Because of high fuel prices, many poultry and swine farmers are utilizing composters to manage daily farm mortality. Once the initial investment cost of composters has been met, composting farm animal mortality is an economical method of mortality disposal. Composting does take a certain amount of management and may not be suited for all poultry and swine farmers. However, if you are composting, you need to read the document below from Dr. David Marshall, State Veterinarian. The document is dated Feb. 8, 2012.
NCDA&CS Policy for Producing Federal
Class A Compost from Mortality
Currently, NCDA &CS Veterinarian Division permits mortality composters based upon the exemption to DENR Section .1402 GENERAL PROVISIONS FOR SOLID WASTE COMPOST FACILITIES. Under this regulation.1402(g) farming operations are exempt from obtaining a permit from DENR if the compost they produced “comes from materials grown on the owner’s land and re-used on the owner’s land or in his associated farming operations and not offered to the public.” Further authority is provided by G.S. 106-403 which states that dead domesticated animals shall be disposed of “in a manner approved by the State Veterinarian.”
We are receiving composter permit requests from farmers who do not have sufficient land either owned by them or associated with their farming operations for spreading the finished compost. These farmers wish to pass the finished compost along to a third party who will apply the compost for agricultural use. In order to facilitate this option for farmers without extensive land holdings, we are creating the following policy: Farmers without sufficient land may be permitted by NCDA&CS as a federal, Class A compost facility if they meet the additional federal requirements (40CFR Part 503) which include:
1. The approved Class A composter is either a forced aeration bin composter or a with-in vessel composter. These types of composters maintain an aerobic composting process necessary to meet the federal Class A requirements for composted materials.
2. The finished compost material must be tested as in DENR .1408 (a)(1) regulations for Type 3 facilities, including test for (a) pathogens, (b) heavy metals and (c) inert materials twice yearly, as long as the compost material produced does not exceed 20,000 tons per 6 months.
3. In addition to the compost produced from mortality meeting the standard requirement to reach 131 degrees for 5 consecutive days, the composting product in a Class A facility must also be held an additional 10 days at greater than 104 degrees with an average temperature during that time of 113 degrees F.
4. Upon permitting of the composter by NCDA&CS, the operator must send in the initial set of test results to NCDA&CS office of the State Veterinarian. If the tests indicate meeting Class A requirements for the finished compost, NCDA&CS will notify the operator that they may distribute the composted end product as a Class A material. After the initial set of test reports have been inspected and approved by NCDA&CS, all subsequent test reports must be kept on site and available for inspection.
5. Compost operators must keep temperature logs on site and make them available to NCDA&CS inspectors.
6. NCDA&CS will perform annual inspections of these specially permitted composters, checking temperature logs and test reports. Status as a Class A compost producer is conditional upon maintaining test results and temperature logs that indicate continuing to meet the federal requirements for a Class A composting facility.
7. The end product material from the Class A, NCDA&CS-permitted composter may only be applied to agricultural land and may not be offered to the public.
If you have any questions about your composting operation, you may call me, James Parsons at 910.296.2143. If I cannot answer your question I will contact the appropriate person to answer your question.
North Carolina State University and North Carolina A& T State University commit themselves to positive action to secure equal opportunity regardless of race, color, creed, national origin, religion, sex, age, or disability. In addition, the two Universities welcome all persons without regard to sexual orientation. North Carolina State University, North Carolina A&T State University, U. S. Department of Agriculture, and local governments cooperating.
(Editor’s note: James Parsons is the Area Specialized Agent, Poultry for the NC Cooperative Extension Service in Sampson County.)