Frequently Asked Questions
How do I get the Formulate2 Core Component Suite?
The Formulate2 Core Component Suite is licensed, supported and distributed by CVNA, LLC. However, since the Core Components are integrated with FRB, you will need to get in touch with your FMS representative to initiate the process.
Can I just install the Formulate2 Core Components and I'm good to go with AA balancing with FRB?
There are a few prerequisites.
- First, only the latest version of FRB (2.00.013) can work interactively with the Core Components. If you aren't running that version, you'll need to contact your FMS representative and get FRB updated.
- Second, the Core Components provide model compliant solutions within the framework of the NRC 2001 model. If your dataset isn't using the NRC 2001 model you'll need to speak with your FMS representative about making the dataset compatible with the NRC model. Once that's done, CVNA will perform a dataset audit to verify that everything is in place and that you're ready to work with AA balance. Even if you're currently using some form of NRC 2001 it may not be 100% compliant with NRC 2001 as published. If that is the case, adjustments will need to be made so in either case it's a good idea to contact your FMS representative and verify the status of your dataset.
- Third, you'll require some training - how much and what kind will depend on your experience with AA balancing and also your familiarity with the NRC 2001 model. At the minimum you will need training on how to navigate the AA and MP Calculator and orientation to the minor changes made in FEB to accommodate integration of the Core Components (new tool bar buttons/menu choices etc.). CVNA will provide training in those areas as well as training on NRC science related to AA balancing. We're happy to include Dr. Chuck Schwab as part of the CVNA team and Dr. Schwab will also participate in the training sessions. As you can see, the scope of training provided by CVNA runs the gamut from "Conference Room to Parlor" and can be tailored to your needs.
Why do I need "Components" other than just FRB? Can't I use FRB to balance for AA using the NRC 2001 model without the "Core Components"?
The answer to the second question is yes, you can balance for AA without the Core Components. Of course, that leads us back to the first question, "Why do I need Components..." Balancing for AA with FRB without the Core Components becomes a time consuming, manually iterated, trial and error process. The NRC 2001 model is very different from all other NRC approaches to determining nutrient requirements and supplies for dairy cattle. All previous NRC approaches were fully linear, which means that nutrient coefficients were constant - they didn't change. For example, on the protein side, NRC 1989 provided UIP and DIP values for several feeds. Those values for degradable and un-degradable protein remained constant regardless of the level of dry matter intake. However, we know that the portion of CP of all feeds that is degraded in the rumen is a function of both how quickly it is degraded there (Kd %hr) and how long it remains in the rumen (Kp %hr). The interaction of these two dynamic factors means that the longer the rumen dwell time the greater the portion of CP that is degraded. Conversely, the shorter the dwell time the lesser the portion of CP that is degraded and the greater the portion of un-degraded CP that passes to the intestine. Unlike its predecessors, NRC 2001 accommodates these factors in an approach that more closely models what actually happens in the cow. However, the commercial solution processes developed over the years for linear NRC approaches are not capable of handling a dynamic animal model like NRC 2001. Without the Core Components, the FRB linear approach can only go so far toward a solution of the non-linear aspects of NRC 2001. After that, you're on your own with manual, trial and error "tweaking" which can easily become a very frustrating and time consuming exercise. In addition, when making manual adjustments in the trial and error process, it's almost impossible to accurately consider cost relationships between feeds.
What is the "AA and MP Calculator"?
The AA and MP Calculator is a member of the Core Component Suite that implements post NRC 2001 work done at the University of New Hampshire to extend the NRC model to predict changes in lactation from changes in intestinal supplies of MP-Lys and MP-Met. The Calculator is a pop-up item that is accessible from FRB and provides a visual interface that enables users to work with aspects of the NRC 2001 model not previously accessible.
Why do I need the Calculator?
The Calculator provides NRC compliant capabilities in three important areas relative to balancing for AA that were not addressed by the published NRC 2001 model.
- While it provides a highly reliable framework for predicting nutrient supplies, the NRC model does not provide MP-AA requirement values. Work by researchers at the University of New Hampshire, subsequent to the release of NRC 2001, has provided the basis for generating those values. However, to date that work is not available in a readily usable format, and because it is derived from NRC diet evaluations, it is applicable only to the NRC 2001 model.
- The NRC model doesn't provide a way to re-factor the model predicted MP requirement in consideration of the level of MP-Lys and MP-Met supplied in MP.
- There is also no mechanism within the NRC 2001 model to account for the impact of feeding strategies and technologies that impact the rumen microbial population and thus the flow of MP- AA from microbial sources to the intestine.