The Herd is Moving…

We are moving the herd to a new facility!

The new site is found here: http://agmodelsystems.com/ruminations/

This new site is a blend of our website, the blog, and a new section just for AMTS Customers. Please update your bookmarks as this location will soon be depopulated!

CNCPS 6.1 vs. AMTS 3.5.8 vs. CNCPS 6.5 and AMTS 3.6

December 17, 2014

A Post By Thomas P Tylutki PhD Dpl ACAN,President AMTS LLC

logo

The evolution of the CNCPS continues. Moving from 6.1 to 6.5 biology introduces a series of changes. These include:

  • Adopting aNDFom
  • When available, using a multi-time pointNDFD to calculate the CHOB3kd based upon a new non-linear dynamic model from the VanAmburgh research group at Cornell.
    • These include 30, 120 and 240 hr for forages
    • For non-forages, 12, 72 and 120 hrs.
    • Using the 240 for forages and the 120 for non-forages uNDF as carbohydrate fraction C instead of lignin x 2.4
  • Updated amino acid values expressed as %CP
  • Updated amino acid efficiencies of use for lactating dairy cows combining maintenance and lactation.
  • Ability to utilize uN Ross to characterize protein intestinal digestibility.

Of course, when these changes were implemented, changes in predictions happened. The objective of this document is to compare CNCPS 6.1 to AMTS 3.5.8 and then CNCPS 6.5 to AMTS 3.6 to show where these differences are between model biology and also to highlight what to expect in AMTS 3.6.

cows

Example diets were inputted into CNCPS 6.1 and 6.5. These files where then imported into their respective AMTS versions. Diets compared were for: lactating cows, dry cows, replacement heifers, and grow/finish cattle. For all, the default inputs describing the environment and cattle inputs were used. Feeds were selected from the library and not modified (thus, all book values were used).

Location inputs were:

locations

Animal inputs are shown in Figure 1

animal inputs

feeds

diet

Figures 4a and b show the amino acid values for the feeds.

amino acids 6.1

amino acid 6.5

Results

There are several sets of results that will be shown and discussed. The first is simply showing common outputs for the four versions compared. The second set will highlight differences in amino acids, and the third illustrates the impact of using the new components on predictions.

For the common outputs, ME and MP supply and required are shown. Since these four outputs encompass the entire model, they represent an aggregate of all model predictions. Lysine and Methionine MP supply and required and percent MP are shown.

me and momethionine

As shown in the ME and MP Supply and Required table, AMTS and CNCPS are consistent in their predictions within model version. For lactating cows, replacement heifers, and grow/finish, ME supply and required is EXACTLY the same be it 6.1 or 6.5 biology. The shift in MP supply from 6.1 to 6.5 biology is due to updated protein degradation rates for feeds. These shifts are shown in the Change in Protein Degradation Rates table. The majority of the changes occurred in the B1 protein pool rates. Given the sensitivity of this pool in relation to passage rates, reducing the kd rates results in lower protein degraded, thus increasing the rumen escape fraction. As an example, if a 6%/hr kp is assumed, for soybean meal in 6.1 biology, 80.6% would be degraded (calculated as kd / (kd + kp)). In 6.5 biology, 68.75% is degraded. These changes in the protein rates are part of the overall feed library update.

The shift in ME and MP required for dry cows is due to the Scale Weight Switch. Given the confusion regarding the scale weight input, it was decided to hide this input on the cattle screen and internally set the value to FALSE. This assumes the body weight inputted is conceptus free. Thus in pregnant animals, the body weight used internally is not adjusted for things such as maintenance requirements. Historically, if the scale weight was set to TRUE, the calculated conceptus weight would be subtracted from the inputted body weight. The data used to develop the requirements and intake equations are mixed as to whether they included conceptus weight or not. The net result was an input that was confusing and thus hidden in AMTS 3.6.

rates

The Methionine and Lysine Supply and Required table illustrates the big changes in predictions you will come across immediately upon loading a farm in AMTS 3.6. Given that all amino acid values have been updated in the feed library, and the updated protein kd rates, MP allowable production and amino acid supply values all change. Some of the larger shifts occur in methionine as the old analytical methods were poor resulting in as much as 50% of the methionine being destroyed. Of course the largest amino acid changes occur in lactating cows. In addition to the updated library, the change in efficiency of use resulted in massive shifts. The factorial system now aligns with ratios such as %MP. A new value that will be discussed integrates amino acids with energy supply. Maximizing milk protein yield appears to occur when MP MET:ME Mcal is 1.1 to 1.15:1; for lysine this value would be 2.9-3.0:1.

