NRCS Practice Standard: Emergency Animal Mortality Management (368)

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NRCS Practice Standard: Emergency Animal Mortality Management (368)

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:

Emergency Animal Mortality Management (368)

A means or method for the management of animal carcasses from catastrophic mortality events.

Practice Information

Emergency animal mortality management is applied to reduce the impacts to surface and groundwater resources, reduce the impacts of odors, and decrease the spread of pathogens associated with catastrophic animal mortality.

The on-farm methods for emergency disposal of catastrophic animal mortality are burial, composting, incineration/gasification and open-air burning. Emergency mortality can also be rendered off-site or disposed of at a Subtitle D landfill. Catastrophic mortality may be held in refrigeration units prior to disposal. Because of the large number of dead animals normally encountered in a catastrophic mortality situation, if refrigeration is used, it is likely that multiple units will be needed.

Design information for this practice includes site location, design sizing, soil and foundation assessments, and safety/biosecurity features.

Operation requirements for the facility depend on the type of disposal method chosen by the producer and will include provisions for proper disposal of residual material. Maintenance of mechanical disposal equipment during emergency disposal is needed to ensure that the equipment operates as designed.

Common Associated Practices

NRCS Conservation Practice Standard (CPS) Emergency Animal Mortality Management (Code 368) is commonly applied with other conservation practices such as:

  • Diversion (Code 362)
  • Critical Area Planting (Code 342)

  • Disposal of composted material and by-products from incineration or gasification must be performed in accordance with the Nutrient Management (590) practice.

    To view the national NRCS standard for Emergency Animal Mortality Management please click here.

    Natural Resources Conservation Service, US Department of Agriculture 1400 Independence Ave., S.W. Washington, DC United States 1-833-ONE-USDA Visit Company Website

    Solution Type

    • General Support and Other


    • Others


    • Other


    • Odor
    • Pathogens

    To view additional information about this vendor, click below.

    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 Comments/Opinions:

    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.

    Newtrient 9-Point Scoring Rating

    View the Scoring Page

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