Best Deadstock Removal Options Depend on Individual Farming Situations

Farmscape for November 29, 2022

Full Interview 6:41 Listen

When managing deadstock, pork producers are encouraged to consider their own location, management and biosecurity situations when deciding on the best option. Prior to 2002 rendering plants would pick up deadstock because it had value but when BSE hit and the material became unusable removal became a cost. “Alternative Methods for Deadstock Management” was among the topics discussed earlier this month as part of Saskatchewan Pork Industry Symposium 2022 in Saskatoon. Dr. Terry Fonstad, the Associate Vice-President Research with the University of Saskatchewan, says the most appropriate choice depends on such factors where you are, how far you are from services, the geology of the site and what kind of operation it is.

Clip-Dr. Terry Fonstad-University of Saskatchewan:
If you’re going to handle them yourself, so if you’re going to deal with them on farm you can try to bury them, you can incinerate them, you can compost them. If you’re going to bury, the big consideration is the geology, the fluid conductivity of the soil.
The permeability of the soil is the big one. If it’s low enough and water can’t flow through the pores, you don’t really have a problem but if water can flow through the pores and you’ve got any kind of ground water anywhere near then you’re not going to want to use burial.

The strength if the liquid that results and the amount of it is actually about four times that of manure so you want to make sure your geology if you’re going to try to bury them is such that you’re not going to get transport. If you’re going to consider composting, then you’re going to need a carbon source. You need wood chips or you need straw and then you need someone nearby that’s going to take the compost. If you’re going to burn them, you could build an incinerator but then there are quite tight restrictions on particulate matter to actually reach to meet these requirements.

Dr. Fonstad says, depending on your management practices, your biosecurity and where you are, there are solutions out there. He says everybody is going to have their own situation so it’s important to crunch the numbers.

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