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Focus on Diet in Managing Phosphorus Advised

by 5m Editor
8 December 2009, at 8:51am

CANADA - A southeastern Manitoba based livestock manure applicator is encouraging hog producers to focus more on what goes into the animal to better manage what comes out, writes Bruce Cochrane.

In the past livestock manure application rates in Manitoba were based solely on the nitrogen content of the manure however water quality concerns in Lake Winnipeg have prompted provincial regulators to impose strict limits on the application of phosphorus.

Doug Redekop, the general manager of Precision Pumping a southeastern Manitoba based producer owned cooperative that provides custom manure application services, recommends closer management of the level of phosphorus contained in the diet.

Doug Redekop-Precision Pumping

I think the crucial thing is to look at the front end of the animal as opposed to the back end of the animal.

How do we impact that and as to look at it from a whole farm aspect?

Let's feed for optimal performance and maintenance of animals as opposed to continuously topping up phosphorus on kind of a just in case approach as opposed to more of a science.

I think the big thing is the implementation of phytase to make the phosphorus in the grains more available.

Also I've heard of late the DDGS that are being implemented into rations is also impacting the phosphorus.

It's very high in phosphorus.

Also in regards to phosphorus is the importance of inclusion rates of phosphorus in the diets which is impacted by the macro-premixes that you're putting in there.

So that's of ultra importance, is to manage it at the front end of the animal.

There's a bit of a myth out there that the phosphorus issue is only one that's dealt with within the pig industry and I am told that all livestock species face the same challenges.


Mr Redekop notes the method of applying manure will also impact the nitrogen phosphorus balance.

He explains surface application allows the nitrogen to escape into the atmosphere through volatilization further increasing the ratio of phosphorous where as injection helps maintain the nitrogen.

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