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 modeling 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 modeling, 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 modeling 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 digitalization levels. 

The team looks to develop a modeling culture throughout the Trouw Nutrition organization that enables employees to recognize 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 digitalization (minimal to highly automated) to determine the appropriate modeling 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 Modeling 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 its 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 analyze 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 optimization models to maximize 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

Other sections:

Poultry Research
Ruminants Research
Swine Research
Ingredient Research
Innovation Lab
Global Validation