ANNAPOLIS, MD– The Maryland Department of Agriculture (MDA) is encouraging farmers to consider switching to poultry litter as a fertilizer ahead of the upcoming planting season. The department’s Manure Transport Program offers “FastTrack” grants that provide cost-share assistance for qualified farmers interested in using poultry litter for crop production and soil health.

“Poultry litter is packed with nutrients and makes an excellent alternative to commercial fertilizer,” said Secretary Joe Bartenfelder. “I encourage anyone growing grains, hay or organic crops to contact the department’s Manure Transport Program and learn more about how you can benefit from switching to poultry litter.”

Poultry litter is a natural fertilizer that is rich in nutrients and micronutrients that promote soil health and produce strong, healthy crops. In addition to promoting the production and soil health benefits of poultry litter, this initiative is an important part of the state’s efforts to reduce nutrient runoff from fields with high phosphorus levels. The Manure Transport Program allows farms with high phosphorus to ship their litter to fields in other parts of the state that are able to safely apply phosphorus.

The Manure Transport Program’s “FastTrack” grants currently offer up to $22.50/ton for qualified farmers interested in receiving and applying poultry litter. New improvements to the program allow farmers to “haul now, apply later,” making it easier than ever to make the switch from commercial fertilizer to poultry litter.

For more information on the Manure Transport Program and its “FastTrack” grants, please visit the program’s website, or call the Manure Hotline at 410-841-5864.

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