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InraPorc

Dr Ioannis Mavromichalis
As a field nutritionist working for a major feed company, and now as an independent consulting nutritionist, I have found that certain tools make life not only much easier, but they also create a more profsssional environment and a serious context for discussion.

As a field nutritionist working for a major feed company, and now as an independent consulting nutritionist, I have found that certain tools make life not only much easier, but they also create a more professional environment and a serious context for discussion.

Such a tool is the new modeling software from INRA, called InraPorc. As a disclaimer, I must emphasise that apart from being a satisfied user of this software, since its release, I have no other connection with it or the insttiution behind it.

Unlike other modeling software packages, InraPorc is quite inexpensive! And, it is also very user-friendly, well, that is apart from a very unique interface page, which is better left to be completed by your nutritionist. To their defense, the creators of InraPorc have clearly stated this is a product designed to be used by nutritionists!

Assessment
Another unique feature of this software is that is uses actual farm data regarding animal performance and real-time food formulations. Instead of predicting nutrient specifications under ideal conditions for the expression of maximal genetic potential, InraPorc provides a thorough assessment of current nutritional levels in a graphic and very educative system. True to the original intentions, the makers of InraPorc leave the interpretation of the analysis to the qualified nutritionist, something with which I fully agree.

InraPorc also enables the investigation of what-if scenarios, as for example between two different genetic sources, or in the case of increasing market weight, or when comparing different number of phases, etc. All in all it is a very flexible tool and its presentation is equally captivating. I still have not found a single producter to whom I have presented the opportunity and he was not enthusiastic about the possibilities offered. And, based on my experience with this modeling tool, its predictions are very accurate under most practical conditions.

Public institution
All these might sound a bit like an advertisement, but in truth, this is a a tool produced by a public institution and its price makes it really available to everyone. In my opinion, it deserves a much wider acceptance from producers and their advisors.

In should note that InraPorc does not provide a module for least-cost formulation of feeds, something I believe should be added later on by the programmers. Likewise, it does not provide a robust economic model, something equally important for field conditions.

Adage
Again, before closing, this is not something anyone can handle easily. The old adage for computers still applies here: 'garbage in, garbage out'. But if your nutritionist has not heard of InraPorc, you better tell him!

I will provide a working example oin my next blog. For now, more info can be obtained at the official website.

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