A simulation approach for evaluating field data from grazing trials
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A simulation model was developed to provide a tool for evaluating data from a field trial beyond that typically available from statistical analysis. Field data that estimated diet dry matter digestibility, fecal output, and grazing activity were used as driving variables to calculate and compare the energy and weight flux of cattle on continuous and rotational grazing systems. The results indicated that the cumulative effect of small (statistically non-significant) differences in the driving variables could result in observed differences in animal performance. The results indicated that diet dry matter digestibility may have been underestimated by the data and the difference between grazing treatments in fecal output may have been overestimated by the data. These apparent discrepancies between model performance and the field data were biologically interpretable. Sensitivity analysis indicated that a 1% change in diet dry matter digestibility, fecal output, and grazing activity resulted in a 4·4, 0·5, and 0·1% change in simulated calf weaning weight, respectively. © 1989.
author list (cited authors)
Walker, J. W., Stuth, J. W., & Heitschmidt, R. K.