Logan County livestock farmers are in need of a disposal plan to ride themselves of deceased farm animals, mostly cows. Up until a few years ago, Griffin Industries, located on Concord Road in Russellville, provided the service free of charge. However, since new and tougher federal restrictions have been placed on the practice of processing the dead livestock into meat and bone meal, which was used for a feed ingredient, the company had to stop picking up any livestock over 30 months.
In 2009 the FDA prohibiting material from cattle over 30 months of age from being used in any livestock feed unless the brain and spinal cord are removed. This ruling stems from Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE) - otherwise known as Mad Cow Disease.
The Logan County Fiscal Court stepped in after Griffin stopped the service with a program of it’s own to help out the farmer, hiring an outside company to come and pick up the downed livestock for a minimal fee of $40. However, after six months the program died almost quicker than the cows did costing the taxpayers thousands.
The Logan County Conservation Districts and Pennyrile Rural Electric are working together to provide Logan County livestock producers composting material for on-farm fallen animals. Composting is a way to dispose of dead livestock the natural way, by allowing them to decompose on your own farm in a organized and efficient manner.
Disposal of dead animals have become a concern in the county since the dead animal pick up service has ended. Present state guidelines require large fallen animals to be disposed of properly, and composting is one option allowed.
A collaborative effort between the Conservation Districts and Pennyrile Rural Electric has allowed the opportunity for farmers to receive wood chips produced from tree trimmings along right of ways. These wood chips could then be used to compost dead animals on farms if needed. Pennyrile has agreed to haul and dump the wood chips for nearby landowners wanting to stockpile wood material for future use in composting fallen animals. The Pennyrile customer that owns the land where the trimmings are produced has first choice to take the wood chips.
The Logan County Conservation Districts have agreed to gather contact information from landowners wishing to receive wood chips when supplies are available. There is no charge for the material or for the hauling.
A grant was applied for and awarded to the Logan County Conservation District for $5,000 and was offering as a cost share program available for dead animal composting for livestock producers. Cost share provided was 75 percent up to a maximum of $400 for the cost of purchasing wood shavings or sawdust for the purpose of composting fallen animals. The material can be purchased and stockpiled for the future use of composting as well. The Conservation Districts plan to apply again for additional funding to keep help flowing for farmers in Logan County.
For more information about the Conservation Districts cost share program or their partnership with Pennyrile call the Logan County Conservation Districts at (270) 726-1371 to provide your contact information if you are interested in participating.