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Development of a Smart Phone Application for Heat Stress Detection and Mitigation in Livestock

Published by the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers, St. Joseph, Michigan www.asabe.org

Citation:  2012 IX International Livestock Environment Symposium (ILES IX)  ILES12-1069.(doi:10.13031/2013.41551)
Authors:   Don E Spiers, Brad Scharf, Peggy Ann Eichen
Keywords:   Keywords: Heat Stress, Cattle, Smart Phone Application, Temperature Humidity Index

Climate variability is a concern in a number of sectors, particularly in the agriculture industry. The National Climatic Data Center for the US announced on September 9, 2011 that last summer was the hottest in 75 years in the US, with the greatest impact in Texas and neighboring states of Oklahoma, Kansas, Arkansas, and Missouri. The result was daily appearance of news stories regarding losses of livestock and productivity, which during a normal year amount to $897, 369 and 299 million for dairy, beef, and swine industries, respectively. Thermal stress indices have existed for years for these groups, but are underutilized because they require elaborate combinations of environmental (e.g., weather) and physiological (e.g., body temperature) data. There is also increased concern that student interest in science, at both high school and college levels, is declining, and that the United States could be at a disadvantage in solving complex problems of the future such as climate variability due to a lack of qualified scientists. Therefore a project was developed to create a native smart phone application (Apple and Android) that combines weather information (both current and projected) with individual animal information to aid the producer in the decision-making process to reduce heat strain and improve animal welfare. At the same time, the application will be a learning device that attracts and stimulates student interest in climate and environmental stress related to themselves and their production animals.

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