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U of M to Study Effect of Low Phosphorus Manure on Soil

by 5m Editor
12 November 2003, at 12:00am

CANADA - Farm-Scape: Episode 1382. Farm-Scape is a Wonderworks Canada production and is distributed courtesy of Manitoba Pork Council and Sask Pork.

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Manitoba Pork Council and Sask Pork

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Farm-Scape is a Wonderworks Canada production and is distributed courtesy of Manitoba Pork Council
and Sask Pork.

Farm-Scape, Episode 1382

The University of Manitoba is set to begin a study which will examine how soil is impacted by manure from pigs that are fed a special enzyme which helps them utilize phosphorus.

When added to swine rations the phytase enzyme improves the animal's ability to utilize phosphorus, thereby reducing the amount of phosphorus that remains in the manure.

The study, 'Forms and Reactivity of Manure Phosphorus from Phytase Fed Swine in Manitoba Soils' is being conducted by the U of M Animal science and soil science departments with funding from the Manitoba Livestock Manure Management Initiative.

Assistant Professor Dr. Wole Akinremi says the two year study is intended to determine how the phosphorus that remains in the manure will affect the soil.

"What phytase is supposed to do is reduce the phosphorus and there's no doubt, when we feed phytase, the phosphorus in the manure actually goes down.

That has been well established because the phytase makes the phosphorus in the feed more available to the animal which means there will be less in the manure which, overall, may be good in terms of reduced phosphorus in the manure.

The question we are looking at is, 'by making the phosphorus available to the animal, is the phosphorus that is left more reactive in soil and is it more vulnerable to loss compared to when we do not add phytase.

That is the question we want to resolve. That is what we want to find out.

What happens with this phosphorus after it comes out of the animal. Is the left over P now more reactive and then is it more susceptible to loss when we apply the manure to the field".

Dr. Akinremi says, while reduced phosphorus in the manure is good news, it will bad news if the remaining Phosphorus is more susceptible to loss into the environment.

The research is scheduled to get underway in January.

For Farmscape.Ca, I'm Bruce Cochrane.

5m Editor