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Cattle Heat Load Toolbox 2019 to 2021

Project start date: 15 June 2019
Project end date: 14 June 2021
Publication date: 04 June 2021
Project status: Completed
Livestock species: Grain-fed Cattle
Relevant regions: National
Download Report (5 MB)

Summary

The Cattle Heat Load Toolbox (CHLT) provides a forecast service for feedlots across Australia, with alerts and tools for managing excessive heat load in feedlot cattle, through an online system (www.chlt.katestone.com.au).

This service provides site specific weather forecasts and heat load indicators for a forward-looking seven day window with the option for feedlots to upload their onsite weather data through the Heat Load Data Network (HLDN). This project successfully delivered the service across the 2019-2020 and 2020-2021 summer periods.

Objectives

The objectives of this project were to:

  • provide a daily forecast of heat load to the Australian feedlot sector, incorporating:
    • continuous monitoring of infrastructure to ensure the security and continued provision of the service
    • timely update of the forecasts, plus review of forecast delivery and performance on a daily basis
    • ongoing integration of new subscribers into the HLDN, plus regular checks with existing users to ensure everything is functioning correctly
  • undertake upgrades to the service and ancillary aspects of the CHLT to website and backend upgrades and additions that are required to keep the service running and maintaining a high level of user satisfaction and functionality.

Key findings

  • This project built and launched a new CHLT website in October 2019 with new look, increased functionality and format that is compatible with mobile usage
  • The CHLT was operational for the full summer season with alerts sent out daily from 1 October 2019 to 31 March 2020 and from 1 October 2020 to 31 March 2021.
  • During the project period, there was a 35% increase in the number of CHLT subscribers (to 800) and a 20% increase in the number of feedlots registered for the service (to 331).
  • 74 feedlots are currently participating in the Heat Load Data Network (HLDN), which integrates the feedlot onsite weather station data into the CHLT system, initialising the predicted AHLU from the measured data.

Benefits to industry

Correct management of summer heat load events is critical to the Australian feedlot industry maintaining its social license to operate. Access to the service allows feedlot operators to make timely decisions on changes to management to address any forecast heat load events, thereby ensuring animal welfare is maintained; an essential component of maintaining consumer and community support for the industry.

MLA action

The project report will be made available on the MLA website, and feedlot operators will be advised of the project outcomes and report availability through the Quarterly Feed e-Newsletter.

Other MLA Cattle Heat Load Toolbox projects

  • B.FLT.4004 – summer 2018-2019
  • B.FLT.4001 – summer 2017-2018
  • B.FLT.0151 – summer 2011-2012
  • B.FLT.0365 – summer 2010-2011
  • B.FLT.0357 – summer 2009-2010
  • B.FLT.0352 – summer 2008-2009
  • B.FLT.0346 – summer 2007-2008
  • B.FLT.0340 – summer 2006-2007
  • FLOT.334 – summer 2005-2006
  • FLOT.329 – summer 2004-2005
  • FLOT.324 – summer 2003-2004
  • FLOT.320 – summer 2002-2003
  • FLOT.313 – summer 2001-2002

More information

Contact email: reports@mla.com.au
Primary researcher: Katestone Environmental Pty Ltd