Last update: November 22, 2010 01:55:02 PM E-mail Print


Linear and goal programming in animal nutrition


P. G. Marais1 &  H. J. van der Merwe2


1Grootfontein Agricultural Development Institute, Middelburg, 5900, Cape Province, Republic of South Africa

2Department of animal Science, University of the Orange Free State, Bloemfontein 9301, Republic of South Africa


This paper suggest that the conventional linear programming (LP) paradigm commonly used for livestock diet formulation suffers from several inherent weaknesses. One such weakness is the mathematical rigidity. This originates from using cost as the criterion for selecting the ingredients of the diet.  But in fact, diet formulation problems involve several criteria and should, therefore be solved using techniques designed for modelling such problems. Goal programming (GP) techniques, on the other  hand, do not impose such rigid conditions and also allow  consideration of several decision criteria. This paper represents a departure from the traditional LP approach by formulating the diet formulation problem as a GP model incorporating penalty functions that make the specification of minimum levels of nutrients more flexible and realistic.