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Journal of Environmental Quality Abstract -

Phosphorus Utilization and Excretion in Pig Production


This article in JEQ

  1. Vol. 29 No. 1, p. 24-27
    Received: Nov 13, 1998

    * Corresponding author(s): HanneDamgaard.Poulsen@agrsci.dk
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  1. Hanne Damgaard Poulsen *
  1. Danish Institute of Agricultural Sciences, Dep. of Animal Nutrition and Physiology, Research Centre Foulum, P.O. Box 50, DK-8830 Tjele, Denmark.



Phosphorus deficiency is known to result in depressed growth and bone abnormalities in pigs (Sus scrofa). As such, practical pig feeding recommendations have over the years aimed at ensuring that pigs would not suffer from P deficiency. This means that a large safety margin has normally been included into the P feeding recommendations in order to compensate for variation in P digestibility in feedstuffs and feed phosphates. However, increasing attention has been devoted to the utilization and excretion of P in pig production over the last decade. Because of the continuous accumulation of P in soil supplied with manure, P utilization and excretion is a matter of great concern, especially in intensive pig-producing countries, but recent research has shown that it is possible to reduce the P content of manure without affecting pigs' health and productivity. Several aspects have to be addressed. First, it is necessary to identify the content of digestible P rather than total P, since this will give a more precise basis for determination of P requirements for each specific pig category (sows, piglets, and growing-finishing pigs), allowing safety margins to be reduced. The introduction of digestible P will also enable pig farmers and feed manufacturers to formulate diets that contain the exact amount of digestible P needed by pigs. Phosphorus digestibility in feedstuffs of plant origin is often low, so another approach is to render the intrinsic P more available for pigs. This will reduce the necessity for the addition of extra P as inorganic feed phosphates to pig diets.

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