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About Confined Feeding Operations and Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations

  • Animal Farms
  • Current: About Confined Feeding Operations and Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations

New Fees Coming June 22, 2022

In 2021, an increase in the permit fees associated with some CFO/CAFO permit types was written into law by the Indiana State Legislature. This will become effective on June 22, 2022. The permit fee increases are being enacted across the Indiana Department of Environmental Management programs to help compensate for the operating costs associated with its permitting programs. A new annual fee of one hundred (100) dollars will be assessed for each permitted CFO/CAFO moving forward.

The updated Permit Fee Schedule is as follows:

Confined Feeding Operations (CFOs)

All regulated animal feeding operations in Indiana are considered confined feeding operations (CFO). To be regulated under the Confined Feeding Control Law in Indiana, you must meet the following size of any one livestock group listed below:

  • 300 or more cattle
  • 600 or more swine or sheep
  • 30,000 or more poultry (chicken, turkey or ducks)
  • 500 horses in confinement

Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations (CAFOs)

The concentrated animal feeding operation (CAFO) designation is strictly a size designation in Indiana. Farms of this size are permitted under the CFO rule, but have a few added requirements under Indiana regulations. A CFO that meets the size classification as a CAFO is a farm that meets or exceeds an animal threshold number in the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s definition of a large CAFO, which is:

  • 700 mature dairy cows
  • 1,000 veal calves
  • 1,000 cattle other than mature dairy cows
  • 2,500 swine above 55 pounds
  • 10,000 swine less than 55 pounds
  • 500 horses
  • 10,000 sheep or lambs
  • 55,000 turkeys
  • 30,000 laying hens or broilers with a liquid manure handling system
  • 125,000 broilers with a solid manure handling system
  • 82,000 laying hens with a solid manure handling system
  • 30,000 ducks with a solid manure handling system
  • 5,000 ducks with a liquid manure handling system

IDEM’s Role

Anyone who plans to operate or start construction or expansion of a farm that meets the requirements of Indiana’s Confined Feeding Control Law (Indiana Code 13-18-10) must submit an application and receive a permit from IDEM prior to beginning construction or expansion of an operation. No one may operate or start construction or expansion of a CFO without IDEM’s prior approval. The laws and rules that govern IDEM’s Confined Feeding Operation Program are found in 327 Indiana Administrative Code (IAC) 19 and 327 IAC 15-16. IDEM’s permitting, compliance, and enforcement sections implement the rules and the requirements of the laws:


The CFO Permits staff reviews applications for CFO permit approvals. IDEM engineers review designs and drawings and conduct inspections prior and during construction of new buildings and manure storage structures. The CFO permit manager is a good point of contact for any question regarding a new permit or modification, renewal, or construction for an existing permit.


The CFO Compliance staff conducts routine and complaint-based inspections to assure compliance with operational requirements in the rules. New farms may receive an initial compliance assistance visit and will be inspected at least once in their first year of operation.


The Enforcement Section staff follows up with an enforcement action when a CFO has a serious or unresolved violation.

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