Foulum, Denmark

Feed Ration Planning in Dairy Cattle Herds

when 5 August 2024 - 15 August 2024
language English
duration 2 weeks
credits 5 EC
fee EUR 352

Before the course students individually prepare a report (2 standard pages) about their current and previous national feed evaluation system for dairy cattle and a presentation (10 min), that has to be given the first day, about themselves. Their master/PhD project, and what they have used/will use feed evaluation and ration planning for. The report must be handed in at the start of the residential course. During the course students are trained to plan, evaluate and discuss feeding rations in commercial dairy herds using the NorFor system, and to discuss elements of this based on lectures, literature, farm data and cases, excursions, individual and group discussions, exercises and report writing. After the course students will prepare a group report (3-4 standard pages per student) on feed budgeting and planning in commercial dairy herds with a focus on ration optimisation to optimal production level and cost minimisation. At the end of the course the groups present their report outline and status. The group report must be handed in two weeks (14 days) after ending of the residential course.

The course will handle feed supply, including crop rotation, crop production, effects on self-supply, and optimization of feed allocation within and among animal categories/groups, including forage/concentrate ratio. Further feed production is described, including the effect of conservation and processing on feed quantity and quality. Feed evaluation including feed analyses and evaluation, and variation between different systems in energy and protein values and input parameters is discussed. Further nutrient requirements, and effects of ration formulation on cows response on individual and group level, as well as feed intake capacity is discussed. The use of mathematical models to describe digestion and metabolism, and model types (mechanistic vs. empirical, dynamic vs. static, additive vs. non-additive, etc.) will be discussed, and also models describing digestion kinetics is part of the course. Feed planning systems and evaluation tools will be compared and discussed, and there will be worked actively with the system NorFor, and others, in a comparative approach. Feed budgeting and planning exercises is performed on a real life situation. The course will end in discussing feed ration optimization to optimize production level, to maximize the difference between input costs and output revenue, hereunder discussion on diminishing returns at increased input level.

Course leader

Nikolaj Peder Hansen and Martin Riis Weisbjerg

Target group

Master's level

Fee info

EUR 352: EU/EEA citizens
EUR 1339: NON EU/EEA citizens


No scholarships available

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