Feed Formulation Identified as Key to Lowering Manure Phosphorus Levels

CANADA - Farm-Scape: Episode 2258. Farm-Scape is a Wonderworks Canada production and is distributed courtesy of Manitoba Pork Council and Sask Pork.
calendar icon 29 September 2006
clock icon 3 minute read

Farm-Scape, Episode 2258

A researcher with the University of Manitoba suggests the formulation of feed, in conjunction with other techniques, holds the key to reducing the amount of unutilized phosphorus that passes through the pig ending up in the environment.

Phosphorus is a key mineral nutrient in the swine diet, contributing to the formation and maintenance of bone and several other important metabolic processes.

Unfortunately much of the phosphorus in grains is tied up as phytate, a form that's unavailable to the animal, and it ends up in the manure creating potential environmental concerns.

The amount of unavailable phosphorous will depend on the grain being fed.

Dr. Martin Nyachotti, an associate professor with the University of Manitoba's Department of Animal Science, says several approaches including the development of grains with lower levels of this unavailable phosphorus and feed supplements which help the animal utilize the mineral are available but he maintains these techniques need to be used in conjunction with feed formulation.

"What we are trying to do and hopefully we'll start this research at the U of M is that we would like to get a handle of the availability of phosphorus in different feed ingredients.

The other thing that we would like to do is we would like to get an idea of the phosphorus requirement of the main genotypes that are used in this province. There's really two sides of the equation.

There's the feed formulation, there's the requirement by the animal so you need to know what the requirement is so that you can balance the diet for the two. Those are the efforts that I think we need to focus on.

We also need to evaluate different feed ingredients, new feed ingredients with a higher available phosphorus. They need to be evaluated and then see how they can be utilized in practical feed formulations."

Dr. Nyachoti notes, in places where diets have been formulated properly, techniques aimed at reducing the level of phosphorus remaining in the manure have been very effective.

For Farmscape.Ca, I'm Bruce Cochrane.

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