The Cornell Net Carbohydrate and Protein System: Updates to the model and evaluation of version 6.5

M. E. Van Amburgh, E. A. Collao-Saenz, R. J. Higgs, D. A. Ross, E. B. Recktenwald, E. Raffrenato, L. E. Chase, T. R. Overton, J K Mills, Andreas Foskolos

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New laboratory and animal sampling methods and data have been generated over the last 10 yr that had the potential to improve the predictions for energy, protein, and AA supply and requirements in the Cornell Net Carbohydrate and Protein System (CNCPS). The objectives of this study were to describe updates to the CNCPS and evaluate model performance against both literature and on-farm data. The changes to the feed library were significant and are reported in a separate manuscript. Degradation rates of protein and carbohydrate fractions were adjusted according to new fractionation schemes, and corresponding changes to equations used to calculate rumen outflows and postrumen digestion were presented. In response to the feed-library changes and an increased supply of essential AA because of updated contents of AA, a combined efficiency of use was adopted in place of separate calculations for maintenance and lactation to better represent the biology of the cow. Four different data sets were developed to evaluate Lys and Met requirements, rumen N balance, and milk yield predictions. In total 99 peer-reviewed studies with 389 treatments and 15 regional farms with 50 different diets were included. The broken-line model with plateau was used to identify the concentration of Lys and Met that maximizes milk protein yield and content. Results suggested concentrations of 7.00 and 2.60% of metabolizable protein (MP) for Lys and Met, respectively, for maximal protein yield and 6.77 and 2.85% of MP for Lys and Met, respectively, for maximal protein content. Updated AA concentrations were numerically higher for Lys and 11 to 18% higher for Met compared with CNCPS v6.0, and this is attributed to the increased content of Met and Lys in feeds that were previously incorrectly analyzed and described. The prediction of postruminal flows of N and milk yield were evaluated using the correlation coefficient from the BLUP (R(2)BLUP) procedure or model predictions (R(2)MDP) and the concordance correlation coefficient. The accuracy and precision of rumen-degradable N and undegradable N and bacterial N flows were improved with reduced bias. The CNCPS v6.5 predicted accurate and precise milk yield according to the first-limiting nutrient (MP or metabolizable energy) with a R(2)BLUP=0.97, R(2)MDP=0.78, and concordance correlation coefficient=0.83. Furthermore, MP-allowable milk was predicted with greater precision than metabolizable energy-allowable milk (R(2)MDP=0.82 and 0.76, respectively, for MP and metabolizable energy). Results suggest a significant improvement of the model, especially under conditions of MP limitation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)6361-6380
Number of pages20
JournalJournal of Dairy Science
Issue number9
Early online date02 Jul 2015
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2015


  • Animal Feed
  • Animals
  • Carbon Dioxide
  • Cattle
  • Diet
  • Dietary Carbohydrates
  • Dietary Proteins
  • Digestion
  • Energy Metabolism
  • Fatty Acids
  • Feces
  • Female
  • Methane
  • Milk
  • Milk Proteins
  • Models, Biological
  • Nitrogen
  • Rumen


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