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University Recommends Strategies to Reduce Phosphorus Levels in Swine Manure

by 5m Editor
31 December 2007, at 8:04am

CANADA - The University of Manitoba is encouraging swine producers to consider a combination of strategies to ease the transition from nitrogen livestock manure application limits to phosphorus based limits, Bruce Cochrane.

Manitoba livestock producers have until November 2008 to comply with new phosphorus based livestock manure application regulations or qualify for a five year extension by submitting a nutrient management plan outlining a compliance strategy.

Manure typically contains more phosphorus than crops need when applied based of its nitrogen content.

Dr. Don Flaten, a professor in the University of Manitoba's Department of soil science, says that ratio can be improved.

Dr. Don Flaten-University of Manitoba

There's some things they can do in the barn.

For example, in terms of feeding strategy, try to minimize the amount of supplemental phosphorus provided usually through dical mineral supplements.

We want to be careful to feed according to the animal's requirements for that specific stage of growth, so called phase feeding.

If you're working with poultry or pigs you'd be adding phytase enzyme to supplement the enzymes in the animal and make that phosphorus in the feedgrain more digestible so you wouldn't have to add as much supplemental P.

You'd also want to consider ways of reducing feed wastage.

There's just a whole bunch of things you do in the barn to try to minimize the amount of excess phosphorus going into the barn and that would be coming out of the barn in the form of manure.

You'd also want to take a look on the other side of the ledger in terms of the export of phosphorus.

You want to maximize your productivity of your farm and also try to make sure that any land you're using for putting on manure that you're getting the maximum amount of crop growth and that you're actually exporting that crop product in fairly large quantities so you don't get it accumulating in your soil.


Dr. Flaten notes producers with a sufficient land base will be able to recycle nutrients on their own farms, but people who don't have that extra land base will have problems because it takes anywhere from two to ten times as much land to go from a pure nitrogen basis to a pure phosphorus basis.

5m Editor