In March AMTS issued an updated version of AMTS.Cattle™.Pro that made some functionality changes, incorporated the CNCPS v 6.5.5 biology, and introduced a new report feature. We routinely do two big update a year. These updates are implementations of user requests, changed biology equations, or just the result of finding a way or even a better way to do something in the program. We have a running wish list of changes we plan to make to the program. Time is spent prioritizing and programing. Usually after a major update of this kind we all go back to our lists and work on the changes that will be incorporated into the next big update, commonly 6 months down the road. At other times of the year small patches or fixes are issued but they tend to not really change the look of the program. They do things behind the scenes. When we do release a major update, we spend time demonstrating the new feature through an introductory pdf.
Rarely do we issue a major update and then, within a month, issue another update that introduces a new feature. Sometimes we are so excited about the feature that we decide we just cannot wait 6 months but MUST give it to you right away. Milks Steps is like that.
The Milk Steps report that can be generated from the recipe screen is a new feature that will allow users to create a base ration (or TMR) for a given cattle/location/farm then take one ingredient—like a grain mix—and feed it at varying levels depending on the production of the animal. It works well in tie stall feeding situation or a robotic milker/feeder. The amount of grain needed to meet the Energy and protein requirements of increased milk production is indicated as well as the added cost per cow.
The Milk Steps feature allows you to quickly generate a feeding chart or set up the grain amounts to be programed into the feeder based off real requirements. Using the Milk Steps report is much quicker than creating a cattle group and ration for stepwise production levels. It is much more accurate than the old “2 scoops because she is making a lot of milk method”. The pdf at the Version 4.5.1- Quick Introduction (PDF) found under Help>View AMTS Messages in the program will explain how to use Milk Steps.
We are pretty pleased with the ease of implementation. And, sorry—you will still have to use your own scale of “an extra half scoop to Sungoddess because she is the favorite”—we haven’t figured out how to get that into an equation.