The NorFor IT system, ration formulation and optimisation

Part of the EAAP – European Federation of Animal Science book series (EAAP, volume 30)


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.


Feed Ingredient Automatic Differentiation Dairy Management Optimal Diet Feed Group 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


  1. Boston, R.C., D.G. Fox, C. Sniffen, E. Janczewski, R. Munson and W. Chalupa, 2000. The conversion of a scientific model describing dairy cow nutrition and production to an industry tool: the CPM dairy project. In: McNamara, J., J. France and D.E. Beever (eds.). Modelling nutrient utilization in farm animals. CABI Publishing, Wallingford, UK, pp. 361–377.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Gill, P.E., W. Murray and M.A. Saunders, 2005. SNOPT: An SQP algorithm for large-scale constrained optimisation. SIAM Review 47: 99–131.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Wageningen Academic Publishers 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.TINE and the Norwegian University of Life SciencesAkershusNorway

Personalised recommendations