Planned feeding programmes for farm livestock often require the use of repetitive calculations that vary in complexity. This paper outlines some of the planning tasks which can be performed using computerised models. These include: (1) calculation of nutrient requirements for specific production targets and/or production achievable from specific nutrient intakes (ii) diet formulation using linear programming to provide optimum combinations of dietary ingredients at minimum cost (iii) allocation of pasture to grazing animals based on functions relating herbage allowance or residual dry matter to herbage intake and (iv) medium to long-term feed planning using models that range from simple feed budgets to dynamic whole farm simulations. The planning applications of computers can be complemented with monitoring and record keeping software that allow predicted outcomes to be compared with actual events. Desirable features of computer software include ease of use, flexibility, capacity to link with other programmes, and regular revision and updating.

J, Ladewig, and LR Matthews

Proceedings of the New Zealand Society of Animal Production, Volume 52, , 77-80, 1992
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