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.