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If you are burying or composting dead animals, please keep in mind that there are rules and regulations set by the DNR that you must follow.

If you are composting dead hogs, you may do so without contacting the DNR. However, if you are going to be burying over 44 head of hogs, you must apply for a variance from the DNR. Click here to find the variance form. The DNR will be expediting these forms for a quick turnaround for producers.

Please keep in mind that there are sites where burial is NOT permitted. Please check this website before you bury any animals. Check the box titled, "Burial Zones Advisory" and then enter an address or zoom on an area to make sure that site is a low or medium risk area. High risk areas are not permitted sites for burial.

The Iowa Farm Bureau has put together a good guide on animal burial and compositions in regards to best practices and separation distances.

Find the full document here: Iowa Farm Bureau Animal Management Document.

Time is another critical component to remember if you plan on composting as your animal management. There are several stages to complete the process and if you don't have enough time for to entire process to be completed you should consider a different location or an alternative management option.

Please ask yourself these questions before you select a compost site:

  • Is the location available for the entire time needed?
  • Is there enough space?
  • Where's the closest water source?
  • Do you have the appropriate supporting material?

University of Minnesota Extension Office has these recommendations to consider.

If you have any questions, please contact Jeff Koops, Nutrient Management Specialist at 712-441-1352 or

For more information:
Iowa Department of Natural Resources:
Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land. Stewardship: