What’s your P status?

Region: Central | Topic: Livestock
28 Sep 2020

The Meat and Livestock Australia (MLA) Phosphorus Challenge, now in its second year across the Northern Territory, aims to help producers and industry bodies build a better understanding of the potential for phosphorus deficiency in breeder herds grazing various types of country.

There can be significant economic and production benefit in determining accurate Phosphorus (P) status prior to making decisions about how or when to give P supplements to livestock.

The 2019 pilot study involved 68 properties, with five properties participating in the free testing in Central Australia, including AZRI. This year, three properties participated, including Old Man Plains Research Station. Chris Materne, Bryan Gill and Kirsten Skinner from AZRI had the opportunity to sample three different mobs from three very different land types on Aileron Station. The bloods have been spun and sent off to the lab, along with faecal samples from the cattle tested and soil samples from the paddock the cattle came from. Results are expected in the coming month. Managers Craig and Sarah Cook said that they hope to use the information to “back up what we already believe, that we should supplement P in the mulga and spinifex country, all year round. We were also unsure of the P status on some of our better heifer country, so we are interested in getting the results”.

Blood samples are collected from the base of the tail to assess Phosphorus levelsBryan Gill (DPIR) and Craig Cook (Aileron Station) collecting blood and fecal samples from a selection of animals on various land types.

Left: Blood samples are collected from the base of the tail to assess Phosphorus levels. Right: Bryan Gill (DITT) and Craig Cook (Aileron Station) collecting blood and fecal samples from a selection of animals on various land types.

More information

Read the 2020 Phosphorus Challenge, Qld flyer.

Back to NT Rural Review - September 2020