On-farm Feed Advisor Tool
The On-farm Feed Advisor (OFA) app is a mobile based tool that can be used by extension agents to balance nutrients in the diet of dairy cattle and buffaloes by entering some basic data.
Generally, farmers feed their livestock with what is available in their farm in the form of agricultural by-products such as straws, stovers and haulms. The basal feed is later supplemented using home-grown or purchased concentrates with minimal understanding about the nutrient composition and actual nutrient requirements of the animal. This may, in many cases, result in over or under feeding of key nutrients such as protein or energy relative to the level of production. In some instances, by not choosing the most cost effective feed, the feeding costs are higher than they need to be.
The On-farm Feed Advisor helps extension staff to advise farmers on how to balance their animals’ diet by matching nutrients and production in the feed offered, based on the animal body weight, milk production and stage of pregnancy. The application selects the cheapest locally available feeds to bridge the nutritional gap between animal requirement and the availability in the feeds offered and support an additional 10% production which is discussed with the farmers. Finally, the results are given in the form of an advice memo including some guidelines for efficient use of different feeds.
Additional information such as the nutrient gap before and after balancing the feed using the tool, total cost of purchased feeds before and after balancing and additional income before and after balancing are also shown.
For more information, download the user guide and poster below: