NEW CATTLE STRESS INDEX - COMPREHENSIVE CLIMATE INDEX
Proposed by: Albert Sutherland
Presenters: Sutherland, A., Mesonet Ag Program Coordinator, Oklahoma State University, Norman, OK 73072
Mader, T., Owner: Mader Consulting / Emeritus: UNL, Mader Consulting, LLC, Gretna, NE 68028
Richards, C., Beef Cattle Extension Specialist, Oklahoma State University, Stillwater, OK 74078
Traditionally cattle stress has been monitored using separate cold and heat stress models that did not include solar radiation as a weather variable. A new model developed in Nebraska by Dr. Terry Mader (Comprehensive Climate Index) has been implemented as an operational statewide, year-round Cattle Comfort Advisor in Oklahoma through the Oklahoma Mesonet weather network. This presentation will explore the science behind this new livestock stress model and the map, graph and table products available to producers on the Oklahoma Mesonet Agriculture section. Oklahoma's highly variable weather shows the utility of this cattle stress model. Weather variables monitored for the model include: air temperature, relative humidity, wind speed and solar radiation. Heat stress is increased by higher relative humidity and solar radiation. Higher wind speeds help mitigate high air temperatures. In cold stress conditions, higher relative humidity and higher wind speeds add to cold stress. Solar radiation helps mitigate low air temperatures.