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Abstract

Inadequate feeding is the major factor for low livestock productivity in India. In dairying, feed cost is a major input and feeding practices has to be improved to ensure profits. Still the small scale farmers are following traditional feeding practices and fail to address the complexities involved in ration formulation. To address the complexities in ration balancing based on the nutrient requirements for different categories of livestock, nutrient composition of wide range of feed resources and the cost - a number of expert systems have been developed. However existing expert systems have not been widely used by majority of small farmers due to lack of awareness, access and basic skills required to operate. To address these limitations, “Feed Assist” a farmer friendly expert system for balanced feeding of dairy animals at least cost has been developed using linear programming. “Feed Assist” does not require much expertise to operate and enables the farmers to formulate least cost rations for different categories of livestock using locally available feed resources.

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