Management Economics

Mortality Disposal Analysis

  • Marty Schwager (Iowa Pork Producers Association)
  • Thomas J. Baas (Iowa State University)
  • Thomas D. Glanville (Iowa State University)
  • Jeff Lorimor (Iowa State University)
  • John D. Lawrence (Iowa State University)


Pork producers were surveyed to gather data regarding mortality disposal methods currently used in Iowa. Capital investment, labor, operating costs and satisfaction with the method used were analyzed. Comparing capital expenses for each of the methods indicate that incineration requires the largest investment. Burial requires the least investment for most pork producers according to the survey, however, if land is not readily available, this estimation could be easily challenged. Composting bins typically require an initial capital investment, however, a large portion of the surveys indicated that a structure, formerly used foranother purpose, was simply converted to composting. Labor costs for burial exceeded labor requirements for other disposal options. Rendering required the least amount of labor because beyond removal of the carcass, no additional labor is required. Depending on the actual cost for labor or whether labor is an available resource, labor could become a critical factor in determining disposal. Composting is a very new method of disposal for most of the respondents, therefore, the labor efficiency could improve over time. This area may need to be further reviewed in several years to determine how composting efficiency changes over time. Total operating costs were the highest for burial with composting a close second. The reason these operating costs are higher than for incineration and rendering is due to the equipment requirements for burial and composting. If the producer already owns or leases the equipment that is required for burial and composting, there would be greater justification for one or both of these disposal methods. The total cost per 100 head marketed was the lowest for rendering, yet rendering and burial provided the least satisfaction. Total costs for composting were higher but this method resulted in the highest satisfaction level.

Keywords: ASL R1788

How to Cite:

Schwager, M., Baas, T. J., Glanville, T. D., Lorimor, J. & Lawrence, J. D., (2002) “Mortality Disposal Analysis”, Iowa State University Animal Industry Report 1(1).

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Published on
01 Jan 2002
Peer Reviewed