Methods to assess dietary phosphorus adequacy for sows

Phosphorus is an essential nutrient that is involved in multiple physiological functions. These functions include bone mineralization, energy transfer and storage, cell membrane structure maintenance, and acid-base balance. Adequate phosphorus nutrition of sows is critical for optimal growth and development of the offspring during gestation and lactation. It’s also very important for maternal health and productive performance. Despite this importance to animal function, there is limited research on this nutrient. Normally diets are formulated to provide an excess of phosphorus, but this process presents environmental concerns. So additional information on actual phosphorus requirements of the sow are important to be able to balance the diet with adequate, but not excessive phosphorus levels.

Mariola Grez Capdeville is a post-doctoral research associate at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. If you are interested in her research, please email her at