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Regulatory Changes Could Cut Phosphorus Levels in Manure

by 5m Editor
21 January 2014, at 5:25am

CANADA - A survey of swine nutritionists indicates they believe they could help reduce the level of phosphorus in livestock manure if they had the flexibility to reduce the inclusion of phosphorus in feed below current Canadian Food Inspection Agency requirements, writes Bruce Cochrane.

If animals don't get enough phosphorus their health and development will be negatively impacted but excess phosphorus in the feed will be excreted in the manure and can accumulate on the land.

The Manitoba Livestock Manure Management Initiative has completed a survey of swine feed formulators throughout Manitoba to establish a baseline of nutrient levels in feed rations in hopes of identifying opportunities to reduce nutrient levels in feed formulations.

MLMMI executive director John Carney says survey participants were asked about the process they use to estimate available phosphorus compared to total phosphorus in grain, whether they use safety margins and how they use feed additives that make more of the phosphorus available to the animal.

John Carney-Manitoba Livestock Manure Management Initiative

There's a complete report that I'll refer to on our web site but a couple of the five thousand foot level findings, CFIA regulates phosphorus requirements in feed through Table-4 and nutritionists conveyed to us that they think that there's an opportunity to reduce phosphorus levels if they had the freedom to reduce formulations below Table-4 levels.

Fortunately what's going on right now is CFIA is modernising the feed act and they're looking at Table-4 so we're hopeful for some reform there that'll enable our nutritionists to reduce those phosphorus levels.

Another finding was that nutritionists are always looking for ways to improve of course and there are new ways to estimate the available phytase in different feed grains.

A particularly new method is standardised total tract digestibility and they're very interested in learning how to use that.

Mr Carney notes the complete report is now available on the Manitoba Livestock Manure Management Initiative Web site at