NRCS Practice Standard: Animal Mortality Facility (316)
About the Company:
The Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) is the US Department of Agriculture (USDA)’s primary private lands conservation agency. The NRCS helps producers protect and conserve natural resources on private lands through voluntary conservation programs. Through Practice Standards and technical guides, the NRCS provides information about the conservation, energy resources, and provides personalized advice to individual producers.
The NRCS’ Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) provides technical and financial assistance to producers as they implement NRCS Conservation Practice Standards.
Technical guides used in each field office are localized so that they apply specifically to the geographic area for which they are prepared. Thus, while national guidelines have been provided as a framework for each standard, each state has adopted and modified the conservation practice standards to suit their individual landscape.
To find a local NRCS Service center click here.
To find the specific guideline for each state click here.
About the Solution:
Animal Mortality Facility (316)
An animal mortality facility is an on-farm facility for the treatment or disposal of livestock and poultry carcasses for routine and catastrophic mortality events.
An animal mortality facility is designed to reduce odor impacts, as well as the impacts to soil and groundwater resources, and decrease the spread of pathogens associated with animal mortality.
The on-farm methods for disposal of routine animal mortality are composting and incineration/gasification. Routine mortality can also be rendered off-site (at the producer’s expense). An animal mortality facility can include a refrigeration unit to store the mortality until it is removed for rendering or until it is incinerated or gasified.
Disposal of mortality from catastrophic events can be done by composting or burial, however, State laws may affect use of these techniques. Disease-related catastrophic mortality disposal must be performed under the guidance of State or Federal authorities.
Design information for this practice includes site location, design sizing, storage period, and safety/biosecurity features. It may also include fabricated structure criteria.
This practice has a minimum expected life of 15 years. Operation requirements for the facility depend on the type of facility chosen by the producer and will include provisions for proper disposal of residual material. Routine maintenance is needed to ensure that the facility operates as designed.
Common Associated Practices
NRCS Conservation Practice Standard (CPS) Animal Mortality Facility (316) is commonly applied with other conservation practices such as:
Disposal of composted material and by-products from incineration or gasification will be performed in accordance with the Nutrient Management (Code 590) practice.
To view the full NRCS standard for Animal Mortality Facility please click here.
Solution Strengths, Weaknesses and Critical Indicators
NOTE: There are multiple technologies that are used as part of integrated manure management systems and yet are not manure management types on their own. The impact of these technologies on their own would be minimal or very difficult to quantify.
General Support & Other:
- Can be an integral part of many manure management systems
- Most projects have at least some equipment that supports operations of the main technology
- This technology is not evaluated on its own, the NEAT Matrix for this technology is neutral unless utilized with other technologies.
Newtrient is using the USDA-NRCS conservation practice standards as tools to assist dairy producers in understanding the standards and how they can be used to address resources concerns.
To establish a Practice Standard a system or practice must be thoroughly vetted, approved, and standardized by the USDA at the federal and state level. These conservation practices have been developed to address various environmental resource concerns. Newtrient has developed a 9-point scoring process for ranking additives, practices, services, and technologies for the dairy industry. Recognizing the rigorous approval procedure used during the development of the NRCS Practice Standards, many of them score very highly and are worthy of consideration on any dairy where they apply.
The information provided here is a summary of the selected conservation practices. For up to date and detailed information related to the full Practice Standards, please see the USDA NRCS website, linked above.
1. OPERATIONAL HISTORY