Lactation Curve Estimation for Use in Economic Optimization Models in the Dairy Industry

Brian S. Freeze, Timothy J. Richards

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Monthly data on completed lactations were employed to estimate a three-stage least squares lactation curve model for milk production, milk fat content, milk protein content, and body weight change in lactating Holstein cattle. In comparison with previous work on the lactation curve, our study employed an augmented incomplete gamma model of the lactation curve, a simultaneous rather than single equation estimation technique, monthly rather than daily or weekly observations, and a pragmatic treatment of the genetic background of individual cows using sire proof data. In addition to considering genetic and dietary effects on the lactation curve, the model isolates the seasonal effect of calving date and current production month as well as the age of the cow. By allowing for the simultaneous explanation of various measures of cow performance, the model accommodates formulation of diets tailored for individual cows or groups of cows and can be used in profit-maximizing mathematical programming models. Diet, production, and body weight changes are determined simultaneously and are not independent of one another.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2984-2989
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Dairy Science
Issue number11
StatePublished - 1992
Externally publishedYes


  • IG
  • dairy industry
  • incomplete gamma
  • lactation curve
  • modeling
  • simultaneous equations

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Science
  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • Genetics


Dive into the research topics of 'Lactation Curve Estimation for Use in Economic Optimization Models in the Dairy Industry'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this