Many readers will be aware of the Phosphorus (P) supplementation study that has been running at the Department of Primary Industry and Resource’s Victoria River Research Station (Kidman Springs) since 2014. Major benefits from P supplementation have been demonstrated over the last few years, but this year’s results have been even more dramatic and indicate that P supplementation is one of the most important activities that cattle stations can adopt to improve profitability in P deficient areas. At the weaning muster in May this year, the effect of P deficiency on cows that had calved for the second time was quite confronting. The body condition of lactating P- cows (that had no access to P supplement) had deteriorated to the point where the decision was made to stop the study due to animal welfare concerns. While the study was scheduled to run for another year, the huge differences between the treatments seen so far made it hard to justify subjecting the P- cows to another year without P supplement. It would have been good to get data for another year, however if people are not convinced of the benefits of P supplementation from the results so far then running the study for another year is unlikely to make a difference.
For more info, please check NT Government website.