Management Support Systems For Dairy Farms Essay

Management Support Systems For Dairy Farms Essay

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Management support systems have been playing a major role on increasing the productivity of dairy farms over the past few decades. There are many management support systems applied for various segments within the dairy industry to improve continuous decision making and problem solving abilities. This essay covers the analyzation of five different management support systems including evaluation of various theories and models used by each system.
1. Diet Check – A Feeding management support system
‘Diet Check’ is a widely used feeding Management support system (MSS) in dairy industry to help farmers allocate pasture more effectively, and to provide a balanced supplement to their cows. ‘Diet Check’ estimates whether cows are consuming required level of nutrition for a given level of milk production by using its own estimate method to identify the pasture intake and nutrient intake from pasture. As Figure 1 Shows ‘Diet Check’ indicates the substitution of supplements for pasture based on the nutrient concentration in pasture. This system also provides information of the likely production and economic benefits from feeding supplements. It is a Microsoft Excels spreadsheet based application with input and results screen. This system uses the best research information from the industry and model boundaries are defined as per the research data available at the time of development.

Figure 2: Schematic representation of the ‘Diet Check’ program (source: (Heard, Cohen, Doyle, Wales, & Stockdale, 2004, p.180)

It is identified that feed is the largest cost item in a dairy farm. “Feed costs accounted for the largest share of milk production cost at 65 to 75 percent at operating cost and 33 to 50 percent of total economic cost...

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...lysis – This technique can be used to retrieve information dynamically rather than using the stored data. Hence this way it’s possible to retrieve the latest data as a source for the ‘Diet Check’ system. LGM related Tools in DairyMGT system retrieve real time data from the official sources whenever the user performs an analysis (Cabrera, 2012, p.158).
• Goal Seeking – This theory determines the values of inputs based on the required output value. (Turban, Sharda, & Delen, 2011, p.159). This can be used to find the required level of pasture and supplements in order produce a specified level of milk.
• Genetic algorithms –This method was used to simulate the outcomes for different control strategies by a dynamic grazing system model (Litherland, Snow, & Dynes, n.d., p.16). Genetic algorithm can be used to find the optimal production value with certain model changes.

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