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Not the sharpest tool in the shed
Oct 18, 2002
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The Cleft of Venus
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Burning Manure Pile in Nebraska Finally Goes Out

MILFORD, Neb. (AP) — It took nearly four months, but to the relief of neighbors miles around, a burning manure pile has been extinguished.

David Dickinson, owner and manager of Midwest Feeding Co., said Wednesday that several weeks of pulling the 2,000-ton pile apart proved effective by late last week.

"We got far enough through it, that it quit," Dickinson said. Dickinson's feedlot, about 20 miles west of Lincoln, takes in as many as 12,000 cows at a time from farmers and ranchers and fattens them for market.

Byproducts from the massive operation resulted in a dung pile measuring 100 feet long, 30 feet high and 50 feet wide. Heat from the decomposing manure deep inside the pile is believed to have eventually ignited the manure.

The Nebraska Department of Environmental Quality told Dickinson that his smoldering dung pile violated clean-air laws and it worked with him as tried to extinguish it.

Huge feedlots have become commonplace, and dung fires have occurred around the country.

Dickinson said his pile may have been ignited in part because of grass clippings his feedlot had been accepting from the city of Milford. The clippings could be more combustible and he plans to stop accepting them, Dickinson said.