“Global” and “local” predictions of dairy diet nutritional quality using near infrared reflectance spectroscopy

H. Tran*Corresponding Author Informationemail address, P. Salgado, E. Tillard, P. Dardenne§, X.T. Nguyen*, P. Lecomte

Received 12 November 2008; accepted 25 March 2010.


The objective of the study was to evaluate performance of classic (global) and innovative (local) calibration techniques to monitor cattle diet, based on fecal near infrared reflectance spectroscopy (NIRS). A 3-yr on-farm survey (2005–2008) was carried out in Vietnam and La Reunion Island to collect animal, feed intake, and feces excretion data. Feed and feces were scanned by a Foss NIRsystem 5000 monochromator (Foss, Hillerød, Denmark) to estimate diet characteristics and nutrient digestibility. A data set including 1,322 diet-fecal pairs was built and used to perform global and local calibrations. Global equations gave satisfactory accuracy [coefficient of determination (R2) >0.8, 10% ≤ relative standard error of prediction (RSEP) ≤20%], whereas local equations gave good accuracy (R2 >0.8, RSEP <10%) or excellent accuracy (R2 >0.9, RSEP <10%) for the prediction of diet intake, quality, and digestibility. When validating the equations using the external individual data, both techniques were robust, with similar RSEP (8%) and R2 (0.82) values. The predictive performance of global and local equations was improved (RSEP = 5% and R2=0.90) when averaged animal data from farm, visit, and similar milk production were used. In particular, local equations reduced RSEP by 43% and increased R2 by 15%, on average, compared with those obtained from individual data. The low RSEP (4%), high R2 (0.96), and good ratio performance deviation (RPD=5) illustrated the excellent accuracy and robustness of the local equations. Findings suggest the ability of fecal NIRS to successfully and more accurately predict diet properties (intake, quality, and digestibility) with local calibration techniques compared with classic global techniques, especially on an averaged data set. Local calibration techniques represent an alternative promising method and potentially a decision support tool to decide whether diets meet dairy cattle requirements or need to be modified.

* Faculty of Animal Sciences and Aquaculture, Hanoi University of Agriculture, Vietnam

 CIRAD, UPR Systèmes d’élevage, Montpellier, F-34398 France

 CIRAD, UPR Systèmes d’élevage, Saint-Pierre, La Réunion, F-97410 France

§ Centre Wallon de Recherches Agronomiques (CRA-W), Département Qualité des Productions Agricoles, 24 Chaussée de Namur, B-5030 Gembloux, Belgium



Volume 93, Issue 10, Pages 4961-4975 (October 2010)

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