Phosphorus has more known functions in the animal body than any other macro mineral but unfortunately it’s the most deficient mineral in the north, says Direct Injection Technologys’ (DIT) senior nutritionist Susannah McInnerney (B.App.Scc).

uPro: Phosphorous supplement from Direct Injection Technologies

“Phosphorus deficiency can have a significant effect on the growth and development of cattle, in particular fertility in heifers and cows,” Susannah said. By providing phosphorus in supplements producers can greatly increase calving rates, growth rates and reduce the desire of the animal to chew bones which can lead to botulism,” she said.

Susannah said during the wet season when the production levels are higher due to increased energy and protein uptake, the cattle’s need for Phosphorus increases.

“Although still necessary the requirement during the dry season is lower. The daily requirement for cattle for phosphorus can vary greatly depending on season, country type and class of stock, the average generally 6 to 24 grams/head/day.”

She said a current trial at Kidman Springs (Victoria River Research Station) by The Northern Territory Department of Primary Industries and Resources has shown the significant effects of phosphorus on fertility. 

“The study is ongoing, however, results published in October 2017 by Beef Central have shown that maiden heifers receiving a phosphorus supplement and joined at two years of age had a 10 per cent higher pregnancy rate than those not receiving a phosphorus supplement. The supplemented heifers on their first lactation were on average heavier by 120kg then those unsupplemented. At weaning the calves of the supplemented heifers on average were 34kg heavier than the calves from unsupplemented heifers.” 

Susannah said DIT formulated uPhos, after recognising the need for a water medicated phosphorus supplement for the north. 

“uPhos provides a rapidly soluble source of phosphorus and urea to rumen microflora through water medication, and is injected into troughs by the DIT dispensing unit, Nutridose. Producers have the flexibility with uPhos to adjust the dosage rate throughout the seasons to ensure cattle are receiving the daily requirement of phosphorus.”

She said uPhos is very competitive in the supplement industry at 12c/head/day compared to a dry lick at 21c/head/day and a molasses block at 31c/head/day.

“uPhos intake is strictly controlled through the Nutridose and NutriPro units so excess intake isn’t a problem.” 

To discuss uPhos further please call DIT sales and senior nutritionist Tom Feez on 0491 289 191.