NEOLA, Iowa — A DNR investigation Monday found improperly disposed animal carcasses and stockpiled paunch manure along with manure runoff entering Keg Creek in Pottawattamie County.
A DNR statement said its investigators responded to six complaints against Feedlot Service Co., a small cattle feedlot about three miles southeast of Neola, owned by Fred Roane. Roane stockpiles and land applies paunch manure, which is the partially digested stomach contents of slaughtered animals.
The DNR staff found paunch manure and animal parts — including hides, tails, hooves, bellies, hearts and other parts — spread on two fields totaling about 160 acres. Bacteria and excess nutrients from improper animal disposal can endanger human and animal health when disease-causing organisms enter the soil or groundwater, the DNR said.
The DNR said Roane claimed to have a license from the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship (IDALS) to land apply paunch manure. However, paunch manure does not include dead animal parts. The DNR is working with IDALS to clarify land application requirements.
At Roane’s feedlot, investigators collected water samples for laboratory analysis in two places where stockpile runoff was entering Keg Creek.
The DNR is working with Roane to excavate and remove dead animal parts from both fields. The staff also directed Roane to stop runoff from reaching the creek. The DNR said it will continue to monitor the site and consider appropriate enforcement actions.