An optimization model of a New Zealand dairy farm
Doole, G. J., Romera, A. J., & Adler, A. A. (2013). An optimization model of a New Zealand dairy farm. Journal of Dairy Science, 96 (4), 2147-2160.
Permanent Research Commons link: https://hdl.handle.net/10289/7244
Optimization models are a key tool for the analysis of emerging policies, prices, and technologies within grazing systems. A detailed, nonlinear optimization model of a New Zealand dairy farming system is described. This framework is notable for its inclusion of pasture residual mass, pasture utilization, and intake regulation as key management decisions. Validation of the model shows that the detailed representation of key biophysical relationships in the model provides an enhanced capacity to provide reasonable predictions outside of calibrated scenarios. Moreover, the flexibility of management plans in the model enhances its stability when faced with significant perturbations. In contrast, the inherent rigidity present in a less-detailed linear programming model is shown to limit its capacity to provide reasonable predictions away from the calibrated baseline. A sample application also demonstrates how the model can be used to identify pragmatic strategies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
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