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Multiple country approach to improve the test-day prediction of dairy cows’ dry matter intake

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journal contribution
posted on 03.06.2021, 00:54 by A Tedde, C Grelet, PN Ho, Jennie Pryce, D Hailemariam, Z Wang, G Plastow, N Gengler, E Froidmont, F Dehareng, C Bertozzi, MA Crowe, H Soyeurt
We predicted dry matter intake of dairy cows using parity, week of lactation, milk yield, milk mid-infrared (MIR) spectrum, and MIR-based predictions of bodyweight, fat, protein, lactose, and fatty acids content in milk. The dataset comprised 10,711 samples of 534 dairy cows with a geographical diversity (Australia, Canada, Denmark, and Ireland). We set up partial least square (PLS) regressions with different constructs and a one-hidden-layer artificial neural network (ANN) using the highest contribution variables. In the ANN, we replaced the spectra with their projections to the 25 first PLS factors explaining 99% of the spectral variability to reduce the model complexity. Cow-independent 10 × 10-fold cross-validation (CV) achieved the best performance with root mean square errors (RMSECV) of 3.27 ± 0.08 kg for the PLS regression and 3.25 ± 0.13 kg for ANN. Although the available data were significantly different, we also performed a country-independent validation (CIV) to measure the models’ performance fairly. We found RMSECIV varying from 3.73 to 6.03 kg for PLS and 3.69 to 5.08 kg for ANN. Ultimately, based on the country-independent validation, we discussed the developed models’ performance with those achieved by the National Research Coun-cil’s equation.


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