Staff Publications

Staff Publications

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    'Staff publications' is the digital repository of Wageningen University & Research

    'Staff publications' contains references to publications authored by Wageningen University staff from 1976 onward.

    Publications authored by the staff of the Research Institutes are available from 1995 onwards.

    Full text documents are added when available. The database is updated daily and currently holds about 240,000 items, of which 72,000 in open access.

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Record number 412689
Title A Multi-level hierarchic Markov process with Bayesian updating for herd optimization and simulation in dairy cattle
Author(s) Demeter, R.M.; Kristensen, A.R.; Dijkstra, J.; Oude Lansink, A.G.J.M.; Meuwissen, M.P.M.; Arendonk, J.A.M. van
Source Journal of Dairy Science 94 (2011)12. - ISSN 0022-0302 - p. 5938 - 5962.
Department(s) Animal Breeding and Genetics
Animal Nutrition
Business Economics
Publication type Refereed Article in a scientific journal
Publication year 2011
Keyword(s) optimal replacement policies - annualized net revenue - optimum culling rates - milk-production - decision-process - economic value - genetic evaluation - calving intervals - cows - model
Abstract Herd optimization models that determine economically optimal insemination and replacement decisions are valuable research tools to study various aspects of farming systems. The aim of this study was to develop a herd optimization and simulation model for dairy cattle. The model determines economically optimal insemination and replacement decisions for individual cows and simulates whole-herd results that follow from optimal decisions. The optimization problem was formulated as a multi-level hierarchic Markov process, and a state space model with Bayesian updating was applied to model variation in milk yield. Methodological developments were incorporated in 2 main aspects. First, we introduced an additional level to the model hierarchy to obtain a more tractable and efficient structure. Second, we included a recently developed cattle feed intake model. In addition to methodological developments, new parameters were used in the state space model and other biological functions. Results were generated for Dutch farming conditions, and outcomes were in line with actual herd performance in the Netherlands. Optimal culling decisions were sensitive to variation in milk yield but insensitive to energy requirements for maintenance and feed intake capacity. We anticipate that the model will be applied in research and extension
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