The NorFor IT system, ration formulation and optimisation
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This chapter describes how we have converted a whole-animal model into a commercial computer tool to be used by advisors and farmers to formulate and optimise diets for dairy cows and growing cattle. The NorFor system is a semi-mechanistic model that has many theoretical advantages for the formulation and evaluation of feed rations. The system represents a significantdevelopment in models of nutritional formulation. It incorporates a detailed description of the protein and carbohydrate composition of the ration, which is used in the algorithms to predict degradation, digestion and metabolism in the gastro-intestinal tract and also the supply of metabolizable energy and protein. It can be used not only to estimate nutritional requirements but also provides substantial benefitsfor predicting nutrient utilization and the environmental impact from different diets. A complex model with semi-mechanistic algorithms and non-linear functions requires the development of a powerful, user-friendly computer tool before it can be used in practical ration formulation and optimisation.
KeywordsFeed Ingredient Automatic Differentiation Dairy Management Optimal Diet Feed Group
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