HENDRICKS, Minn. — A legal fight over a proposed mega-dairy farm near a lake that helps drive the economy in southwestern Minnesota will soon be heard in a South Dakota courtroom.

The Lake Hendricks Improvement Association has filed a court challenge to stop construction of the proposed 4,000-cow dairy farm near the lake on the South Dakota side, Minnesota Public Radio reported . Lake Hendricks sits on the Minnesota-South Dakota border and is a fishing and boating destination.

The 100 member association aims to improve the lake water quality and recreational activities. The group has spent more than $100,000 to challenge the farm in court.

The farm could negatively impact wildlife in the area, the association said.

“This location, it’s just not the right place for it,” said Brenda Boeve, president of the association. “I love the nature that I can experience from this. The wildlife during all times of the year. The beauty of it in the winter.”

The cows will produce phosphorus-rich manure that will wash off into area fields and eventually go into the lake, the association said.

Michael Crinion, the farm’s developer, said he would install safeguards to prevent manure from spilling from the farm’s storage lagoons. The chances of runoff flowing into the lake would be slim, he said.

Lake Hendricks is on Minnesota’s list of impaired waters. Association members said that while the water quality has improved over the years, they fear the dairy farm could negate those improvements.

Officials in Brookings County, South Dakota, approved the proposal last year. A South Dakota judge in January will determine whether the approval was legal. South Dakota officials have been supporting the construction of more dairy farms, particularly in the eastern portion of the state.


Information from: Minnesota Public Radio News, http://www.mprnews.org