Predicting Livestock Supply for a Multi-Seasonal Beef Cattle Network Optimisation Model


Chris K G Dake


AgResearch Ltd, Ruakura Research Centre, East Street, Private Bag 3123, Hamilton, New Zealand


[email protected]




A network optimisation model was developed to simulate the drafting of  beef cattle from farms to processing plants to meet the monthly demand for the various grades of animals. The network model allows animals to be transferred between months if the price offered for animals is unacceptable to the farmer or if there is insufficient processing capacity in a given month. The weight, grade and value of an animal could change between months as a result of the animal continually growing, the variation in price offered by processors between months, and the availability of feed on the farm. This paper describes the use of a genetic algorithm, Evolver TM , to predict the monthly availability of grades of beef cattle that can be optimally allocated to processing plants by the network optimisation model.