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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Broiler Phosphorus Intake Versus Broiler Phosphorus Output in the United States: Nutrition Or Soil Science

Authors
item Miles, Dana
item Sistani, Karamat

Submitted to: World's Poultry Science Journal
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: July 11, 2003
Publication Date: December 1, 2002
Citation: MILES, D.M., SISTANI, K.R. BROILER PHOSPHORUS INTAKE VERSUS BROILER PHOSPHORUS OUTPUT IN THE UNITED STATES: NUTRITION OR SOIL SCIENCE? WORLD'S POULTRY SCIENCE JOURNAL. 2002. v.58.p.493-500.

Interpretive Summary: Compared to commercial fertilizers, broiler litter has a low nitrogen to phosphorus (P) ratio. Litter application, based on the nitrogen needs of crops, can result in a gradual buildup of P in the soil. Excess P runoff into nearby waterways can be detrimental to aquatic life. Many researchers are investigating best management practices to alleviate potential problems related to over application of P. However, gaps exist among the researchers due to their specialty and training. Communication across groups (poultry nutritionists verses soil scientists) is the key for making progress. The purpose of this article is to convey the complexity of the existing efforts for P analysis, identifying factors that influence changes in chemical forms such as dietary P level, P source and characteristics, the use of dietary phytase in rearing conditions, subsequent litter handling, and conditions of litter application. The end result is a "cause and effect" type thinking among the groups working on the broiler industry P issues. The array of factors that affect P entering the environment from poultry production and the impact that it has in the environment necessitate the cooperation of multidisciplinary research teams.

Technical Abstract: Phosphorus (P) is receiving much attention in regard to poultry litter in the U.S. Litter, a combination of bedding material and excreta, contains valuable nutrients and is used as fertilizer on pasture and row crop lands. Compared to commercial fertilizers, broiler litter has a low nitrogen to phosphorus ratio. Litter application rates have been based on the nitrogen needs of crops resulting in a gradual buildup of P in the soil. Phosphorus runoff into nearby water bodies can be detrimental to aquatic life. Proper management of litter is critical to maintaining the farmer's environmental stewardship. Management practices to alleviate potential problems related to over-application of P are being researched but gaps exist due to researcher's specialty and training. Communication across groups is the key for making progress (Example: an agronomist's plan for using litter should coincide with nutritionists' specifications for P requirements). This article identifies some of the more commonly used terms that define the forms of P. The purpose is to convey the complexity of the existing efforts for P analysis, identifying factors that influence changes in chemical forms (dietary P level, P source and P characteristics), the use of dietary phytase in rearing conditions, litter handling, and conditions of litter application. This should create "cause and effect" thinking among the groups working on P issues.

Last Modified: 8/21/2014
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