The following HTML text is provided to enhance online
readability. Many aspects of typography translate only awkwardly to HTML.
Please use the page image
as the authoritative form to ensure accuracy.
BUILDING A NORTH AMERICAN FEED INFORMATION SYSTEM
NUTRITION'S VITAL ROLE
The importance of the nutrient composition of feeds addressed more than a century ago continues to be recognized as a primary mechanism for optimizing animal health (Breeding et al., 1994; Elsasser, 1993). Awareness of nutrition in relation to disease states has led to the expansion of the role of nutrition research in addressing new dimensions in animal and human health (Sidransky, 1985). Reduced incidence of disease often can be attributed to the nutritional components of animal diets (Gerloff, 1992; Hogan et al., 1993; Weiss et al., 1990; Zagulski et al., 1989). Directly correlated with animal health, feed nutrients are known to affect animal performance (Guise and Penny, 1990; Mahan, 1991; Matte et al., 1994; Petit and Castonguay, 1994).
Recently, refined nutrient management has been recognized as an important element of sustainable agriculture practices (Honeyman, 1993; Ouart et al., 1992; Pell, 1992; Stanogias and Pearce, 1987). Managing animal feeding practices with nutrient composition information has proved to be beneficial for addressing the environmental concerns associated with agricultural production (Tamminga, 1992; Tamminga and Verstegen, 1992; Tucker and Watts, 1993; Weismiller and Hogan, 1992). Legislation developed for decreasing environmental pollution from farming increases dependence on the availability of timely and accurate feed composition information (Weismiller and Hogan, 1992). Additionally, feed composition serves as a point of reference for the regulation of food and feed ingredients in domestic and international markets to ensure fair trade and unbiased scientific evaluation of food safety issues (Bogel and Stohr, 1994; Petersen, 1994). Educators and researchers develop programs that rely heavily on information regarding the nutrient composition of feeds. Internationally, the nutrient composition of feeds influences trade and marketing decisions in quality-sensitive sectors (U.S. Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service, 1994b) and affects the education and welfare of populations in developing countries. Finally, feed manufacturers as well as animal producers and technical consultants on farms use feed composition information on a daily basis.
URGENT NEED FOR INFORMATION
Rapid advancements and significant improvements in the nutritional sciences, animal production practices, and environmental protection in the United States and abroad can be attributed in part to the use of a feed composition data base. Corresponding to the period of time that a feed composition data base was maintained in the United States, from 1963 to 1990, monumental strides were made in the nutritional sciences (Church and Pond, 1982; International Life Sciences Institute, 1990; Maynard et al., 1979), resulting in improved animal and human health as well as improved animal production practices. Farmers and