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Development and Evaluation of a Simulation Model for Dairy Cattle Production Systems Integrated with Forage Crop Production



Development and Evaluation of a Simulation Model for Dairy Cattle Production Systems Integrated with Forage Crop Production



Asian-Australasian Journal of Animal Sciences 22(1): 57-71



Crop-livestock mixed farming systems depend on the efficiency with which nutrients are conserved and recycled. Home-grown forage is used as animal feed and animal excretions are applied to cultivated crop lands as manure. The objective of this study was to develop a mixed farming system model for dairy cattle in Japan The model consisted of four sub-models: the nutrient requirement model, based on the Japanese Feeding Standards to determine requirements for energy, crude protein, dry matter intake, calcium, phosphorus and vitamin A; the optimum diet formulation model for determining the optimum diets that satisfy nutrient requirements at lowest cost, using linear programming: the herd dynamic model to calculate the numbers of cows in each reproductive cycle; and the whole farm optimization model to evaluate whole farm management from economic and environmental viewpoints and to optimize strategies for the target farm or system. To examine the model's validity, its predictions were compared against best practices for dairy farm management. Sensitivity analyses indicated that higher yielding cows lead to better economic results but higher emvironmental load in dairy cattle systems integrated with forage crop production.

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