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TAURUS Beef Cattle Ration Formulation And Evaluation Software: Windows Version

Published by the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers, St. Joseph, Michigan

Citation:  Computers in Agriculture and Natural Resources, 4th World Congress Conference, Proceedings of the 24-26 July 2006 (Orlando, Florida USA) Publication Date 24 July 2006  701P0606.(doi:10.13031/2013.21908)
Authors:   James W. Oltjen and Abbas Ahmadi
Keywords:   Ration Formulation, Modeling and Simulation, Decision Support Systems

Our TAURUS ration formulation program has been converted to the Windows platform, and now runs under Windows 95, 98, 2000, and XP operating systems. TAURUS is intended to be used by students, ranchers, extension agents, and university faculty. The program interface consists of several screens. The Animal Information Screen is used to enter body weight, daily gain, breed, frame, sex, age, implant, additive, temperature, mud condition, feed intake adjustment, and maintenance adjustment data. Based on these inputs, TAURUS calculates a series of nutrient requirements, which the user can add to, delete or modify, using the Nutrient Constraints Screen. The Feed List Screen is used to choose a subset of feeds from the standard, or alternate, feed libraries. The Feed Groups Screen is used to place a limit on a group of feeds, and Ratio Constraints is used to place a constraint on a ratio between two nutrients, or two feeds, or two feed groups. TAURUS then formulates a least cost ration based on defined constraints and feed prices. Output consists of six parts: cost and performance, ration composition, price ranges, nutrient analysis of the ration, equations and nutrient analysis of feeds in the ration. Besides formulating a new ration, TAURUS can also evaluate an existing ration and determine over- or under-inclusion of nutrients. The Profit Projection module of TAURUS is used to project a profit or loss in feedlot operations. This module can predict days on feed, live weight, quality grade and yield grade for up to five feeding phases. Another unique feature of TAURUS is the Feed Tag module. This module uses the proximate analyses of a feed (i.e., crude protein, crude fiber, ether extract and ash) to calculate its metabolizable energy, total digestible nutrients, net energy for maintenance, net energy for gain, and net energy for lactation. The Windows interface provides a friendly and familiar user interface.

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