This paper presents challenges to the way we conduct experimentation in animal science. The theme of the paper is to show the benefits of using systems research methods in both our basic and applied animal science. The need for more accurate prediction of biological processes to achieve future breakthroughs in animal production is postulated. The use of systems research using dynamical systems models in our basic science to better understand and predict the outcome of complex biological processes is discussed. In the applied science context, difficulties in translating basic (component) research results into recommendations for improved farm performance are emphasised. Equally, difficulties in designing interpretable farm system experiments are acknowledged. Finally, examples are given of the benefits of using whole farm models to integrate component results and create a link between component research and improved farm system, field, experimental approaches.

DG, McCall, GW Sheath, and AB Pleasants

Proceedings of the New Zealand Society of Animal Production, Volume 54, , 417-422, 1994
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