The Modeling & Data Science Centre The Modeling & Data Science Centre

The Modelling & Data Science

An integral part of Trouw Nutrition’s R&D department, the Modelling & Data Science team located in the Netherlands, Canada and Brazil, creates different modelling methodologies to define how the animal production system works and merges with biological knowledge to derive data-driven techniques. The aim is to provide our customers with insights to help them make the best choices around animal health, management and nutrition.

Our team: diverse, experienced and collaborative

The Modelling & Data Science team has wide-ranging expertise across species in animal nutrition, biological modelling, data science, statistics and fundamental mathematics, all applied in a unique creative environment. Our close-knit but inclusive group values continuous collaboration with Nutreco colleagues and actively engages with our external network, such as universities, to supplement specific domain knowledge.

Developing a modelling culture

In addition to enhancing the classic nutritional models, the team is exploring the enormous potential emerging to develop machine learning models which can predict, forecast and optimize animal and economic responses. The opportunity is compelling: to create decision-making tools that can serve a diverse range of customers with different needs and digitalisation levels. 

The team looks to develop a modelling culture throughout the Trouw Nutrition organisation that enables employees to recognise the value and benefits models bring to customers, as well as their limitations. We also focus on understanding the needs of our customers across a continuum of digitalisation (minimal to highly automated) to determine the appropriate modelling method.

Most important is our team’s active participation in designing, creating and validating algorithms to more accurately assess the nutritional value of ingredients and predict the response of animals across species based on their nutritional, environmental and health status. These algorithms will form the engine of digital tools that we intend to use as a means to an end, not the end itself.

Proven tools for diverse needs

The Modelling Team’s unique mandate across species allows us to work efficiently with internal Trouw Nutrition employees, and serve external customers including professional farmers, integrators and feed companies. Each has their own questions, challenges and needs, primarily related to improving profitability (lower costs, higher revenue), productivity (more eggs, meat and milk) and efficiency in a sustainable manner. The value of our models is twofold: providing an opportunity to efficiently analyse and resolve production problems, and to create 'what-if' scenarios for individual farms to consider before implementing recommendations or running expensive trials.

Our decision-making tools ensure Trouw Nutrition advisors provide outstanding customer service in the field. These include:

  • Nutrient requirement, nutrient response and least-cost formulation models
  • Sophisticated stochastic optimisation models to maximise profitability with sound nutritional and management strategies
  • Improved premix product and quality
  • Product forecasting
  • Data-driven nutrition and management solutions to help reduce costs
Our models are focused on our customer needs, designed by and for our stakeholders, to integrate animal responses, health and farm management to provide optimum business and nutritional solutions.
Neil Ferguson, PhD, Manager Modelling Science
Discovery
Poultry Research
Ruminants Research
Swine Research
Ingredient Research
Global Validation