMP are written to prevent pollution in accordance with Wisconsin Administrative Code sec. 243.14(2)(b)(1) – (13) as follows:
  • Manure or process wastewater may not pond on the application site.
  • During dry weather conditions, manure or process wastewater may not run off the application site, nor discharge to waters of the state through subsurface drains.
  • Manure or process wastewater may not cause the fecal contamination of water in a well.
  • Manure or process wastewater may not run off the application site nor discharge to waters of the state through subsurface drains due to precipitation or snowmelt, except if the permittee has complied with all land application restrictions in this subchapter and the WPDES permit, and the runoff or discharge occurs as a result of a rain event that is equal to or greater than a 25-year, 24-hour rain event.
  • Manure or process wastewater may not be applied to saturated soils.
  • Land application practices shall maximize the use of available nutrients for crop production, prevent delivery of manure and process wastewater to waters of the state, and minimize the loss of nutrients and other contaminants to waters of the state to prevent exceedances of groundwater and surface water quality standards and to prevent impairment of wetland functional values. Practices shall retain land applied manure and process wastewater on the soil where they are applied with minimal movement.
  • Manure or process wastewater may not be applied on areas of a field with a depth to groundwater or bedrock of less than 24 inches.
  • Manure or process wastewater may not be applied within 100 feet of a direct conduit to groundwater.
  • Manure or process wastewater may not be applied within 100 feet of a private well or non-community system as defined in ch. NR 812 or within 1,000 feet of a community well as defined in ch. NR 811.
  • On a field with soils that are 60 inches thick or less over fractured bedrock, manure or process wastewater may not be applied on frozen ground or where snow is present.
  • Manure or process wastewater may not be applied on fields when snow is actively melting such that water is flowing off the field.
  • Where incorporation of land applied manure is required under NRCS Standard 590, the incorporation shall occur within 48 hours of application.
  • Manure or process wastewater may not be surface applied when precipitation capable of producing runoff is forecast within 24 hours of the time of planned application.

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  Know the Facts
About Animal Welfare
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From housing to health to nutrition, the welfare of our animals is job number 1. We have a great track record with our sister dairy, Central Sands Dairy, and we have incorporated the same best management practices to ensure the highest level of animal welfare.
Key Facts
The Golden Sands Family Farm will incorporate industry best practices, including those already in place at our sister dairy, to ensure the highest level of animal comfort.
Animals in need of veterinary care or special attention will be housed in a special needs barn at the dairy.
We will work closely with outside consultants, such as nutritionists, veterinarians and agronomists to promote the best possible health of our herd. 
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Cow Comfort Practices

The majority of mature animals will be housed in two freestall barns.
A free stall barn provides farm animals with a clean, dry, comfortable resting area and easy access to food and water.
Cows that are housed in freestall barns are not restrained and are free to enter, lie down and move about the barn whenever they choose.
Animals will be bedded with sand. Sand bedding is widely considered the best material for ensuring cow comfort and will be used in all animal housing at the dairy.

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  Know the Facts
About Pesticides
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Key Facts
In general, pesticide use on our Agricultural Crop Fields will be less than typical farm crop rotations due to longer rotations between potato crops and improved soil health, which allows integrated pest management systems to lower the insect and disease pressures.
Our use of organic fertilizer to increase soil water and nutrient retention capacities and to stimulate microbial activity increases crop resistance to pathogens and decreases need for pesticides.
The Wysocki Family of Companies, including Golden Sands Family Farm, participates in the Healthy Grown/Healthy Farm program, which requires the participant to track the use of certain pesticides. 
All pesticide applications will be completed by state-certified pesticide applicators, in accordance with labels. 
No pesticides will applied with irrigation water through center pivots. 
The use of state of the art irrigation equipment, as is planned for the Golden Sands Family Farm Agricultural Crop fields has been found to provide desirable benefits to agricultural projects including a 16% reduction in the loss of fertilizer and pesticide loss caused by overwatering.

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