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Sustainability Spotlight

Manure Injection

Our Maola dairy farmers work hard to make sure that they are incorporating sustainable solutions into their everyday farming; they don’t even let waste go to waste. That’s right – today we’re talking about cow poop, or what farmers commonly refer to as manure.

Maola Milk | Manure Injection | Sustainability
Maola Milk | Manure Injection Blog

We all know what manure is, but how exactly is it used?

As a fertilizer, manure has a lot of great nutrients that help grow the crops that will eventually feed our cows. Our cows then use these crops to help make our delicious Maola milk. And of course, they then make more manure to start the system all over again. 

This system of recycling is resource-efficient, as it uses every possible resource on the farm so that nothing goes to waste. Manure also offers farmers the chance to use a natural fertilizer – fresh from the farm! In return, they’re reducing the need for chemical fertilizers, like the ones you might typically find in a store.

When you think of fertilizing plants, you may think of liquid fertilizer or a high-quality composted fertilizer that you lay directly on top of your soil. This works well for potted plants or fenced-off gardens, but this method can cause an issue with farms located near waterways.

Dr. Heather Karsten, a researcher and Associate Professor of Crop Production/Ecology at Penn State University, explains, “The problem is that nutrients may come back down somewhere in the watershed, or in another nearby watershed by way of precipitation, and unfortunately that does end up contributing to water pollution.” 

As a local milk co-operative, and proud brand of the Maryland & Virginia Milk Producers Cooperative Association, Maola recognizes the importance of reducing run-off by working directly with our farmers to implement manure injection across many of our farms. Manure injection, a farming practice that Dr. Karsten has done a lot of research on, uses specialized tools to inject the manure straight into the ground, rather than the typical process of placing it on top. This keeps valuable nutrients from the manure closer to where it’s most needed to grow crops.

Maola farmer, David, is just one of our Maryland farmers who has decided to switch to manure injection this year. Not only is this practice better for crops, but it’s also making a positive change in the Chesapeake Bay watershed by helping to reduce run-off.

Our Maola dairy farmers are always working to improve practices that help protect our local community and keep your glass of milk as earth-friendly as possible. We’re proud to be part of multiple partnerships that aim to improve the water quality around the Chesapeake Bay watershed. Manure injection is just one of many methods our farmers use to do that.

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