US - The US Department of Agriculture's Agricultural Research Service (ARS) has launched a new smartphone app that forecasts conditions triggering heat stress in cattle.
Compatible with Android and Apple mobile phone, the app issues forecasts one to seven days in advance of extreme heat conditions, along with recommended actions that can protect animals before and during a heat-stress event.
In some cattle, distress and discomfort from prolonged exposure to extreme heat cause diminished appetite, reduced growth or weight gain, greater susceptibility to disease and, in some cases, even death.
Cattle housed in confined feedlot pens are especially vulnerable to heat-stress events, noted Tami Brown-Brandl, an ARS agricultural engineer.
In addition to high temperatures, weather-related factors like humidity, wind speed, and solar radiation can contribute to heat stress, adds Ms Brown-Brandl.
The "Heat Stress" app, which was beta-tested last year, is based on several years of field research conducted by Ms Brown-Brandl and colleagues.
TheCattleSite News Desk