Many large dairy farms and group buyers see price as their purchasing criteria, often to the detriment of their own pocket. It follows that the customer will always try to buy phosphorus as cheaply as possible but, clearly, it must be of good quality. It is usually assumed that all phosphorus sources are equally available to the animal when, in fact, they are not. There are many sources of phosphorus and they vary enormously in their bio-availability, from 0% to a high of 86%.

Phosphorus Mineral..…6%......(used here for illustration purpose only).

On a 120gms (4.3oz) intake the daily intake would be 7.2gms total phos and 6.2gms utilized or bio-available. The following table shows what the cow gets (based on a 6% phosphorus mineral) from cheaper phos sources or blends which inevitably have lower bio-availabilities.

   Phos 6%  Inferior Phos Sources        
 Availability  86%  70%  60%  50%  40%  0%
 Bio-availability  6.2gms  5.04g  4.32g  3.60g  2.88g  0g
 Restriction in Bio-availability  nil  19%  30%  42%  46.5%  100%

It makes no difference if the cow gets 3, 4 or 5ozs/head/day the proportion of available phos to total phos remains the same for any one product. All Di-Calcium Phosphates fall into the 70 to 86% range with our product having the highest figure. The rock phosphates vary from 60% down to 20% according to whether they are partially acid treated to remove impurities such as fluorine, or simply ground in the raw state.
The difference between an 86% availability product and a 50% one is 42% in terms of bio-available phosphorus. These bottom line figures really do show why some minerals are dearer than others and prove the old adage that you really do get what you pay for !!!

The last column in our table reads 0% and you may question whether there really is such a product on the UK market. We can inform you there is and the importer claims several large companies use it. It has a reasonable phosphorus content..what a pity it passes straight through the animal !!!  Some large packers admit to using a blend of phosphorus all of which contain some Di-Calcium (obviously) but the higher the proportion of rock phosphate the lower will be the availability. The 50% and 40% figures may be accurate estimates, who knows (?), those who do are saying nothing.

Take a cheaper phos mineral at £13.00/bag (£520/tonne) – and there are still a few around at that price – then add back 42% (+ £5.46/bag) and you will get to the approximate price of our mineral. The same exercise can be done with any of our minerals but if you add back the 42% to compensate for a 50% bio-available blend you will always arrive at our standard pricing. That implies a direct relationship between retail price and “available” phos (which may be fortuitous) but there is a real difference to the animal because to get the same daily amount of “available” phos from an inferior product one simply has to feed more of it. The problem is not one of cost, it is too little appreciation that a product of inferior quality is, indeed, of lower value and higher long term cost.