By Bruce Cochrane
A business development specialist for swine with Manitoba Agriculture, Food and Rural Development says minimum federal requirements for the inclusion of phosphorus in swine rations is limiting the effectiveness of strategies designed to reduce phosphorus levels in swine manure.
The Manitoba Swine Nutrition Survey 2013 was among the topics discussed earlier this month as part of a water and nutrient management field day at the University of Manitoba's Glenlea Research Station.
To establish a baseline of nutrient levels in swine rations and identify opportunities to reduce nutrient levels in feeds, swine feed formulators were asked how they estimate available phosphorus compared to total phosphorus in grain, if they use safety margins and how they use feed additives that make more of the phosphorus available to the animal.
Robyn Harte, a business development specialist for swine with Manitoba Agriculture, Food and Rural Development, says the survey shows phosphorus is a tough nut to deal with.
Robyn Harte-Manitoba Agriculture, Food and Rural Development:
On one side we have federal legislation that for commercial feed mills limits the lowest level that they can formulate rations to, and on the other side we have technologies and strategies that we can employ to reduce the phosphorus inclusion rate into rations but the two unfortunately don't necessarily work well together.
That was one very large finding is that we have a lot of technologies, we have a lot of strategies but we're stymied by the CFIA Table-4 minimum requirements for phosphorus in the rations.
Harte notes another interesting finding was that there was a great deal of variation in how formulators calculate phosphorus inclusion levels.
She notes phosphorus can be totally available to the animal or it can be bound and unavailable so there wasn't a lot of consistency as to which type of phosphorus was formulated for, which also made comparing the data challenging.