Frequently Asked Questions


Q1. There are lots of livestock raised in my region of the state, so I’d like to start a business composting livestock mortalities for my neighbors. Will I need a need any special permits to start a composting business on my farm?

A1. Administrative rules of the Iowa Department of Natural Resources state that on-farm composting of dead animals generated on the same farm as the composting facility is exempt from having a permit if certain practices are observed. If you decide to compost animals that are NOT generated on your farm, then a solid waste composting permit is required. See the Iowa Composting Regulations section of this web site for further details.


Q2. Can I use large round bales to construct the walls of my composter as shown in some of the Missouri composting literature?

A2. Although permanent walls made of concrete or treated lumber are recommended, Iowa regulations do not require them, so use of bales is permitted. Unlike the Missouri rules, however, Iowa composting rules require that on-farm composters be constructed on an all-weather surface. Animal carcass composting directly on natural soil is not permitted.


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