As this comparison has shown, using the existing carbohydrate degradation rates and aNDFdm has minor changes on the ME and MP balances when moving from 6.1 to 6.5 based biology. And, AMTS is consistent with the official CNCPS version. The shift in amino acid values result in improved predictability and accuracy for all rations. Coupled with the amino acid values changing, switching the units to %CP from %ISR means we will be slowly seeing the feed analytical laboratories reporting amino acids for feeds.

 The Next Step…

The next step in implementing 6.5 biology is switching to aNDFom, the new kd and CHO-C calculations, and the uN Ross for protein digestibility. Using AMTS 3.6 coupled with forage analysis for a corn silage and alfalfa silage, the examples were rerun for the lactating cow. The corn silage and alfalfa analysis were are real samples from a herd in central NY. In order to show the uNDF (g) for the basal diet, all feeds had uNDF inputted in the feeds screen as (lignin %DM x 2.4). When the new 240 hr NDFD is inputted, this invokes a couple switches within CNCPS and AMTS. First, instead of using lignin x 2.4 for CHO C, it uses the uNDF 240 (100 – NDFD 240). Second, it updates the inputted uNDF for the feed to represent the calculated uNDF from the inputted data. And it uses the new calculated CHO B3 kd (for both CHO B3 and PRO B2 kds).

 aNDFdm to aNDFom

These silages had low soil contamination as seen in the difference between aNDFdm and aNDFom. The difference in the corn silage was near 1 unit while the alfalfa was 1.2 units. Even with these small differences, notice how the dietary NDF content changed (25.35 to 24.80%). It is very important to realize that as the shift to aNDFom occurs, dietary NDF concentration is going to DROP while NFC and soluble fiber may INCREASE. Nutritionists and producers must be aware of these shifts as old targets for NDF are NOT applicable.

 12-22-2014 9-59-22 PM

NDF pools and rates

The shift in CHO B3 and C pools is variable. While this example shows close agreement between the old and new methods, this is not always the case. Figure 5 illustrates the differences between C pools from a population of corn silage (Figure 5a) and alfalfa (5b). In general, CHO C pool size increases. In the dataset, alfalfa C pool averaged 14% greater using uNDF with a range of -2 to +36% compared with lignin x 2.4. For corn silage, C pool is 42% larger with a range of 12 to 84% larger for uNDF. Comparing CHO B3 kd, the corn silage average kd is 11% higher in this dataset with a range of 14% slower to 38% faster then the kd calculated from the single time point. The alfalfa CHO B3 kd averaged 25% faster with a range of -12 to +142%. It is clear from this limited dataset that determining uNDF240 coupled with the new non-linear B3 kd calculations are more sensitive in evaluating fiber digestibility.

An additional power of using uNDF240 pertains to dry matter intake. Research is accumulating that suggests cattle have a uNDF240 steady state rumen mass. Research thus-far has been conducted with lactating dairy cows (Univ. of Bologna and WH Miner Institute) and it appears cows reach a steady state of approximately 4.5 kg DM uNDF240. And, a cow will consume an equal amount of uNDF240 as escapes the rumen daily. This can easily explain why cows fed soy hulls tend to increase total DMI as soy hulls are low in uNDF240. This area is still early in development and it is unknown how this will be expressed (uNDF240 intake, %BW, etc.) but can be used as a diagnostic aid now. Furthermore, given that the feed library is NOT populated with uNDF values for forages and non-forages, large amounts of data is required. The main feed labs are capable of analyzing feeds, keep in mind though that non-forages require different time points and must be done via wet chemistry whereas the labs have developed NIR calibrations for forages.

