The phosphorus requirements of feedlot calves are lower than previously thought, say researchers at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. That means corn-based feedlot diets contain adequate phosphorus for optimum performance without supplementation.

In a 204-day experiment, 45 crossbred steer calves received phosphorus at one of five levels: 0.16%, 0.22%, 0.28%, 0.34% or 0.40% of diet DM.

Calves fed at 0.16% phosphorus had the lowest plasma phosphorus, but it was adequate. Bone mineral was not influenced by treatment, suggesting that dietary phosphorus was adequate to meet performance needs.

Researchers conclude that supplementation of phosphorus is unnecessary because requirements are not more than 0.16% of the diet DM.

For more information, contact Galen Erickson at 402/472-6402 or e-mail geericks@unlnotes.unl.edu.