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Title: ASKBILL as a web-based program to enhance sheep well-being and productivity
Contributor(s): Kahn, L P  (author)orcid ; Johnson, I R  (author); Rowe, J B  (author); Hogan, L (author); Boshoff, J  (author)
Publication Date: 2017
Open Access: Yes
DOI: 10.1071/AN17327
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Abstract: ASKBILL is a web-based program that uses farm measurements, climate data and information on genetics to predict pasture growth, animal performance and animal health and climate risks. The program uses several biophysical models, which are customised by user inputs, localised daily weather updates and a dynamical probabilistic 90-day climate forecast to enhance sheep well-being and productivity. This approach can minimise the requirement for manual, auto and remote measurements, thus reducing labour requirements and complexity. In this article, the animal growth model provides an example of a biophysical model used to provide predictions. This is an energy-based model and the model parameterisation is designed to be physiologically meaningful and able to be customised for the genetic merit of the animal using a growth coefficient that calibrates growth of body components and energy requirements. A key feature of the animal growth model is its forecast projections, which are based on an ensemble of simulations. The model can estimate supplementary feeding rates required to achieve target liveweights and body condition scores and stocking rates required to achieve target pasture levels. The model can be customised for a farm and its livestock and is updated daily in response to climate data. This dynamic feature enables it to provide early stage alerts to users when animal production targets are unlikely to be met.
Publication Type: Journal Article
Source of Publication: Animal Production Science, 57(11), p. 2257-2262
Publisher: CSIRO Publishing
Place of Publication: Australia
ISSN: 1836-5787
Fields of Research (FoR) 2008: 070102 Agricultural Land Planning
070105 Agricultural Systems Analysis and Modelling
070106 Farm Management, Rural Management and Agribusiness
Fields of Research (FoR) 2020: 300203 Agricultural land planning
300207 Agricultural systems analysis and modelling
300208 Farm management, rural management and agribusiness
Socio-Economic Objective (SEO) 2020: 109902 Animal welfare
Peer Reviewed: Yes
HERDC Category Description: C1 Refereed Article in a Scholarly Journal
Appears in Collections:Journal Article
School of Environmental and Rural Science
School of Science and Technology

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