5a

5b

6

uN Ross 

A commercial vegetable protein from Argentina was submitted to the Van Amburgh lab for the Ross assay for protein digestibility. For the purposes of this evaluation paper, the diet for the lactating cow post-uNDF and aNDFom for the forages was modified. The soybean meal inclusion rate was dropped to 4.82 lbs DM and 4.00 lbs DM of the by-pass protein was added. Using the results from Cornell, the degradation rates for the A2 and B1 protein pools were adjusted to match the RUP reported. The total indigestible nitrogen was inputted (IUN %N). When this occurs within AMTS, two things occur. First, the intestinal digestibility values for the feed are all set to 100% as the IUN inputted is the measured Indigestible. Second, the protein C pool switches to use the IUN input instead of the ADIP. Unfortunately, the results for this vegetable protein did not include the CHO fractions. However; this exercise clearly shows the impact of just the Ross assay.

As the laboratories implement the uN Ross assay, the ability to further fine-tune, make ingredient decisions, and improve amino acid formulation exists. This example clearly shows the potential impact.

un Ross
Conclusions

This evolutionary step in CNCPS combines new laboratory methods and new modeling techniques. It is a major step in improving the models ability to predict cattle performance. As this paper has shown, simply moving to this new version improves the models amino acid predictions. As new data is inputted based upon the new laboratory methods (aNDFom, uNDFs, and the uN Ross), stepwise shifts in predictions occur. It is also known that we all will be running mixed systems as there are many feeds where we do not have the data to fully populate the library. As more data becomes available, the library will continue to evolve. However; these methods are available from the main laboratories thus nutritionists can begin populating their libraries with locally available ingredients.

As AMTS begins launching this new version that is 6.5 compliant, please do not hesitate to contact us with questions.

The CNCPS v 6.5 Roadshow–Winter 2015

snow_covered_tree A couple of things from our website: The AMTS mission is to provide and promote integrated solutions that enhance the economic and environmental sustainability of animal agriculture and allied industries. AND At AMTS, our goal is to be the global, independent, expert group for ruminant nutrition and management. To achieve that goal we will enhance the competitiveness of our clients by providing software, quality control, technical training, research and development, and technical (software and non-software) support.  020414_2309_WhomovedmyF1.jpg The CNCPS model which our software is built upon, is undergoing a major revision. This update will be the first major change to the biological model equations since 2012. Now, there are several nutrition programs used for feeding cattle. As one of the very limited number of commercial companies based on CNCPS biology we take our responsibility to our users and anyone using the biology very seriously. Nutritionist depend on reliable, understandable integration of new equations, nutrient digestibility rates, undated nutrient profiles, and incorporation of new laboratory techniques. They need to know what the changes mean for their formulation approach and how to take advantage of the improved information. We know you are busy and need the program and new biology to just plain work. The changes to the model biology for this release fall into two categories. The CNCPS research groups has updated recommended laboratory analysis so the labs will be changing their analyses in key areas of NDF and Nitrogen. Research and subsequent field trials from the modeling group show the importance of NDF in regulating DMI, the most critical factor in ration formulation. The research pertaining to Nitrogen efficiencies and use has the most effect on how nutritionists will utilize amino acid products in their clients’ diets. For these reasons forage labs and nutrient supply companies are interested in helping forward model biology understanding. To that end, we are teaming up with the major feed analysis laboratories, amino acid companies and nutrient suppliers to conduct a series of educational seminars across North America. Lynn has been hard at work securing cooperators, dates, and locations for half-day sessions. We are still in the process of scheduling meetings and venues; the dates we have are as follows:

7 January 2015

9am – 1 pm

Fairfield Inn, Guelph, Ontario, Canada

Presenters: Lynn and Mariann

Lab; Dairyland Laboratories

Amino Acid Company: Adisseo

 

15 January 2015

8:30 am to 1 pm

Holiday Inn, Grantville, Pennsylvania, USA

Presenters: Lynn, Galit, Mariann

Lab: Dairy One

Amino Acid Company: Perdue AgriBusiness

Lunch Provided by Perdue AgiBisiness

 

4 February 2015

Time not firm yet

phdR&D Facility, Fort Atkinson, Wisconsin, USA

Presenter: Tom

Lab: Rock River Lab

Amino Acid Company: Feed Components

Lunch Provided by Feed Components and ANC

 

