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Are “As Excreted Values” Valid in Phosphorus Budgets for Grazing Beef Cattle? Pete Deal, Rangeland Management Specialist, USDA Natural Resources Conservation.

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Presentation on theme: "Are “As Excreted Values” Valid in Phosphorus Budgets for Grazing Beef Cattle? Pete Deal, Rangeland Management Specialist, USDA Natural Resources Conservation."— Presentation transcript:

1 Are “As Excreted Values” Valid in Phosphorus Budgets for Grazing Beef Cattle? Pete Deal, Rangeland Management Specialist, USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service, Kissimmee, FL John J. White, Soil and Water Technician, Osceola Soil and Water Conservation District, Kissimmee, FL Randy Bateman, Agricultural Extension Agent, Osceola County Extension Service, Kissimmee, FL ABSTRACT: Nutrient budgets are used to support regulations aimed at reducing phosphorus leaving agricultural lands Nutrient budgets based on “As Excreted Values” are not reliable in grazing situations where animals can select a diet composed of varied ingredients and quality. Traditional nutrient budgets for livestock rely on “As Excreted Values” to estimate the amount of phosphorus in manure. These values have often been developed using data gathered from feeding operations. Values developed from feeding operations do not accurately account for the varied dietary components selected by grazing animals. Consequently, the results from the nutrient budget do not accurately represent the amount of phosphorus removed or retained on the landscape. A sampling program was conducted to estimate the amount of phosphorus excreted by grazing animals. forage quality samples from three herds of commercial beef cattle were sampled periodically in 2007 and The amount of phosphorus excreted was estimated using the Near Infrared Spectroscopy (NIRS) procedure and NUTBAL Pro software developed by Dr. Jerry Stuth and his team at the Grazing Animal Nutrition Lab (GAN Lab) at Texas A&M University. Project results indicate that the actual amount of phosphorus deposited is significantly lower than estimates based on “As Excreted Values”. The results also indicate that actual deposition is highly variable depending upon growing conditions and growth stage of the forage plants. Therefore, “As Excreted Values” should not be used to develop nutrient budgets for grazing animals. Import-export nutrient budgets that do not rely on "As Excreted Values" should be used in grazing situations. CONCLUSIONS: 1.“As Excreted Values” published in the NRCS Agricultural Waste Management Field Handbook over estimate the actual Phosphorus intake of grazing cattle. 2.Animals cannot excrete more Phosphorus than they ingest. Therefore, NRCS “As Excreted Values” are not applicable to grazed beef cattle in central Florida. 3.Estimates of Phosphorus excretion developed using the NIRS forage quality analysis of forage are lower than the estimates of Phosphorus intake. 4.Phosphorus retained in the tissue of the grazing animals and their offspring may account for three (3) to five (5) pounds per year. 5.The NIRS procedure may be a valid method to estimate “As Excreted Values” when the Phosphorus retained in animal tissue produced in a given year is added to the estimates of Phosphorus in the fecal out put. 6.Phosphorus intake by cattle may be reduced because of the limited availability of Bahiagrass forage. 7.The use “As Excreted Values” to develop nutrient budgets on grazing land will over estimate the amount of nutrients imported onto a site because the actual source of the nutrients is not identified. 8."As Excreted Values" should not be used to develop nutrient budgets for grazing beef cattle! PROJECT: Thirty-nine (39) forage quality samples were collected from 3 central Florida ranches in 2007 and –13 samples were collected from each ranch. –Samples were collected at various times throughout the period. –All ranches were sampled on the same day. Three different fertility management regimes were represented in the sampling project. –Ranch 1 - High Phosphorus Regime: Site is managed for grazing and sod production. Municipal Wastewater Residuals were applied at nitrogen rates every 3 rd year. Phosphorus application rates exceeded published recommendations for Bahiagrass pasture. –Ranch 2 - Medium to High Phosphorus Regime: Site is managed for sod production and grazing. A variety of commercial fertilizer products are applied at high nitrogen rates. Phosphorus application rates typically ranged from medium to high for Bahiagrass. –Ranch 3 - Medium Phosphorus Regime: Site is managed primarily for grazing. Commercial fertilizers products are used to apply nitrogen and phosphorus at the medium rate for Bahiagrass. Phosphorus excretion was estimated using the Near Infrared Spectroscopy (NIRS) procedure. Results from the forage analysis were compared to “As Excreted Values” obtained from the 1992 and 2008 versions of the Agricultural Waste Management Field Handbook. This publication was produced by the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS). Results were also compared to the estimated dietary intake of phosphorus for a typical 1,000 lb. beef cow in Florida. –Dietary information was obtained from the University of Florida Institute for Food and Agricultural Sciences (IFAS). –Six diets were compared using a variety of feed ingredients. –Phosphorus content of the diets ranged from very high (30.91 lb/year) to very low (18.03 lb/year). RESULTS Predicted Phosphorus Excretion: –Ag. Waste Management Field Handbook, 1992 (AWMFH-1992) ……......… = 43.8 lb./year –Ag. Waste Management Field Handbook, 2008 (AWMFH-2008) (Table 4-8) = 39.2 lb./year –NIRS Forage Analysis Average …………………………………………… = 17.6 lb./year Ranch 1 ………………………………………………………………………. = 18.6 lb. /year Ranch 2 ………………………………………………………………………. = 15.9 lb./year Ranch 3 ………………………………………………………………………. = 17.1 lb./year Fecal output was estimated using the formula –(Fecal Output (lbs) = Dry Matter Intake (lbs) X (1 – % Digestible Organic Matter (DOM) / 100)) –Average DOM = 62.83% Standard Deviation = 2.29%,DOM values ranged from 57.83% to 67.40% –Dry Matter intake was assumed to be 26 lbs. per day per animal Estimated Phosphorus Intake –Very High P (VHP) diet- (Dried Distillers Grains, Mineral and Bahiagrass) = lb./year –High P (HP) diet (Fortified Molasses, Mineral and Bahiagrass) …………… = lb./year –Medium P (MP) diet (Citrus Pulp, Mineral, and Bahiagrass) ……………..… = lb./year –Typical (T) diet (Blackstrap Molasses, Mineral and Bahiagrass) …………… = lb./year –Low P (LP) diet (Mineral and Bahiagrass) ………………………………….… = lb./year –Very Low P (VLP) diet (Bahiagrass only) …………………………………….. = lb./year OBSERVATIONS: Estimates of Phosphorus excretion using "As Excreted Values" are 71% to 91% higher than estimates of dietary Phosphorus intake. Estimates of Phosphorus excretion using "As Excreted Values" are 123% to 149% higher than estimates of Phosphorus excretion using the NIRS procedure. The amount of Phosphorus excretion estimated using the NIRS procedure were 23% lower than the typical dietary intake of Phosphorus. The body condition score (BCS) of the animals sampled ranged from a BCS of 4 to 6. This indicates that the animals may not be able to consume 26 lb./day of Bahiagrass. Phosphorus excretion varied as forage conditions and stage of plant growth changed. The source of the Phosphorus cannot be identified using “As Excreted Values”. Therefore it is not possible to differentiate whether the source of Phosphorus was anthropogenic (feed, fertilizer, etc) or natural (soil organic matter, inherent soil reserves, soil water table, etc.) USDA is an equal opportunity employer and provider.


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