Processors and Farmers: These are unprecedented times and we should be aware of a range of possibilities, including changes in milk demand.
While we hope that milk demand remains strong, should the situation change resulting in a surplus, farmers and handlers should review the items below to make sure surplus milk is managed appropriately.
Typically, when milk is long, haulers will continue to stop at farms to pick up milk so volume, quality and components can be measured. The tried and true process is to deliver this milk to farms with adequate manure storage capacity and unload the milk into the storage. Depending on the milk to manure ratio, there may be a higher than normal odor factor from this mix due to the high energy content of milk, especially during agitation and land application.
Receiving farms should have the capacity to inject or incorporate the resulting manure/milk mix in order to manage odors. This may reduce odor and potential fly issues resulting from land application. In some cases, milk could be mixed with manure and added to an anaerobic digester before being sent to storage. Farms with a renewable natural gas contract may have an agreement that prohibits offsite substrates from being added to the digester. If you have an agreement with an outside entity, double check that milk or other substrates are allowed. For all CAFO farms, importing milk could impact your nutrient management plan, so be sure to talk to your planner about how to manage additional nutrients coming to, or not being exported from, the farm.