18 February 2015

In conjunction with South West Nutrition Conference

1pm-5pm

Residence Inn, Tempe Arizona, USA

Presenters: Lynn, Caroline

Lab: Cumberland Valley Analytical Services

Amino Acid Company: Adisseo

 

3 March 2015

In conjunction with Western Dairy Management Conference

8 am-1 pm

John Ascuaga’s Nugget, Sparks, Nevada, USA

Presenters: Tom, Caroline

Lab: Dairy One

Amino Acid Company: Adisseo

Lunch Provided by Dairy One

 

24 March 2015

1 pm-5 pm

Embassy Suites, Bloomington, Minnesota, USA

Presenters: Galit, Mariann

Lab: Rock River Lab

Amino Acid Company: Feed Components

 

26 March 2015

1 pm-5 pm

Marriott, Detroit, Michigan, USA

Presenters: Galit, Mariann

Lab: Dairyland Laboratories

Amino Acid Company: Kemin

These meetings are on a pre-registration basis and are open to anyone interested in furthering his/her understanding of the CNCPS Model Biology. These will not be AMTS training sessions. We are dedicated to helping educate nutritionists regardless of the feeding platform they use. The changes to the CNCPS model in this 6.5 version are building blocks for the huge shift that the 7.0 biology will bring. It is critical that we take the next steps along the road toward mechanistically typifying animal response with minute precision and accuracy. We are moving close to our new version release date, we will not release and hope you understand the implications of the changes. Our focus in this last few months has been to ensure that we have the information and the support ready to help in the transition. black and white cow

Guest Post: Kurt Cotanch—Fundamentals of uNDF and iNDF


 

In October we were very busy getting ready for the release of our next update which will incorporate the newest version of the CNCPS v 6.5. At present we and Cornell are still finalizing the numbers and how they fit into the program. Since many of the implementations of the new biology rely on changes at the lab analysis level, we are working closely with the major labs to help in the transition. The new analyses, which more closely typify the feeds as the cow sees them, will require us to shift how we think of feeds and how they are categorized in terms of fiber digestibilitites and nitrogen availability. In advance of release, we will be running a series of informational posts on the changes. In conjunction to that educational series we will be revamping our blog site to allow logged in users special access to educational documents. In the meantime–we all get by with a little help from our friends. Kurt Cotanch, the Forage Lab Director at the Miner Institute wrote a very nice article for Progressive Dairyman in August. He graciously is allowing us to reprint it.

Throughout this article, NDF refers to aNDF, determined with use of amylase and sodium sulfite as described by Mertens and official AOAC methods of fiber analysis. For brevity of the acronyms, the “a” is omitted.

Fiber digestibility is a critical factor in dairy nutrition. It is involved in many parameters used to balance rations and evaluate forages. It affects dry matter intake (DMI) and gut fill capacity as well as total chewing time both eating and ruminating, not to mention milk and milk components production.

A new acronym, uNDF, is being used in the dairy nutrition lexicon and showing up on some forage analyses relative to NDF digestibility. Here is an explanation of what it is and what it is not.

As part of a small group of researchers working with the CNCPS model determining fiber pools and rates of digestion, it became clear that distinction between undigested fiber and indigestible fiber needed to be clearly defined.

For mathematical modeling purposes, iNDF is a required input to provide an end-point value of fiber digestion. In the rumen of a dairy cow, however, iNDF is never approached. There is always a portion of potentially digestible fiber (pdNDF) that remains undigested and is a portion of fecal fiber.

Thus, uNDF is the portion of fiber that is really the functional component of fiber in terms of physical effectiveness, gut fill, digestion and passage rate of a forage. Understanding these distinctions will help clarify differences for both modeling digestion kinetics and evaluating forage quality.

What is uNDF?

uNDF is the undigested NDF residue after fermentation at a given length of time to estimate NDF digestibility (NDFd) and is expressed as either a percentage of NDF or dry matter (DM).

Therefore, uNDF must be accompanied by an indicator of the length of fermentation time, such as 24, 30, 48, 90, 120 or 240 hours. To be truly biologically correct, uNDF must also be expressed on organic matter (OM) basis to account for residual ash of the forage and any possible soil contamination of the material.

