Maryland's Manure Resources

manure happensWelcome to Maryland's Manure Resources Page!

For centuries, farmers have recognized the value of manure as a natural crop fertilizer and soil conditioner. Today, the value of manure as an alternative energy source continues to gain momentum, even as more and more farmers are realizing the benefits of recycling manure vs. purchasing commercial fertilizer products. This page contains valuable information for:

  • Farmers who are considering switching to manure as a crop fertilizer;
  • Farmers who are already recycling manure on their fields as a valuable nutrient source; and
  • Citizens who want to learn about how farmers manage manure resources to protect water quality.
strike pay dirt with manure
Farmers: If you want to improve your soil, increase yields and save on commercial fertilizer costs, why not switch to manure? Livestock and poultry manure make an excellent crop fertilizer and soil conditioner. Manure contains nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium plus a host of micro-nutrients you'd pay more for in commercial fertilizer products. As an added bonus, manure’s high organic content builds soil and promotes water and nutrient retention. Grants to haul and incorporate manure into your fields are available along with tax breaks for qualifying equipment. Call or visit your Soil Conservation District for free assistance in making the switch. Join Maryland's Manure Matching Service which connects farmers who have excess manure with nearby farmers or alternative use projects that can use this valuable resource. Scroll down the links at right under Manure Resources. 
already using manureALREADY USING MANURE? There are many resources available to farmers who use manure to fertilize their fields. Participation in financial assistance programs requires compliance with all Maryland nutrient management regulations. Check out the links at right listed under  Manure Regulations and Resources. Free technical assistance is always just a phone call away at your local Soil Conservation District.

good farm managementGOOD FARM MANAGEMENT is not always easy to spot. Maryland's environmental regulations require farmers to stockpile poultry manure over the winter to conserve its valuable nutrients and protect the Chesapeake Bay from runoff. Stockpiles are placed on high ground and away from streams, roads and neighbors. They are shaped to "crust over" and shed water when exposed to rain and snow. This protects the manure from rainwater runoff until it can be safely recycled as a crop fertilizer in the spring. Don't let looks deceive you. Click Here to learn more about Maryland's stockpiling guidelines for manure.
recycle manureFOR CENTURIES FARMERS HAVE RECYCLED MANURE as a natural fertilizer and soil conditioner. Today's farmers take recycling to the next level by using the latest environmental practices to prevent manure from washing into waterways. Poultry and livestock farmers stockpile or store manure in structures during winter until it can be used to fertilize their fields. .They use soil tests to guide manure use and may be required to haul the manure to other farms or alternative use facilities for recycling. For more information on Maryland's environmental protections for manure, scroll down the manure regulations listed at right.
manure is happening
Manure is a fact of life on the farm and
an important element in the food production process. Farmers have long recognized the benefits of manure as a crop fertilizer and soil conditioner. Today, farmers still use manure to grow their crops while using the latest environmental practices to protect water quality. See  Nutrient Application Requirements for more information.
brightideasad.jpgWE HAVE A BRIGHTER IDEA. New technology is helping us to see manure in a whole new light as we capitalize on its potential as a renewable energy source and look at new utilization and management options. Maryland is investing in innovative manure management technologies, including manure-to-energy projects that turn chicken manure into power and help farmers find new uses for this abundant natural resource. Three new manure-to-energy projects are already in the works. This year, Maryland will invest $2.5 million in projects that hold promise and demonstrate innovative manure management technologies. Projects that produce energy will help Maryland meet its commitment to use renewable sources for 20 percent of its energy by 2025. Click Here for information on grants for innovative technologies for managing animal manure.