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DNR investigates complaints on livestock disposal in western Iowa

This news story was published on March 12, 2021.
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Information from Iowa DNR

NEOLA, IOWA — In an investigation Monday, DNR staff found improper animal disposal and stockpiled paunch manure, along with manure runoff entering Keg Creek, in Pottawattamie County.

DNR staff responded to six complaints against the Feedlot Service Company, a small cattle feedlot about three miles southeast of Neola, owned by Fred Roane. Roane stockpiles and land applies paunch manure, the partially digested stomach contents of slaughtered animals.

DNR staff found paunch manure and animal parts—including hides, tails, hooves, bellies, hearts and other parts—spread on two fields totaling about 160 acres. Bacteria and excess nutrients from improper animal disposal can endanger human and animal health when disease-causing organisms enter soil or groundwater.

Roane indicated he has a license from the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship to land apply paunch manure. However, paunch manure does not include dead animal parts. DNR is working with IDALS to clarify land application requirements.

At the feedlot, investigators collected water samples for laboratory analysis in two places where stockpile runoff entered Keg Creek.

DNR is working with Roane to excavate and remove dead animal parts from both fields. Also, DNR staff directed Roane to stop runoff from reaching the creek. The DNR will continue to monitor the site and consider appropriate enforcement actions.

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