Carcass composting facility moving forward

Farm Forum

An animal composting facility will be built in Aberdeen as the result of slow service.

On paperwork submitted with a zoning request, Iowa-based Lynch Livestock noted that the unit is needed “due to (a) rendering company not picking up mortalities on a timely basis.”

In a letter accompanying the paperwork, Kenneth Hemesath, Lynch Livestock manager, said building its own composting facility would be “a better solution” for not only Lynch, but also for the neighborhood surrounding the Aberdeen location at 38474 133rd St. According to Hemesath, the company’s composting facility in Waucoma, Iowa, “has done much to address issues with smell and flies.”

As planned, a 40-foot-by-30-foot, three-bay covered animal carcass composting facility will be built on the north side of existing structures.

The unit was approved on July 14 by the Aberdeen Board of Zoning Adjustment with the stipulations that Lynch gain the approval from the South Dakota Animal Industry Board, the South Dakota Department of Environment and Natural Resources and any other applicable state agency or board prior to a building permit being issued.

Dustin Oedekoven, state veterinarian with the South Dakota Animal Industry Board, said the department was contacted on July 21 by Lynch Livestock to begin the process.

Composting is a very effective way of getting rid of a carcass after an animal dies, Oedekoven said.

The Animal Industry Board’s main concern is proper disposal to mitigate disease, he said.

Composting does a pretty good job of breaking down a carcass and results in a usable product, he said.

According to the letter submitted to the city, Lynch Livestock uses the Iowa compost as an added supplement to its fertilizer plan for cropland.

Composting requires attention to the process when it comes to the appropriate mix of carbon and water, as well as temperature, Oedekoven said.

Kim Smith, spokesman for the state Department of Environment and Natural Resources, said that his department won’t really deal directly with the composting facility. The Animal Industry Board will keep DENR informed regarding the project, he said.

Phone calls to Lynch Livestock headquarters were not returned.

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