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How phosphorous deficiency drives down productivity
February 05, 2021

Fact: More than 66 per cent of soil in northern Australia is Low to Very Low in available phosphorus.

Cattle need phosphorus (P) for almost every vital bodily function, including building bones and teeth, metabolising fat, carbohydrates and protein, and milk synthesis.

Livestock responses to P deficiencies aren’t uniform, although all involve lost productivity.

Noticeable symptoms include chewing bones, but what you may not register at first are reduced feed intake, poor growth rates, high breeder mortality, high incidence of Botulism, reduced fertility and reduced milk production.

Breeders, Maiden and First Calf Heifers are hit particularly hard and the problems take time to present themselves.

When in late pregnancy and early lactation, P-deficient breeders can maintain calf growth and milk reserves … but consume less pasture.

Inevitably, this comes at the cost of body reserves and ongoing, long-term productivity losses.

Why this is relevant, right now

Why this is relevant, right nowNature won’t come to the rescue here: Supplementation is the easiest, most effective way to lift your property’s phosphorous count.
And in-field studies clearly point to the wet season as the most effective time to run a supplementation program.   We understand the logistical challenges – but there are a number of solutions to feed phosphorous to your herd.  

The supplementation stats* are compelling:
– P-supplemented cattle consume up to 30 per cent more pasture.
– Expected responses to supplementation during the wet season include:
30-40kg increase in annual growth with young cattle;
10-30% increase in weaning rates, and10-20kg increase in weaning weights.

Through years of trialling, testing, acting on feedback from farmers and committing to constant improvement, we know that our liquid molasses-based feed supplements deliver powerful results.  
We developed Molafos HP (High Phosphorous) specifically for northern Australian farms with extremely low P levels and recommend its use during the wet season.  
And the rest of our comprehensive range of Molafos pasture supplements, scientifically developed for Australia’s north, also offer high phosphorous content.  

To recap:Now is the time to supplement – and the Molafos range (Molafos HP in particular) – delivers outstanding results across a spectrum of northern farming conditions.  
To see the full Molafos range, including specifications and usage, click here.* McKosker and Winks (1994) Phosphorus Management of Beef Cattle in Northern Australia

So how do we know this stuff? We ask Bruce Burgess, our Lord of the Liquid Feeds. Bruce ran large farms here and in China before specialising in animal nutrition. He uses science, experience and commonsense to formulate the right supplement to match your farm. If you want to tap his big brain for improved farm output, ask us how we can support you on the road to greater efficiency.

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