Bridging Gaps in the Agricultural Phosphorus Cycle from an Animal Husbandry Perspective—The Case of Pigs and Poultry

Since phosphorus (P) is an essential element for life, its usage and application across agricultural production systems requires great attention. Monogastric species such as pigs and poultry can significantly contribute to global food security but these animals remain highly dependent on the supply of mineral inorganic P in their feeds. Pig and poultry, which represent 70% of the global meat production, are also major P excretors and thus represent important sources of environmental P inputs. Balancing the P cycle within farming systems is crucial to achieve P sustainable and resilient livestock production. Therefore, the interconnection of animal feed, livestock farming, manure, and soil/aquatic ecosystems requires multidisciplinary approaches to improve P management. With regard to a sustainable agricultural P cycle, this study addresses aspects of feeding strategies and animal physiology (e.g., phase feeding, P conditioning, liquid feeding, phytase supplementation, genetics), soil agroecosystems (e.g., P cycling, P losses, P gains), reuse and recycling (e.g., manure, slaughter waste), measures of farmers’ economic performance (e.g., bio-economic models), and P governance/policy instruments (e.g., P quota, P tax). To reconcile the economic and ecological sustainability of animal husbandry, the strategic objective of future research will be to provide solutions for a sufficient supply of high-quality animal products from resource-efficient and economically competitive agro-systems which are valued by society and preserve soil and aquatic ecosystems.
Publication history: Accepted - 29 May 2018; Published online - 1 June 2018
agricultural cycle, bio-economic assessment, environmental phosphorus burden, farm animals, feeding strategies, monogastric species, phosphorus recycling, sustainable phosphorus governance
Oster, M., Reyer, H., Ball, E., Fornara, D., McKillen, J., Sørensen, K., Poulsen, H., Andersson, K., Ddiba, D., Rosemarin, A., Arata, L., Sckokai, P., Magowan, E. and Wimmers, K. (2018) ‘Bridging Gaps in the Agricultural Phosphorus Cycle from an Animal Husbandry Perspective—The Case of Pigs and Poultry’, Sustainability, 10(6), p. 1825. doi: 10.3390/su10061825.