Analysis of feeding strategies for small-scale dairy systems in central Mexico using linear programming
Val-Arreola, D., Kebreab, E., Mills, J. A. N. and France, J. (2005) Analysis of feeding strategies for small-scale dairy systems in central Mexico using linear programming. Journal of Animal and Feed Sciences, 14 (4). pp. 607-624. ISSN 1230-1388
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A limitation of small-scale dairy systems in central Mexico is that traditional feeding strategies are less effective when nutrient availability varies through the year. In the present work, a linear programming (LP) model that maximizes income over feed cost was developed, and used to evaluate two strategies: the traditional one used by the small-scale dairy producers in Michoacan State, based on fresh lucerne, maize grain and maize straw; and an alternative strategy proposed by the LIP model, based on ryegrass hay, maize silage and maize grain. Biological and economic efficiency for both strategies were evaluated. Results obtained with the traditional strategy agree with previously published work. The alternative strategy did not improve upon the performance of the traditional strategy because of low metabolizable protein content of the maize silage considered by the model. However, the Study recommends improvement of forage quality to increase the efficiency of small-scale dairy systems, rather than looking for concentrate supplementation.