Step 11

Managing Feeds to Reduce Nutrient Excretion

             picture NRCS

Recent advances in feed formulation, supplementation, and livestock monitoring indicate that feed management can be used to reduce nutrient excretion without affecting animal performance. For example, the milk urea nitrogen test can be used to determine whether dairy cows are being overfed protein in the ration.

Recent evidence also suggests that many animals are fed more phosphorus than needed for optimum performance. Phosphorus monitoring in crops and supplements can lead to better dietary phosphorus balancing and reduced phosphorus excretion in the manure. Phytase, an enzyme supplement added to the feed of swine and poultry, enhances phosphorus absorption in the digestive track, thereby reducing phosphorus feeding requirements and excretion in manure.

Contact livestock nutritionists or performance monitoring programs such as the Dairy Herd Improvement Association (DHIA) for more information on feed management to reduce nutrient excretion.

This step will help you reduce loss of nutrients in excrement through feeding practices.

To get started, read the complete text of Step 11 (link at the bottom of the page). Then, read over this page, and complete the checksheet. File this document in an organized manner for later reference. 


After completing this section you should: 

  • Identify which feed management practices, if any, are used on your farm.

Information you will need: 

  • Which feed options for reducing nutrient excretion you are currently using (see checksheet below).

Documentation filed in this section:
Worksheet on feed management practices used to reduce nutrient excretion on your farm.
Direction to Reduce Nutrient Excretion


Full Text of Step 11 from USU/NRCS CNMP Curriculum: 


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