Researchers from the Research Center in Mathematics and Applications at the University of Évora, participate in Action E - Growth Models, of the Operational Group PDR2020-101-031130 - GO BovMais - Productivity improvement in the system of bovine raising for meat (www .bovmais.pt). GO BovMais is led by INIAV - National Institute for Agricultural and Veterinary Research, and provides the participation of several entities, including the University of Évora, through the Research Centers ICAAM, CEFAGE and CIMA.
In this Action, statistical knowledge and stochastic processes are applied to develop models of stochastic differential equations to describe the evolution of the weight of Mertolenga and Alentejana cattle, in order to take into account of the random fluctuations of the environment and the individual characteristics of each animal, as their genetic values, based on animal records provided by Mertolenga and Alentejana breeder’s associations. The objective is to forecast the growth of each animal by age and to determine the optimal age (or weight) for sale, in order to maximize the profit of producers, for whom a computer support tool will be developed.
The cost structure used in the prediction model for the optimal slaughter point includes animal feed costs, prophylactic plan costs, marketing fees, costs of transport to the slaughterhouse and fixed costs.
The main challenge was the need to have a tool for forecasting the slaughter date of finished animals based on the prediction of production costs.This tool is still under development. It is one of BovMais project milestones, that wil be delivered next year.
It will be possible to have more precise information, which will be a good help to make decisions about the supply of animals for slaughter. The most important lesson we retain from the 13-year experience is that sometimes sending the animal for slaughter at a younger age and selling the carcass at a lower price can be more profitable, even when this animal has interesting daily growth. The main socio-economic impcat is the possibility of slaughtering animals at the ideal time in order to obtain the best possible economic result.
For more information about this model please consult:
Author: José Pais - ABCM