Almost all problems encountered on commercial farms are complex. In many cases the problem can be broken down into smaller components and the relationships between the sub-components can be defined. This process of breaking a problem down into component parts and reconstructing using a computer provides a model that allows you to really study the system. A model can be as simple as a set of rules of thumb that you keep in your head (e.g. pay no more than $2.00 a kilogram liveweight to buy replacements), through to a spreadsheet comparing alternatives (e.g. a partial budget comparing different feeding regimes), extending to whole-of-system model of a farm (e.g. identifying the optimal calving time). When properly constructed and interpreted, a computer model of a farming problem can help identify the best course of action, the likely response, the key indicators of success or failure and gaps in knowledge that hold back progress.
We provide advanced and proven animal production computer modelling capability. This is an extension of our data analytical and statistical skills. We have successfully modelled: changes to farming systems (calving and lambing patterns), genetic selection programs, disease control programs and industry supply chains. We have used models to identify least cost rations and optimal fertilizer programs for dairy farms, genetic selection policies for dairy farms and to assess performance of disease control programs – including Johne’s disease – at industry level for the sheep and cattle industries.
A well-built model is a cost and time effective way to better understand and to explore problems. This can provide for deep insight into how systems operate.