Organic Material Management

In efforts to protect the environment, there are numerous regulations on Iowa pig farmers. This page provides general information about some of these regulations, including manure applicator certifications, farm impact reports, the proper disposal of dead livestock, and general information about biogas.


Know your Iowa DNR Field Office Staff

DNR's 24-hour Spill Line is 515-725-8694


Manure Applicator Certification

  • Confinement Site Manure Applicator - If you are a farmer or work on a farm that has 500 animal units in a confinement barn, then you must become certified to land apply either liquid or dry manure from that facility. While your certification must be renewed every 3 years, you must also annually attend a two-hour workshop (usually held in January or February at your county extension office) or watch a 2-hour video at the extension office, or take online training for Confinement Site Manure Applicators through the Iowa Department of Natural Resources.
  • In 2023, the certification fee for the 3-year license is $100; the annual education fee is $25. Your license expires on Dec. 31st of your third year.
  • Commercial Manure Applicator - Those involved in the business of transporting, handling, storing or applying liquid manure for a fee will need to secure a certification. This applies to sole proprietors, employees engaged in applications and managers who make decisions on the operations of the business. The certification class takes 3.5 hours to complete. The certification expires annually on Mar. 1.
  • Dry Manure Applicator - The certification is for dry/solid manure applicators and takes approximately 3.5 hours to complete. The certification meets requirements for both Confinement Site and Commercial applicators.

Manure Spill Reporting Guidance

More info from the Iowa Manure Management Action Group (IMMAG)


Pork Cares Farm Impact Reports

Measurable sustainability efforts in the pork industry are being driven by the National Pork Board's Pork Cares Farm Impact Reports. The effort will let each farmer use their own data to measure how their personal efforts are stacking up on controlling soil loss and diminishing greenhouse gases.

The data will be aggregated by state and nationally so you will not be identified. These reports will demonstrate to the public that pig farmers are working on continuous improvement based on science. Having these facts will show that our stewardship efforts have been and continue to make a real difference.


Dead Animal Disposal

Iowa regulations require that dead livestock be disposed of as soon as reasonably possible (generally considered to be within 24 hours of death) by rendering, incinerating, burying or composting.

The Iowa Department of Natural Resources has information about process and compliance for each of these practices. , including in the event of foreign animal disease outbreaks.



For more than 50 years, anaerobic digestion has been promoted as a way to both improve environmental management of livestock manures as well as a way to produce renewable energy.  Adoption has been slow because of high capital costs and management complexity. Research is underway to address those issues.