Slumping farm commodity prices and rising building costs combined to slow down interest in expanding livestock enterprises in Iowa last year, says Brian Waddingham, executive director of the Coalition to Support Iowa’s Farmers (CSIF).

“We had geared up for 2018 to be a big year, but it wasn’t quite as big as we anticipated,” says Waddingham.

Calls from hog and cattle farmers continued to lead the way as farmers sought CSIF’s expertise in siting new or expanding existing livestock facilities as well as interpreting rules and regulations and improving neighbor relations.

Diversification key

“One common theme throughout the whole year was diversification — row crop farmers wanting to add livestock and current livestock farmers, such as cattlemen wanting to add a poultry barn or a hog barn to stay on the farm or bring a son or daughter back to the farm,” says Waddingham.

Interest continues to grow among farmers about building barns for...