DairyMax is an internet-based bio-economic dairy production model that uses a deterministic cow model to establish response curves of milksolids (MS; fat plus protein) production to energy intake at different stages of lactation and nutrient requirements for different levels of production. Another component in DairyMax is a linear programming module that uses farm-related constraints, market prices for supplements, cost of pasture and silage production and cow-related constraints to optimise a feeding strategy based on a maximum profit algorithm. The objective of this study was to validate the cow model of DairyMax against published field work conducted in New Zealand. In DairyMax, the stocking rate was adjusted to get the same MS production as in the experiment. The dry matter intake (DMI) associated with the different production levels were compared assuming energy content of 11.2 MJ ME/kg dry matter, similar to that reported in a three-year field experiment. The ability of the model was satisfactory in predicting yearly DMI per cow (Concordance correlation coefficient = 0.98). Productive performance, DMI and feed conversion efficiency (ratio between DMI and MS) of dairy cows under different stocking policies can be predicted by DairyMax with satisfactory accuracy.
Proceedings of the New Zealand Society of Animal Production, Volume 72, Christchurch, 139-143, 2012
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