The wet chemistry method of uNDF analysis is a gravimetric procedure and small amounts of mineral or ash can greatly affect the analysis and calculations of digestibility. Therefore, proper use of uNDF terminology for a 240-hour in vitro digestion, for instance, should appear as “uNDFom240.”

Determination of uNDF is used to calculate NDF digestibility. When expressed on NDF basis, NDFd equals 100 percent minus uNDF percentage.

Example calculations: Grass silage with 52 percent NDF and a 24-hour NDFd value of 58 percent (58%NDFdom24).

uNDFom24 = 42 percent on NDF basis or 21.8 percent of DM (42 percent x 52%NDF)

What is iNDF?

uNDF is not iNDF. Biologically, there is no iNDF. Indigestible NDF (iNDF) is a theoretical term, unique to each kinetic model for which it is being used to express the totally indigestible portion of forage material.

Since digestibility is time-dependent, iNDF requires infinite time in order to be determined. This is much longer than the average nutritionist can wait for results. As an industry, we have been using the concept of iNDF as an end point of digestion for the purpose of mathematically calculating the portion of potentially digestible fiber (pdNDF).

Thus, rate of digestion of NDF is calculated on only the potentially digestible fraction of NDF. In the past, we have used acid detergent-lignin (ADL) as a proxy to estimate NDF for modeling purposes using the equation:

iNDF = (lignin / NDF) x 2.4

We now have a better understanding that this calculation does not accurately estimate a biologically correct iNDF value and that a 240-hour fermentation residue, uNDFom240, does. The iNDF fraction, as estimated by lignin, turns out to be variable between forage species and more a function of cross-linking of the phenolic acids that make up lignin rather than total lignin alone.

The nutritional value of uNDF

uNDF is the proportion of NDF that fills the rumen at any given time: a mix of mostly slowly digested NDF (slow-pool) and some undigested fast-pool NDF. Highly digestible fiber will rapidly ferment and be physically reduced in particle size to either be digested or attain sufficient density to pass more quickly out of the rumen.

The space resulting from digestion and passage of both fast fiber and some portion of the remaining uNDF allows for more dry matter intake (DMI). The faster more rumen space is made, the greater the intake.

The total mass of uNDF residing in the rumen then becomes a baseline of gut fill, limiting the flux in available space. The question becomes: Is there a maximum and minimum level of uNDF fill in the rumen that limits DMI or is required to maintain proper rumen health?

We believe that uNDFom240 may be a viable fraction of forage fiber to estimate these limits. We currently have been using peNDF (proportion of NDF longer than 1.18mm, dry, vertically sieved) to monitor TMRs for sufficient fiber and rumen mat formation in order to maintain a healthy rumen. We now understand that NDF digestibility factors into animals’ chewing response to fiber, not just particle size and NDF content.

uNDF and ration balancing

Some are looking at NDFd30 or, inversely the uNDF30, values to estimate the daily DMI and level of uNDF to maintain rumen health. Larry Jones has presented this concept in a previous issue of Progressive Dairyman, using NDFd30 to estimate gut fill limits of uNDF and that required to provide sufficient peNDF to avoid digestive upset.

The 30-hour estimate of NDFd and uNDF may be a decent estimate of the rapid-pool and portion of slow-pool NDF digested and passed from the rumen in 24 hours.

Since lab digestion assays likely have a longer lag phase using dry ground forage particles compared to actual lag phase of chewed and saliva-coated feed particles in the cow, 30NDFd may be a good approximation for 24-hour digestibility in the cow and amount of uNDF required for rumen health.

Miner Institute along with Cornell and the University of Bologna are engaged in evaluating uNDFom240 related to DMI and gut fill across a number of feeding trials with varied diets of forages and non-forage fiber sources (NFFS).

Kurt Cotanch

CNCPS v 6.5 in AMTS.Cattle™.Pro

There has been a hubbub in the industry regarding the pending release of the CNCPS v 6.5. Nutritionists who are users of the model have been both anticipatory and concerned—”How will the changes affect my numbers?”, “What do I need to do differently?”, “How should I advise my clients to change their programs?”, “How will this improve what I am already doing?” etc. The laboratories are primarily concerned about how they might need to change methods and analysis request forms. We, as one of the commercial versions of the CNCPS, are concerned that we should be quick to modify our platform to accommodate the changes and make sure the transition is as painless as possible for our users. The modeling group wants to ensure that the implementation of the new biology is understood and properly characterized. Everyone just wants to get it right.

