Katestone Environmental Pty Ltd (Katestone) was commissioned by Meat & Livestock Australia Limited (MLA) to provide a review of automatic weather stations (AWS) that can measure meteorological parameters important for calculating the Heat Load Index (HLI) at a cattle feedlot site. The purpose of these reports is to provide feedlot managers with standardised reference documents that detail information on how to meet the requirements of calculating HLI at a feedlot site, including:Information on instrument requirements, site selection, operation, maintenance and calibrationA summary of a range of AWS's that meet the requirements for calculating HLI and are also suitable for uploading to Katestone's HLDN (Heat Load Data Network), detailing the AWS instruments, indicative cost and supplier contact information that can be used by a feedlot operator to purchase its own AWS A brief summary of alternative options for measuring heat stress at a feedlot
The B.FLT.4000 project report represents an update of the earlier B.FLT.0386 project report, and includes a list of eight AWS suitable for calculating HLI. The base cost of the eight AWS range between $2,200 and $16,000 and includes, as a minimum, logger, sensors (wind speed, relative humidity, temperature (either as BGT or temperature and solar radiation)), a 2 m tower and all cables and brackets to mount instruments. The costs provided in the report should be taken as an estimate only, with actual inclusions and associated additional costs varied between suppliers. For further information and a quotation, it is advised to contact the suppliers directly.
Discussion with suppliers identified that a number of options are possible to transfer data from the weather station to an on-site computer or website. This is required in order to upload data through the internet to the Heat Load Data Network. The communication option is best selected on a site-by-site basis, as options include WIFI or radio transfer, mobile network and satellite options, and the best option depends on location, mobile coverage and budget.