How cold is too cold for newborn calves?

Feb 26, 2009
This calf in Glasgow, Mont. is less than 24 hours old. It belongs to Glen Meier who uses the Cold Advisory for Newborn Livestock System to protect the newborn calves from the frigid cold. Credit: Glen Meier

It has been estimated that in the United States, nearly 100,000 calves die of cold stress annually, costing livestock producers millions of dollars a year and resulting in a desperate need for effective mitigation strategies. Consequently, a University of Miami (UM) scientist and researchers from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) have developed the first weather system advisory designed to improve the capacity of producers to protect their newborn calves.

"The impact of weather on livestock is a very important economic consideration to the region," said Larry Kalkstein, UM professor from the department of Geography and Regional Studies, at the College of Arts and Sciences. "Our project is an essential first step, toward helping livestock producers across the country reduce winter weather related losses."

Kalkstein and NOAA scientists reviewed 10 years of climatological information from Glasgow, Montana. The researchers teamed up with local ranchers to determine critical weather elements and lead time needed to take action to protect newborn livestock. The data collected helped create the Cold Advisory for Newborn Livestock System (CANL).

Beginning this month, CANL will provide guidance on the Glasgow, Montana National Weather Forecast Office Web site and NOAA All Hazards Weather Radio. Graphical products will be issued daily showing specific thresholds that impact newborn livestock, based on a variety of forecast factors including temperature, humidity, and precipitation.

"This system allows us to provide ranchers in Northeast Montana with enough lead time to bring livestock to shelter and mitigate loss due to weather," said Tanja Fransen, warning coordination meteorologist at the Weather Forecast Office in Glasgow.

The official warning system is now available on the National Weather Service Forecast site for Glasgow, Montana, at: www.wrh.noaa.gov/ggw/>

Source: University of Miami

Explore further: Vampire squid discovery shows how little we know of the deep sea

Related Stories

Devices or divisive: Mobile technology in the classroom

3 hours ago

Little is known about how new mobile technologies affect students' development of non-cognitive skills such as empathy, self-control, problem solving, and teamwork. Two Boston College researchers say it's ...

Recommended for you

Big butts aren't everything to male baboons

15 hours ago

While the female baboon's big red bottom may be an eyesore to some, it has an aphrodisiac effect on her mates. Biologists have long thought that baboon males prefer females with bigger backsides as the mark ...

Telling the time of day by color

Apr 17, 2015

Research by scientists at The University of Manchester has revealed that the colour of light has a major impact on how the brain clock measures time of day and on how the animals' physiology and behavior adjust accordingly. ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.