Contextualizing Mathematical Modeling

Contextualizing Mathematical Modeling

Mathematical modeling is the art of correlating attributes of an application area in treatable mathematical formulas, whose theoretical and numerical operational analyzes provide useful insights, answers, and guidance for decision making. Mathematical modeling, under scientific research conditions, can contribute to several areas of study, such as physics, chemistry, biology, meteorology, among others. The models are developed taking into account attributes and their variations in the phenomenon to be described.

There is a big mistake in considering that modeling is a 7-headed bug and that it is restricted to a select group of scientists.

However, in our daily lives, we are faced with countless predictions and decision-making based on results from mathematical models, such as weather forecasting, sports performance prediction, forecasting the future availability of natural resources, environmental catastrophes, and a very recent example of Covid-19’s growth forecasts.

The use of mathematical modeling still supports the Agricultural Zoning of Climate Risk (Zarc), an instrument adopted by the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock, and Supply (Mapa) since 1996 to prevent losses in agricultural production caused by adverse climatic phenomena.

Application of Modeling to Animal Production

In the last twenty years, due to the evolution of computer programs, modeling techniques, and the processing capacity of computers, there has been a great increase in the number of researches related to the development of models that try to predict the responses of birds in different types of situations. . At the same time, several solutions that use computational modeling to try to predict the performance of biological and/or production systems are being launched on the market.

In the meantime, the American company Feed2Gain is one of the companies at the forefront of this production of cutting-edge software combined with poultry, and which are developing one for pig farming. Both software uses the Gompertz equation among several equations, with some adaptations from Feed2Gain.

The Gompertz equation considers that the growth rate is high at the beginning of the process and changes rapidly to slower growth (this characteristic is common in cell growth). The Gompertz equation is widely used in human medicine to describe the growth curve of tumor cells. In a way, when the growth curve under the Gompertz equation is properly calibrated, it provides, along with other equations, the physiology of a complex biological system such as animal production, and its use is notorious even in breeding and nutrition procedures.

Modeling as an auxiliary tool for animal nutritionists in decision making

In less than a century, poultry farming has ceased to be a backyard activity and has become the most technological and developed production of animal protein in Brazil. In any case, this is largely due to the uniformity of industrial animal production, a constant search for the technical bodies of integrations and cooperatives.

The uniformity of batches with a reduction in the coefficient of variation, both in production and in the weight and age of the animals, is linked to the carcass yield and the mechanization of the slaughterhouses.

The modeling software has several objectives, such as the optimization of food cost or the gain of carcass yield. Therefore, helping the nutritionist to build scenarios and responses expected in the field, with precision and confidence, providing agility and adequacy to market movements that easily generate thousands of dollars in earnings, within a short period.

Similarly, the models can also help in understanding the sensitivity to environmental variations or fluctuations in the nutritional profile of ingredients not perceived in quality control laboratories.

Finally, Marie Curie said: “In life, there is nothing to fear, but to understand.” And understanding the technologies, data and information is of great value for environmental and social sustainability, thus guaranteeing productive longevity and food security for all.

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