89th American Meteorological Society Annual Meeting

Monday, 12 January 2009
Development of a cold weather warning system for newborn calves
Hall 5 (Phoenix Convention Center)
Tanja E. Fransen, NOAA/NWS, Glasgow, MT; and K. L. Frank, L. Kalkstein, W. J. Martin, and D. E. Simonsen
Nationally, approximately 95,000 calves die each year due to cold stress resulting in an estimated $38 million loss to producers. In 2005, weather-related calf losses resulted in a loss of approximately $6.3 million in Montana alone. Calf losses due to other causes that may have been weather-induced, but not formally identified as weather-related, namely respiratory issues, would double that cost.

Through a COMET Partnership grant, the National Weather Service (NWS) in Glasgow, MT has partnered with Dr. Larry Kalkstein and Dr. Katrina Frank to develop a cold weather calf warning system. Initial development of the system occurred in 2007 by looking at past events that caused livestock losses in the area. In 2008, the partners held a user's workshop for cattle producers in eastern Montana. The feedback from that workshop led to refinements to the system. It will be operational by January 15, 2008, and would be easily adaptable to other locations for use. The warning system can be used in any location in the United States to assess cold stress potential in newborn calves. This presentation will show the results from the user's workshop and the final refinements to the decision tree. It will also cover how we found resources in the industry to provide us with information, as well as those individuals and organizations we utilized in outreach efforts when the system was ready to be used operationally.

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