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Feed Ration Planning in Dairy Cattle Herds

  • Photo: 
    Janne Karin Brodin

NOVA Master's course of 5 ECTS, organised by Senior Scientist Martin Riis Weisbjerg, Aarhus University - Faculty of Science and Technology.
Course dates and location: 7-17 August 2017 in Viborg, Denmark.

Course Description
The objective of the course is to qualify the students to plan, evaluate and discuss feeding rations in commercial dairy herds.
The teaching, student forum and the teacher collegium will be international with a focus on a Scandinavian setting.

Content
Before the course students individually prepare a report (2 standard pages) and presentation (10 min) about their current and previous national feed evaluation system for dairy cattle. 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.

Programme Outline
The two weeks residential course during August will be intensive with a high workload during days, evenings and weekend, but there will also be room for social and cultural activities.

Pre-/Post-Campus Assignments
Before the course students individually prepare a report (2 standard pages) and presentation (10 min) about their current and previous national feed evaluation system for dairy cattle.
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.

Learning Outcomes

  • Describe and generate plans of feed supply: crop rotation, crop production, allocation of feeds among animal categories
  • Describe and discuss feed production: quantity and quality, conservation and processing
  • Describe and combine feed analyses and evaluation: energy, protein, input parameters for different systems
  • Describe and discuss elements of ration formulation: nutrient requirements, response curves, individuals/groups, feed intake capacity
  • Describe and compare math models describing digestion and metabolism
  • Describe and compare feed planning and evaluation tools (NorFor and others)
  • Apply the NorFor tool in a real life situation of feed budgeting and planning
  • Discuss and relate feed ration optimisation to optimal production level, cost minimisation, diminishing returns

Evaluation Elements
Presence and active participation in the course and in the group work are prerequisites for participating in the exam.
The examination is a combination of 2 oral presentations with questioning, assessment of an individual and a group assignments (2 reports), and presence and active participation in the course.
Assessment: Passed/not passed.

Pedagogical Approach
During the residential course the teaching will interchange between lectures, excursions, case-work, exercises, student presentations and class discussions, and report writing.

Estimated Workload

  • Preparation for the course: Self-study (20 h)
  • Residential course: Lectures, exercises, group work, excursions (100 h)
  • After the course: Report writing under supervision (30 h)

Prerequisite Knowledge
B.Sc. including courses in livestock animal physiology and nutrition.

Admission
Admission for NOVA courses is handled by the course organiser/ the NOVA member institution organising the course. Please see the links in the margin for more information.

The course is available through Aarhus University’s regular course catalogue  and through AU Summer University’s course catalogue. Students can apply through AU Summer University’s application process.

Apply here

Published 30. June 2016 - 12:58 - Updated 22. December 2016 - 13:44

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