Announcement reprinted from California Wool Growers' Association newsletter. I was part of the team and it reflects input from Mendocino and Lake County ranchers as well as the rest of the state.
California has experienced five large-scale, multiyear droughts since 1960; however, the current event is considered the state's most severe drought in at least 500 years. Each year of the current drought has presented different challenges; for example, much of California received no measurable precipitation December 2013 through late January 2014. In the following year, the Sierra Nevada snowpack was just 5% of normal. As California ranching is largely dependent on rain-fed systems, as opposed to groundwater or stored water, it is very vulnerable to drought. In fact, rangeland livestock ranchers were among the first affected by the abnormally warm, dry winters at the beginning of the current multiyear drought.
In this article, we highlight lessons learned so far from past droughts, as well as California's unprecedented and ongoing multiyear drought. We draw on ranchers' perspectives and experiences, including research results from a statewide mail survey of 507 ranchers and semistructured interviews of 102 ranchers, as well as our own experiences. The mail survey (the California Rangeland Decision-Making Survey) included questions on operator and operation demographics, goals and practices, information resources, and rancher perspectives. Semistructured interviews are part of a larger ongoing project (the California Ranch Stewardship Project) examining rangeland management for multiple ecosystem services.
The publication is available at the following link - http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S019005281630027X
The following is a repost from ASAS Taking Stock.
By Jan Suszkiw, Agricultural Research Service, USDA
USDA's Agricultural Research Service (ARS) has launched a new smartphone application (“app”) that forecasts conditions triggering heat stress in cattle. The app is available at both Google Play and the App Store.
Compatible with Android and Apple mobile phone, the app issues forecasts one to seven days in advance of extreme heat conditions, along with recommended actions that can protect animals before and during a heat-stress event.
In some cattle, distress and discomfort from prolonged exposure to extreme heat cause diminished appetite, reduced growth or weight gain, greater susceptibility to disease and, in some cases, even death. Cattle housed in confined feedlot pens are especially vulnerable to heat-stress events, notes Tami Brown-Brandl, an ARS agricultural engineer at the Roman L. Hruska U.S. Meat Animal Research Center (USMARC) in Clay Center, Nebraska.
In addition to high temperatures, weather-related factors like humidity, wind speed, and solar radiation can contribute to heat stress, adds Brown-Brandl.
Until the early 1990s, the National Weather Service (NWS) issued livestock safety warnings that helped feedlot producers preempt losses or diminished productivity resulting from heat-stress events. Starting in the mid-2000s, USMARC researchers filled the void with a Web page, which is still available today, offering similar forecasts.
Recent increases in smartphone usage prompted ARS to design and launch a mobile-app that allows producers to access forecasts while they're in the field.
The resulting “Heat Stress” app, which was beta-tested last year, is based on several years of field research conducted by Brown-Brandl, fellow ag engineer Roger Eigenberg and others at USMARC—including Randy Bradley. Bradley, an information technology specialist, is responsible for a color-coded heat-index map of the entire continental United States.
In addition to feedlot producers, animal caretakers and extension personnel, the Heat Stress app may also prove useful to professors, students and others with an interest in livestock welfare. The app has been added to Federal Mobile Apps Registry.
A list of ARS Mobile Apps can be found on the ARS Web page under “Quick Links.”
ARS is USDA's principal intramural scientific research agency.
Tami Brown-Brandl, Roman L. Hruska U.S. Meat Animal Research Center, Clay Center, Nebr., (402) 762-4279(402) 762-4279,firstname.lastname@example.org.
For further reading:
Temperament Plays Key Role in Cattle Health
Keeping Cattle Cool and Stress-Free Is Goal of ARS Study
Ken Tate has agreed to expand his presentation at the upcoming California Ranch Stewardship Workshop on October 21 from 1- 4 pm at the Farm Advisors' office! His presentation is entitled Research Update: Grazing and
Environmental Topics. This is a very timely subject as Ken will be highlighting new research that has focused on water quality, sensitive species conservation and riparian health – important to both Mendocino and Lake County ranchers as they deal with on-going regulations. Ken will provide the science that landowners need to be informed when dealing with regulatory agencies. You don't want to miss it!
Remember. Preregistration ($15) is required either by credit card, check or cash at our web site at: http://ucanr.edu/survey/survey.cfm?surveynumber=13795 to ensure we have sufficient handouts and refreshments (We've had numerous requests for Schat's cookies.). If you'd like to pay by check or cash contact our office and talk to either JT or Tanis. (707) 463-4495.
Hope to see you there!
- Editor: John M Harper
- Author: Alec Gerry
Insect Pests of Animals: Searchable Pesticide Database
The UC Riverside Veterinary Entomology Extension Laboratory has developed an on-line database of pesticides registered in the State of California for use against arthropod pests of animals. The database can be found at: http://veterinaryentomology.ucr.edu/vet_pesticides.html Website visitors can search by animal commodity for which pest control is needed (e.g. poultry), by type of pest (e.g. poultry mite or house fly), and by application method and formulation. It is expected that animal producers and extension personnel will find this database to be much easier to navigate than the California Department of Pesticide Regulation product search website.
Animal producers may also be interested in other offerings of the Insect Pests of Animals website (http://veterinaryentomology.ucr.edu/). Visitors can find pest management information for some ectoparasite pests of poultry, cattle, and other animals. We are adding information on additional pests every few months so be sure to check back to see what has changed. We also maintain a Blog (http://veterinaryentomology.ucr.edu/blog/) that producers and extension personnel may be interested to follow. Information shared through the Blog includes recent findings related to pest management in animal facilities or of general relevance to animal producers, extension personnel, and researchers.
Finally, animal producers may be interested in taking a look at the many web links provided in our “other resources” section. In particular, there are links for producers to submit animal management questions to the national eXtension program through their “Ask and Expert” program. Experts from universities, extension offices, private industry, and other relevant organizations are registered with this national eXtension program to answer submitted questions or to provide question writers with guidance to address their questions.
If you have comments about or suggestions for our Insect Pests of Animals website, please send these to me at:
Alec C. Gerry, Ph.D.
Associate Professor and Extension Specialist (Veterinary Entomology)
Department of Entomology
University of California
Riverside, CA 92521
On August 2, 2013 I wrote a blog post about the American Sheep Industry (ASI) market information app for the IPhone and Android smartphones. Recently, I came across two apps for cattle producers that provide similar information. They are Cattle Talk Mobile
Both allow you to access USDA market reports. California data is a bit limited or non-existent on the free versions. The Cattle Talk Mobile web site states that the developer is interested in adding more states and is willing to incorporate auction markets not listed. It would be great if Northern California auction markets like Shasta Livestock Auction Yard (http://www.shastalivestock.com/shastacurrent.htm) or 101 Livestock Market Inc. (http://www.101livestock.com/marketreport.htm) would contact the developer so those reports were available on a smartphone.
These days most cattle producers have cell phones and these two apps are a convenient way to keep up to date on the markets.