Using Surplus Milk as Fertilizer

Provisional Guidance for COVID-19 Emergency Response

Given the current market disruptions created by the COVID-19 emergency, farms may continue to play important roles in the safe, agronomic, and environmentally sound recycling of surplus milk.  Please find provisional guidance for recycling milk and manure and milk mixtures as a fertilizer for crops here.  It’s been developed to support the efforts of farmers, planners, Districts, and other Ag conservation partners in their responses to the COVID-19 emergency. 

The guidance was developed by the NYS Department of Agriculture and Markets, in partnership with the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation (NYS DEC) and the Cornell University Nutrient Management Spear Program, Department of Animal Science, and PRO-DAIRY Program, and in coordination with the NYS DEC’s enforcement discretion memo regarding Part 360 regulations (specifically Part 361-2.3(b) and (c)) and the milk surplus caused by COVID-19 (read memo here).

Watershed Agricultural Program participants please contact your Whole Farm Planner or Nutrient Management Planner if you have any questions or issues.