manure compostOn June 14, an innovative manure composting system was unveiled at Days End Farm Horse Rescue in Howard County, the first such project made possible by Maryland’s Animal Waste Technology Grant Fund.

Although composting is not new, this contained vessel composting system, when installed, reduces environmental factors that impact the composting success. The state-of-the-art system can process 1.5 tons of horse manure in two weeks. According to Days End officials, the final compost product will be used for bedding, on-site landscaping needs and possible sale to a local nursery.

“Preliminary information from the Environmental Finance Center at the University of Maryland indicates that Days End Farm will save approximately $12,000 a year by eliminating landfill expenses and reducing bedding costs,” said Maryland Agriculture Secretary Joe Bartenfelder. “Developing new technologies to protect natural resources and improve farm profitability is a win-win for everyone.”

Green Mountain Technologies, based in Washington state, implemented the project for Days End Farm Horse Rescue. The company employs the latest technologies and has the ability to use web-enabled controllers and probes to monitor temperatures and manage the composter remotely.

“Green Mountain Technologies—in partnership with the Maryland Department of Agriculture and Days End Farm Horse Rescue—is delighted to demonstrate this exciting new concept in manure management for equine facilities,” said Michael Bryan-Brown, the firm’s president and chief engineer. “Our goal is to lower operating costs for equine facilities while reducing their environmental impact.”

Reauthorized in 2013, the Maryland Department of Agriculture’s Animal Waste Technology Fund provides grants to companies that demonstrate innovative technologies on farms and alternative strategies for managing animal manure. These technologies may generate energy from animal manure, reduce on-farm waste streams, and repurpose manure by creating marketable fertilizer and other products and byproducts. To date, the program has issued $3.7 million in grants to demonstrate alternative technologies for manure management.  For more information on additional grant projects, visit and type “Animal Waste Technology Fund” in the search box.