The objective of this analysis was to compare the rumen submodel predictions of 4 commonly used dairy ration programs to observed values of duodenal flows of crude protein (CP), protein fractions, and essential AA (EAA). The literature was searched and 40 studies, including 154 diets, were used to compare observed values with those predicted by AminoCow (AC), Agricultural Modeling and Training Systems (AMTS), Cornell-Penn-Miner (CPM), and National Research Council 2001 (NRC) models. The models were evaluated based on their ability to predict the mean, their root mean square prediction error (RMSPE), error bias, and adequacy of regression equations for each protein fraction. The models predicted the mean duodenal CP flow within 5%, with more than 90% of the variation due to random disturbance. The models also predicted within 5% the mean microbial CP flow except CPM, which overestimated it by 27%. Only NRC, however, predicted mean rumen-undegraded protein (RUP) flows within 5%, whereas AC and AMTS underpredicted it by 8 to 9% and CPM by 24%. Regarding duodenal flows of individual AA, across all diets, CPM predicted substantially greater (>10%) mean flows of Arg, His, Ile, Met, and Lys; AMTS predicted greater flow for Arg and Met, whereas AC and NRC estimations were, on average, within 10% of observed values. Overpredictions by the CPM model were mainly related to mean bias, whereas the NRC model had the highest proportion of bias in random disturbance for flows of EAA. Models tended to predict mean flows of EAA more accurately on corn silage and alfalfa diets than on grass-based diets, more accurately on corn grain-based diets than on non-corn-based diets, and finally more accurately in the mid range of diet types. The 4 models were accurate at predicting mean dry matter intake. The AC, AMTS, and NRC models were all sufficiently accurate to be used for balancing EAA in dairy rations under field conditions.
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