Dietary Manipulation Reduces Manure Nitrogen Excretion

by 5m Editor
5 February 2004, at 12:00am

CANADA - Farm-Scape: Episode 1440. 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 1440

Research conducted at the Prairie Swine Centre near Saskatoon shows adjusting diet can dramatically reduce the level of nitrogen contained in the manure excreted by hogs.

Scientists at the Prairie Swine Centre have completed a large scale project aimed at reducing the nitrogen and phosphorus contents of manure excreted by hogs.

The goal of the exercise was to manipulate nutrient excretion without reducing pig performance. Research Scientist Nutrition Dr. Ruurd Zijlstra says, on the nitrogen side, a combination of strategies was evaluated.

"In nitrogen excretion we looked, for example, at feeding low protein diets. We looked feeding fermentable fibre which would change urinary to fecal nitrogen excretion and thereby reduce ammonia emission.

We looked at feed processing to improve protein digestibility which hopefully would result in reduced nitrogen excretion and we also looked at feed enzymes.

For nitrogen it would mean you're going to be better feeding the pigs according to individual amino acid requirements.

That would mean you would start to increase the amount of synthetic amino acids in your diets while at the same time you reduce the total protein content of the diet.

In this situation the pig would still meet the requirements for the individual amino acids however you would feed less excess nitrogen and therefor drastically reduce the amount of nitrogen that is excreted in the urine by the pig".

Dr. Zijlstra says, because urinary nitrogen can be quickly converted into ammonium which will be converted into ammonia, it has some major implications both inside and outside the barn.

He says high ammonia concentrations will result in higher ammonia emissions from the barn, which can potentially have environmental implications, and inside the barn high ammonia concentrations can be potentially detrimental to barn workers or just be unpleasant to work in.

For Farmscape.Ca, I'm Bruce Cochrane.

5m Editor