MADISON, Wis. — Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources officials say reallocating positions to help regulate large farms will mean more workers handling fewer permits.

The DNR’s 2017-19 budget request calls for shifting four positions to regulating large farms, saying the industry has grown dramatically over the last decade.

The DNR’s budget director, Joe Polasek, told the agency’s board Wednesday in Black River Falls that currently each farm regulator handles 27 permits. Adding the new positions will drop that ratio to 20 to one.

Polasek says the positions, which include a customer service position and a grant assistant position, are currently vacant.

The board unanimously approved the budget request, which cuts DNR spending by $23.4 million from the last biennium. Gov. Scott Walker will consider the request as he crafts his executive budget.