Tower Grove Feed is a superb tool, both for research feed formulation, commercial feed formulation, and for the class room.
Professor Carl Parsons of the Animal Sciences Department at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign has been productively using Tower Grove Feed for more than two years both in research and in the classroom.
Bud Harmon, Professor Emeritus and former chairman of the Animal Sciences Department at Purdue University, started using an early version of Tower Grove Feed more than five years ago and has not used any other product since.
You may wish to have two browser sessions or tabs open for a self-guided introduction to Tower Grove Feed.
In one you can display the section of the help text that provides a tour of the site. At the same you can have the Tower Grove Feed site up in another.
The Tower Grove Feed site can be reached at:
For a general university based overview of the site you can log in as modu/modu.
For a commercial based overview, you can log in as demo/demo.
Easy to use
Anyone familiar with animal nutrition can easily navigate through the pages of the Tower Grove Feed web site. The information you need is almost always one or two clicks away. If you have a break of several months without using Tower Grove Feed you don't have to relearn it.
Tower Grove Feed runs on the Internet. You can start some work at your office and then continue at home, or anyplace with a wifi or telephone-based Internet connection. You can user Tower Grove Feed on your desktop computer, your laptop or notebook, and even on your iPad or any other tablet PC.
Lots of data preloaded
The Tower Grove Feed database contains nearly all, if not every, NRC ingredient, commonly used nutrients, and the typical nutrient contribution of each ingredient. In addition, there are numerous sample diet formulas (for swine and poultry, so far).
Copy and modify
It is simple to copy an existing formula or ingredient and then modify just a few items to make a new one.
Tower Grove Feed is designed for internationalization and can accommodate translation into many languages. Currently we have American English and Chinese. We welcome co-operative efforts to translate Tower Grove Feed into other languages.
Multiple control levels
Tower Grove Feed allows each client to create multiple control levels to manage data and data access. Some of the advantages of multiple control levels are:
A Tower Grove Feed user cannot change the values at a level above the one in his user profile. A chief nutritionist or professor can set up a model formula. Subordinate levels (other employees or students) can modify the model formula to reflect local conditions or to work on an assignment without changing the model formula at the higher level.
Separate sets of ingredient costs and nutrient values
With Tower Grove Feed you can create different parallel control levels to capture regional or seasonal differences in costs and nutrient constituents. You can solve the same formula for different regions or seasons and get different solutions. You can easily switch back and forth from one level to another and hence from one solution to another.
Easy to override
Tower Grove Feed costs, nutrient quantities, and various control settings (like the default batch weight) are inherited from the next level up. Inherited values have a yellow background. You can override any inherited value at your current level. The new value will have a white background.
Hide and test
You can set up a new diet or ingredient in a private control level and test it until it is ready. You can publish the new item by moving it to a publicly accessible level.
The Tower Grove Feed Solution Report gives you a quick overview of the results of solving a formula, showing ingredients, nutrients, and ratios in one place.
The Batch Report lists ingredients in the order in which they are to be mixed. The Parametrics Report is described below. Reports can be displayed, saved, or printed in a variety of formats, including a spreadsheet.
Parametrics is a powerful tool, new to Tower Grove Feed. With Parametrics, you vary costs or dietary restrictions over a wide range without having to modify the original diet or change the control level. You can get a quick overview of how a range of changes will affect the solution cost and the inclusion or exclusion of one or more ingredients.
Parametrics has a wide range of uses. For example, Professor Harmon recently used Parametrics to determine the potential profit margin for a new ingredient he is planning to introduce.
Move data to a spreadsheet for further analysis
You are not limited to the calculations in Tower Grove Feed software, because all Tower Grove Feed reports can be saved as spreadsheet. You can use our calculations as the basis upon which to build new ones or view data in charts and graphs.
We have taken several precautions to protect your data. All transmissions between your computer and the Tower Grove Feed server are encrypted. Your passwords are encrypted. The server has been configured to meet industry standards for protection against malicious tampering. Each client has control of the user IDs that are assigned for the client’s institution. No client can view another client’s data.
Commercial feed formulation
Whether you are a individual user, a large organization, a consulting nutritionist, or a feed mill with many clients, Tower Grove Feed can fit your formulation needs.
Each Tower Grove Feed client is assigned an initial control level and an administrative user ID. Logging in at that level, you will see all the sample formulas that we provide. You will also be able to see the comprehensive list of nutrients and ingredients that come preloaded. Most of the ingredients have typical nutrient values.
You can copy any preloaded formula, ingredient, or nutrient as basis for a new one. After you establish your own formulas, you can hide the preloaded ones, if you prefer.
If you are an individual user, your initial control level may be all you need. After reviewing ingredient costs and nutrient values to match your local circumstances, you can solve existing formulas or create new ones, operating with complete independence from anyone else.
If you are a consulting nutritionist or feed mill and you do customized formulation for your clients or customers (we'll use 'client' to refer to both), you will most likely want to set up a separate Tower Grove Feed control level for each client. You can then “adopt the role” of the client and solve a formula using the client's own ingredients. You can set up special formulas for each client. You can set up a user ID for each client, so that the client can log in as his-or-her control level. The client can then view all his-or-her data and can view and print or download reports, like the Batch Report. The client cannot see any other client's data.
If you are a large mill or feed company with many regional or international branch offices, you can set up a control level for each branch. If nutrient values or costs vary from branch to branch you can maintain those values and costs separately for each branch. If the currency is different, you can set the costs for each branch in the local currency. If some branches use pounds and others kilograms, you can set the default unit of measure, batch weight, and cost units for each branch. Also, each branch may wish to set up separate Tower Grove Feed control levels to keep track of historical costs and solutions and to project future ones.
If you are company that makes feed additives or premixes, you can use Tower Grove Feed in two ways. First, you can use Tower Grove Feed to formulate your own products. Then you can show individual clients how to incorporate your product into their diets. You could do this either as demonstration (in which case you might set up a demonstration control level) or as a service for each client (in which case you would set up a control level for each client).
In the classroom
Separate access for each student
With its control level hierarchy, Tower Grove Feed is an ideal aid to teaching feed formulation. Each student is assigned a separate control level, subordinate to the instructor, and a corresponding user ID and password. When the instructor sets up assignments at the instructor level, each student can work on them without changing the instructor’s original configuration. One student cannot view or change another student’s work.
Instructor review of student work
The instructor can view the student’s work when it is ready for review or, before that, to help the student work though some difficulty.
Quick view of changes
Tower Grove Feed provides filters so that the instructor (or the student)can readily determine what the student has changed.
Copy formulas and revert changes
The student can save a copy of the instructor’s original set up and can revert his or her version to that of the instructor.
Student data protection
Because each student works in his or her own control area, one student’s attempt to solve the problem does not affect any of the others.
Sample class exercises
For sample class exercises, look at Tower Grove Feed Classroom Exercises.
The Internet advantage
Because you gain access to Tower Grove Feed through the Internet, there is no special software set up and students can work on their assignments anywhere in the world that has Internet access.