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Estimation of nitrogen and phosphorus flows in livestock production in Dianchi Lake basin, China

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We assessed the nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P) flows in intensified livestock production systems by investigating nutrient budgets and cycling in the basin of Dianchi Lake, one of the most eutrophic lakes in China. We conducted field surveys based on feed samplings and interviews of livestock farmers. The N and P in local and external feeds, animal body retentions, animal products and excretions were calculated at the individual level for dairy cattle, fattening pigs, breeding sows, broilers and laying hens. The N and P flows in the total livestock production system in the area were estimated by multiplying the individual N and P budgets by the number of animals. For the dairy and fattening pig productions, N and P supplied from local crops or by‐products accounted for large parts of the inputs. For the other livestock categories, most of the N and P inputs depended on external resources. The N and P outputs through animal manure into the cropland were 287 and 66 kg/ha/year, respectively, which were higher than the N and P inputs into the livestock production systems from the cropland. The N and P loads from manure should be reduced for the establishment of sustainable agricultural production systems.
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Keywords: China; livestock production system; nitrogen; nutrient flow; phosphorus

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: January 1, 2016

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