Reducing phosphorus runoff from swine manure with dietary phytase and aluminum chloride

J Environ Qual. 2004 May-Jun;33(3):1048-54. doi: 10.2134/jeq2004.1048.


Phosphorus (P) runoff from fields fertilized with swine (Sus scrofa) manure has been implicated in eutrophication. Dietary modification and manure amendments have been identified as best management practices to reduce P runoff from manure. This study was conducted to compare the effects of dietary modification and aluminum chloride (AlCl3) manure amendments on reducing P in swine manure and runoff. Twenty-four pens of nursery swine were fed either a normal diet or a phytase-amended diet. Each pen was connected to a separate manure pit, which was treated with AlCl3 to give final concentrations in the liquid manure of 0 (control), 0.25, 0.50, or 0.75% (v/v). Manure was collected and applied to plots cropped with tall fescue (Festuca arundinacea Schreb.), and simulated rainfall was applied at 50 mm h(-1), sufficient to generate a minimum of 30 min of continuous runoff. Samples of manure and runoff were analyzed for P and Al concentrations. Phytase reduced manure soluble reactive phosphorus (SRP) by 17%, while AlCl3 reduced manure SRP by as much as 73% compared with normal manure. Phosphorus runoff was reduced from 5.7 to 2.6 mg P L(-1) (a 53% reduction) using AlCl3. The mean SRP concentration in runoff from phytase diets without AlCl3 was 7.1 mg P L(-1) during the first rainfall simulation. When phytase and AlCl3 were used together, both manure SRP and P runoff were reduced more than if either treatment were used without the benefit of the other. Use of AlCl3 did not increase soluble Al in manure or Al lost in runoff. Results from this study indicate that producers should use dietary manipulation with phytase and AlCl3 manure amendments to reduce potential P losses from fields fertilized with swine manure.

Publication types

  • Evaluation Study

MeSH terms

  • 6-Phytase / pharmacology*
  • Aluminum Chloride
  • Aluminum Compounds / pharmacology*
  • Animal Feed
  • Animals
  • Chlorides / pharmacology*
  • Diet
  • Fertilizers
  • Manure*
  • Phosphorus / isolation & purification*
  • Rain
  • Swine*
  • Water Movements
  • Water Pollution / prevention & control*


  • Aluminum Compounds
  • Chlorides
  • Fertilizers
  • Manure
  • Phosphorus
  • Aluminum Chloride
  • 6-Phytase