With the exception of the nutritionists (who can only wait), everyone has been intensely focused on getting the new version out. Cornell has been double checking the biology, the programmers have been busy making sure all the equations flow—both old and new, the laboratories have been busy learning assay protocols and incorporating the new terminology both into their forms and into their analysis return information. Our team has been coordinating with Cornell to best incorporate the changes into our program. Tom, as one of the principles behind advancing the biology since 1990, is still integrally involved in every aspect of the model. It has been important that all branches of this network of people and institutions work in a coordinated fashion to best advance the field of ruminant nutrition.

None of us take changing the model upon which so many depend lightly. We know that many nutritionists and producers rely on this program for their livelihoods, their reputations, the health of their animals, and the efficiency use of finite resources. For that reason, while it may be nearly irresistible to rush to press with the “NEW VERSION OF CNCPS v 6.5”, it does no one any benefit to hurry the process. The formulators of the model want to be sure all parts are working and predicting as the research has shown. AMTS wants to make sure we have done as much as possible to have the updates run smoothly and have provided as much information to our users to allow them to quickly move into feeding cattle utilizing the new biology.

The updates to the model are very close to release; we strongly feel we are partners with both the modeling group and the nutritionists this model serves. It is important to us that we stay true to our values and true to the model biology. Refer back for our educational series in the coming weeks. Please feel very welcome to contact us with any questions or concerns.

Looking Forward CNCPS v 6.5

Since the last major revision of the CNCPS in 2010, further refinements of the model have been researched and validated in the effort to more closely predict animal responses to nutrient and management inputs. Several adjustments to the model biology will be incorporated into the system and released as CNCPS 6.5 later this fall. We at AMTS have been continually part of the process of analyzing, refining, testing, and coding in changes to the existing software. It is a busy and exciting time that is not without its concerns.

Incorporating changes into a program that many nutritionists and, in turn, farmers depend upon for reliable, quick answers is not something to be taken lightly. We understand the limited time you have to learn not only new input requirements (perhaps on screens that are different from those to which you are accustomed) but also to understand the underlying science that brought about those changes. In as much as we can, we balance the need to be at the forefront with new information with the requirement for thorough testing and validation of both the science and the coding of the program. For these reasons, we are dedicated to making the transition from “old, comfortable” science to new, even more exacting science as painless as possible.

As the research in the areas of fiber and nitrogen digestibility, utilization, analysis and has progressed over the past few years through work out of VanAmburgh group; Tom Tylutki, as one of the principles in the CNCPS model development, has continued to collaborate and closely coordinate with the researchers as they develop more precise predictions. He is part of the discussion and so well understands the interactions within the model that he is then able to adapt AMTS.Cattle™.Pro to meet those new predictions.

The changes you can expect to see in 6.5 biology are:

  • Feed Library Values
  • aNDFom
  • uNDF to calculate rates
  • implementation of Ross Assay results
  • Combined efficiencies of AA for Maintenance and Lactation

Our mission is to make sure that our users have all the information they need to help them incorporate the changes into their understanding of the best, most efficient, and most cost effective ways to feed cattle. Tom has already been at meetings in several countries explaining the changes to the model. Through presentations and our blog we will fully explain what these changes will mean to your formulations. Our plan is to have a major update the third week in October. For new functionality, we will have updated instructions in the manual. As always, there will be a “New Things” pdf that will focus specifically on the changes. Both can be found under the Help tab in the program.

We will feature information about what the changes mean in several blog postings. In addition to the blogs we are working on a series of podcasts that will allow users to download mp3 files to their listening devises. The podcasts will provide an opportunity for learning on the go. Both Caroline and I often listen to podcasts and audio books as we perform routine tasks or while driving. We thought creating our own will provide busy users with an opportunity to learn almost osmotically.

