The diet problem.
Joannopoulos, É., Pomar, C., Dussault, J.-P., and Dubeau, F. (2013 submitted). "The diet problem.", in Plà-Aragonés, L.M. (ed.) - Hanbook of Operationnal Research in Agriculture and Agri-food Industry, Springer, Chapter 18.
Plain language summary
Conventional feeding programs are designed to maximize pig herd performance by providing the same feed to all animals for long periods (e.g., 30 days). However, given the weight, age, health and genetic variation that exist between animals, nutritional requirements vary greatly among pigs and for each pig these requirements change over time following individual patterns. By disregarding this variability, conventional feeding lead to a significant nutrient oversupply, given that diets have to be formulated to satisfy the requirements of the most demanding animals. We have developed an innovative precision feeding method for which new nutritional approaches and technologies have had to be designed to allow pigs to be fed individually with diets tailored daily to their particular requirements. Given that precision fed pigs must receive each day a personalized diet, to use only two feeds (a high and a low nutrient density feeds) which blended daily in the right proportion provide pigs with the right amount of nutrient all over the growing period is proposed. This book chapter proposed the development of new feed formulation algorithms to optimize simultaneously the composition of both feeds and the formulation of free energy concentration feeds to minimize costs.