Netherlands - Less phosphorus in pig feed; Macro-effects, opportunities and barriers

The Ministry of Economics, Agriculture and Innovation asked LEI to investigate the macro-economic effects of reduced-phosphorous feed. This request was translated into research into the influence of reduced phosphorous feed on the price of pig feeds, the influence on the manure surplus in kilos of phosphate, the effect on the necessary processing capacity of pig manure and the costs savings that this achieves. In addition, the research looked into the risks perceived by the animal feed industry, both for the industry itself and for pig farmers.
Tuesday 26 April 2011 (7 years 5 months 20 days ago)
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The phosphorous levels in pig feed could fall by 10-20% at moderate additional costs by reducing the share of indigestible phosphorous. The manure then generally contains up to 20% less phosphate. Further reductions lead to greatly increased additional costs. The farm surpluses are declining by 4-8m kg of phosphate every year. The required capacity for the processing of pig manure is declining by 25-40%. Due to an unstable manure disposal market, the disposal price of manure in the coming years could vary between 15 and 30 Euros per tonne of pig manure. The cheapest available alternative for manure disposal then determines the price. Between 18 and 47m Euros can be saved annually on manure processing costs.

The international raw materials market does not experience any influence from the Dutch decision to use reduced-phosphorous pig feed. However, the question does remain of what will happen to the high-phosphorous by-products of bio-ethanol production.

If the animal feed industry brings reduced-phosphorous feed onto the market, there is no demand for it on the part of pig farmers. This is because pig farmers fear poorer technical results. They already view the obligation to reduce antibiotics use as risky. A reduction of the phosphorous in the feed increases those risks, in their opinion. In the world of practice, the risks of phosphorous reduction in sow feed are estimated to be greater than in fattening pig feed. However, there appear to be good possibilities in terms of feed price in sow-farming. Disappointing technical results can often not be blamed on reduced-phosphorous feed but on the management. Pig farmers are rarely aware that the reduction of phosphorous in
feed can only be achieved through a reduction in indigestible phosphorous.

Interventions are required to remove the abovementioned obstacles. Incentives that convince pig farmers that phosphorous reduction brings benefits for themselves too can be used to support such interventions. Identification instruments offer pig farmers the possibility of better managing feed containing less phosphorous.

http://www.lei.dlo.nl/publicaties/PDF/2011/2011-010_summary.pdf

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