The Cornell Net Carbohydrate and Protein System (CNCPS) model has been increasingly used in tropical regions for dairy and beef production. However, the lack of appropriate characterization of the feeds has restricted its application. The objective of this study was to develop and evaluate a feed library containing feeds commonly used in tropical regions with characteristics needed as inputs for the CNCPS. Feed composition data collected from laboratory databases and from experiments published in scientific journals were used to develop this tropical feed library. The total digestible nutrients (TDN) predicted at 1x intake of maintenance requirement with the CNCPS model agreed with those predicted by the Weiss et al. (1992) equation (r² of 92.7%, MSE of 13, and bias of 0.8%) over all feeds. However, the regression r² of the tabular TDN values and the TDN predicted by the CNCPS model or with the Weiss equation were much lower (58.1 and 67.5%, respectively). A thorough comparison between observed and predicted TDN was not possible because of insufficient data to characterize the feeds as required by our models. When we used the mean chemical composition values from the literature data, the TDN predicted by our models did not agree with the measured values. We conclude using the TDN values calculated using the Weiss equation and the CNCPS model that are based on the actual chemical composition of the feeds result in energy values that more accurately represent the feeds being used in specific production situations than do the tabular values. Few papers published in Latin America journals that were used in this study reported information need by models such as the CNCPS.
CNCPS; evaluation; feed library; tropical feeds