Development and evaluation of low-phytate wheat germplasm to reduce diffuse phosphate pollution from pig and poultry units
Research partners: NIAB, University of Reading, Nottingham and Idaho, Harper Adams University College, Velcourt Ltd.
Industrial partners: Nickerson-Advanta, BASF Frank Wright, Noble Foods, JSR Farms, Sun Valley Foods, A.B.N.A Ltd. J Bibby Agriculture and Trident Feeds, Anglian Water Services, The Environment Agency, Velcourt (Farm Management), British Poultry Council, Home Grown Cereals Agency, AHDB Pork
Sponsors: This project was funded under the Defra LINK Sustainable Arable programme.
Project duration: 2006 – 2010
Aims and objectives
- To provide adapted germplasm and tools for marker assisted breeding of High Available Phosphate (HAP) wheat
- To determine the effect of P fertiliser treatment on the P metabolism within the wheat plant and grain, and on the grain composition of other important nutrients and micronutrients
Findings to date
- Under certain conditions P excretion could be reduced in both pigs and poultry using HAP wheat; in one trial this equated to approximately a 20 – 25% reduction in pig faecal P
- Replacing conventional feed with a low phytate alternative could make it possible to reduce P load to waters by 0.53% (321 tonnes P per year) and the agricultural contribution to the total P load to British waters by 2.73%
- There was no evidence for altered performance or need for altered agronomy with HAP wheat; this will need to be confirmed with the UK adapted material and the new mutations.