‘Knowing Conditions’ Critical First Step in Heat Stress Management
Published on Wed, 05/17/2017 - 10:08am
‘Knowing Conditions’ Critical First Step in Heat Stress Management
Article courtesy of Kestrel Weather Instruments
Kestrel Weather Instruments announces four pioneering tools designed to accurately measure heat stress conditions wherever cattle are housed, and provide cattle-specific guidance to farmers and ranchers seeking to minimize heat stress losses in their herd. The 5400AG Cattle Heat Stress Tracker, 5000AG Livestock Environmental Meter, 5500AG Agriculture Weather Meter and Drop D2AG Livestock Monitor are unique in the industry and provide invaluable and timely alerts when it is time to implement heat stress management plans. Typically, once cattle display clear signs of heat stress, losses in productivity and health have already occurred. Left unaddressed, heat stress can progress to the death of the animal, sometimes with little warning. Awareness based on knowing local conditions accurately is key to preventing these losses.
The Kestrel 5400AG Cattle Heat Stress Tracker [$699.00] measures every traditional weather parameter such as wind speed, temperature, humidity and heat index, as well as livestock specific measurements such as Temperature-Humidity Index (“THI”), Heat Load Index (“HLI”) and Accumulated Heat Load Units (“AHLU”). One little understood aspect of cattle heat stress is that they actually retain body heat over multi-day/night heat events, worsening the health impacts. The newest model of cattle heat stress, AHLU, tracks this effect and the Kestrel 5400AG puts it within reach without laborious data collection and spreadsheets. Simple menu picks customize the model for breed and age of cattle and pen conditions and the Kestrel tracks heat accumulation for days, weeks or months. The Kestrel 5400AG offers great flexibility because it can be used as a handheld meter to perform regular spot checks throughout an operation, capturing readings in memory, or it can be mounted near any group of cattle with the included Vane Mount where it becomes a cattle-specific heat stress weather station. Unit includes Kestrel LiNK® wireless data transfer and can connect to a tablet or smart phone running the Kestrel LiNK app, automatically gathering data for graphing and review and pushing email alerts to signal crucial times to implement heat stress management plans (cellular or Wi-Fi internet connection required).
The Kestrel 5000AG Livestock Environmental Meter [$269.00 / $329.00] is designed for farmers, ranchers, veterinarians, transporters and other livestock professionals who need a multi-purpose environmental monitor without HLI and AHLU. With built-in THI readout as well as the other basic weather and environmental readings and logging, plus optional Kestrel LiNK connectivity and Kestrel Vane Mount, this meter is the perfect companion for any professional responsible for the care and health of livestock. The Kestrel 5000AG also provides air flow measurements to quickly quantify air movement in the vicinity of livestock, locate drafts, measure fan effectiveness, and confirm duct discharge velocity.
The Kestrel 5500AG Agriculture Weather Meter [$319.00 / $399.00] is a comprehensive meter for condition monitoring and recordkeeping on the farm, ranch, or in the field. The Kestrel 5500AG provides data for risk identification, environment assessments, and action plan development. This meter includes THI, compass for direction, and Delta T, an additional measurement to aid spraying applications. Based upon ambient temperature and dew point, Delta-T provides guidance on the evaporation rate of sprayed chemicals. New products that improve weed control also require stewardship and knowledge of environmental factors before and during application to reduce the risk of drift. Many spray application labels require adherence to environmental parameters such as temperature, relative humidity, wind speed, and direction, all available on the Kestrel 5500AG. The Kestrel 5500AG also provides air flow measurements to quickly quantify air movement in the vicinity of livestock, locate drafts, measure fan effectiveness, and confirm duct discharge velocity.
The Kestrel DROP D2AG Livestock Heat Stress Monitor [$99.00] is a tiny waterproof data logger that tracks conditions in both indoor and outdoor locations. The DROP could not be easier to use. Simply hang it in place by the sturdy D-ring and it immediately starts to measure and store temperature, humidity and THI. Use the Kestrel LiNK application to read each DROP and retrieve the stored data with iOS or Android mobile devices from up to 100’ away. And, just as with the 5400AG, use an internet connected device to send email alerts when user-settable thresholds are reached.
All four of these devices are just the sort of hard-working multi-purpose tools that farmers and ranchers appreciate. The Kestrel 5400AG, 5000AG, and 5500AG are full-featured weather meters that can be used to check winds before spraying, pick ideal conditions for harvesting, and measure ventilation system air flow (5000AG and 5500AG only). The Kestrel DROP D2AG can also monitor hay and grain storage areas for excess heat or moisture, and track heat or cold conditions in chicken and swine houses, trailers and transport trucks.
“Kestrel has been at the forefront of providing human heat stress monitoring instruments for athletes and first responders for years. When we learned that heat stress costs our dairy and beef industries millions of dollars a year, we knew we could help. We’ve partnered with the leading researchers in the field to provide easy access to cattle-specific guidance for when animals are likely to start suffering ill effects from heat. Management plans such as changing feeds, providing shade and ventilation, limiting stress, and increasing hydration can all be effective, but only if they are started early enough,” said Alix James, CEO at Kestrel. “By using these simple and affordable tools as step one in their heat stress management plans, we know our customers will be equipped to keep their valuable animals healthier and maximize their bottom line. Kestrel weather meters have been trusted farm partners for decades, and we’re proud to have added this key capability to our lineup.”
For more information about cattle heat stress costs and management, visit Kestrel’s informational minisite, www.cattleheatstress.com.
About Kestrel Weather & Environmental Instruments
Kestrel Weather & Environmental Meters are manufactured by NK, which has been researching, developing and manufacturing technically advanced environmental instruments for more than 15 years and owns multiple patents on their unique features. Kestrel Weather & Environmental Meters are employed by thousands of users in hundreds of demanding activities around the world. Every Kestrel meter is pocket-sized, rugged, accurate, waterproof, easy-to-use, and backed by an industry-leading five-year warranty. Available measurements include wind speed, air flow, temperature, humidity, wind chill, heat stress index, pressure, altitude, wind direction, air density and wet bulb temperature. Advanced models in the Kestrel 5 Series add high-capacity data-logging with on-screen graphical recall and optional Kestrel LiNK® wireless data transfer to computers and smart phones as well as built-in calculators for specialized requirements, such as ballistics firing solutions for long-range shooting and evaporation rate for concrete placement. Every Kestrel meter is designed, developed, built, tested and supported entirely in the USA. NK is proud to be both a recognized leader in Lean manufacturing and process improvement and an award-winning top workplace.