Manure Manager

News Applications Dairy
Options for keeping the value of dumped milk on the farm


April 28, 2020
By Manure Manager

Topics

Many dairy farms across the United States and Canada have found themselves dumping milk that cannot be processed due to COVID-19 market disruptions. Four members of the University of Minnesota Extension team – manure management specialist Melissa Wilson, manure educator Chryseis Modderman, and engineers Erin Cortus and Kevin Janni – have developed a list of tips for how to use the surplus milk as a nutrient bonus for land application or manure storage.

Rather than disposing of the milk in other ways, wasting the effort and possibly affecting the local environment, both land application and adding to manure storage recycle the nutrient-rich liquid in a way that benefits the soil.

A couple things to consider before adding the extra milk to your soil or manure storage:

  • First and foremost, check local ordinances to see if using milk in land applications or in manure storage is allowed.
  • Be sure to account for the nutrients in the milk in your nutrient management plan.
  • The realities of decomposing milk will affect fields (strong odors, incorporation into soil) and stored manure (odors, crust-forming).
  • Keep records of the milk used in this manner, including dates, volume of milk, reason for disposal, and where exactly it was used.

For the full article, visit the University of Minnesota Extension Crop News blog.