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Animal Nutrition Views

Ioannis Mavromichalis, Ph.D., gives his views on poultry, pig and dairy nutrition based on his experience as a nutrition consultant with clients around the world.

My favorite feed formulation program

February 19, 2015

Here’s my “shopping” list every time I am offered to buy a new feed formulation program. Keep in mind, please, that I am a consulting nutritionist and I also manufacture and sell a couple my own piglet feeds. Hence, I don’t have the same needs as a large feed mill that employs numerous nutritionists, or has to worry about hundreds of formulas and inventories, tags, intermediate premixes, etc. I am in the small to medium category market with a restricted budget and an unlimited “needs” list, but let’s focus on the six most important for now:

  1. The ideal feed formulation program should be simple enough not to require a dedicate assistant to run.
  2. It is user-friendly, preferably working even on a Mac platform, but definitely it is not an MS-DOS conversion. Ideally, it can function on a Cloud service, but also as a stand-alone.
  3. It performs all advanced formulation techniques (nutrient ratios, ingredient equations, etc.), without restrictions that require further in-app payments to unlock.
  4. It provides for customization in printouts depending on the amount of information required by the end user, as sometimes too much information is just inhibiting.
  5. The program does not require an annual license or maintenance fees.
  6. It provides for ingredient databases per client, especially when it comes to prices.

After having worked with all three major software providers, and tested several minor ones, I am still looking for the ideal program to suit my needs and my budget. Perhaps I am too picky, but only because so far I have been able to do all of the above and even more (including least cost formulation) using an Excel spreadsheet.

I almost bought a new package several years ago, based on a recommendation, but the deal broke when I was denied a demo. Who buys software today without being able to "play" for a week or so? Even video games provide for such first-hands experience!

Your thoughts?

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