Why make changes to a program that many are accustomed to and comfortable with? Our global population is growing; predictions of 9 billion people on the planet by 2050 are common. National Geographic has been running an 8 month series looking at food issues; it is definitely worth a read. As populations increase, especially in what is termed 2nd world countries, the demand for quality protein increases. It is important, as animal agriculturists, that we recognize the need to be as efficient as possible in using resources to produce protein for consumption. With the changes the model, we are able to better predict exactly what nutrients are needed for the closest approximation of what the animal is doing with her groceries. As VanAmburgh says, “Each refinement takes the art out of ration formulation”. When we fully understand how nutrients are used we will be able to use dialed in requirements to minimize any overfeeding of any nutrient; saving money on unnecessary feed purchases, making efficient use of resources, and increasing production efficiencies.

Past, Present, and Future

Late Summer Sunrise

Wow, it has been a busy summer and promises to be an event-filled fall. Everyone at AMTS has been flat out working on exciting projects and traveling to various parts of the world. We have been so hectic that we have not had much time to devote to blog updates. This will be a little catch up and a teaser of exciting things to come.

In the last posting, you were introduced to Galit Machpesh, a nutritionist-consultant from South Africa contracting with AMTS with specialization in Mill integration software. Galit’s feet had barely touched US soil before she was off to China at the invitation of a farmer group; she brought the model biology to an eager and receptive audience. Since returning she has been hard at work integrating the model into cloud-based mill software for greater functionality for our clients.

Galit in the Forbidden City

Tom has been globetrotting again with presentations and work sessions in South America and Africa. Sessions in South America, especially those very ably coordinated by our distributor in Brazil, Dr. Marcelo Ramos, focused on the Academic Initiative Materials as an assist for using the model at university level.

Lynn has been continuing to provide her excellent level of support to all our users. Her summers are usually travel light but this year saw her out and about as she brought new user groups up to speed in intensive work sessions. Because of the success of the Academic Initiative, she and Mariann are developing a “New Users’ Packet” with tutorials and presentations on model biology to speed up proficiency. There will be a lot of questions with the new biology, we will have the materials ready to help in the transition.

The Groton Office

We have all been busy moving into our new office in Groton. Located on Cortland Avenue, the former attorney’s office gives us a place come together to collaborate and hold small group meetings. It is a lovely old building with all sorts of neat architectural details. We will be working on getting interiors repainted and refitted to our needs. The first group we hosted at the new location was Mole Valley Farmers and Three Counties Feed from the UK. In addition to presentations on the new biology at our Groton office, they were treated to presentations by Dr.s Michael VanAmburgh and Tomas Overton at Cornell as well as farm tours of the Cornell Ruminant Research Center (Dr. William Prokop) and EZ Acres (McMahon’s). The group of 16 came from various parts of the UK and left us to further tour areas of the Northeast before returning back home.

Mole Valley Farmers and Three Counties Feeds at the new conference room

We have had a very positive response to academics using our program for teaching nutrition courses. The Academic Initiative has been available since late spring. Mariann spent a good deal of time at the summer ADSA meeting working with interested users. The packet materials will undergo major revisions as we incorporate the 6.5 biology into the program and teaching materials.

To that effort, over the next few weeks, here at the blog we will feature a series of posting providing background and education about the CNCPS model. Tom has been working with Mike VanAmburgh developing material to help educate users on the coming changes to the biology. Since the last comprehensive change to the model, researchers have been delving deeper into understanding the mechanics of fiber and amino acid digestion. Mike says, “With each refinement of the model, we take more of the ‘art’ out of ration formulation”. We are getting nearer to truly grasping how each ingredient can incrementally affect production or gain. In a world of growing population with static resources, maximum feed efficiency will not just be wise economically but critical to our survival.

Mole Valley Group at EZ Acres

We will also be delving into new technology with a series of podcasts about the history of the model, the new biology incorporated into 6.5, and the future (7.0 is in the works!). Recognizing that we are all busy and have limited hours in the day to read up on new biology, we thought explanatory podcast would be useful to the busy nutritionist wanting to understand the changes as quickly as possible. Downloadable to portable devises, you will be able to take the information with you as you travel to visit clients. Caroline and Mariann are die hard podcast listeners; they think users will welcome a chance to hear all about the model as they drive to appointments, exercise, or perform any mindless task. Yes, they may be slightly strange. But it is worth a go. Check back in for more details.