The Meat Animal Research Center (MARC) is a group within the United States Department of Agriculture's (USDA), Agricultural Research Service (ARS). We are responsible for developing scientific information and new technology to solve high priority problems for the U.S. beef, sheep, and swine industries. Research is directed towards problems of national concern and involves multidisciplinary teams with emphasis on both short-term and long-term solutions to improving animal production and product quality.
Stress brought on by climate conditions is a problem of national concern regarding improvements toward animal production. The Heat Stress application is a tool that can help mitigate this concern. Heat Stress forecast maps are made using the seven day forecasts of four weather parameters (temperature, humidity, wind speed, and cloud cover) from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) - National Weather Service (NWS).
With the use of the Heat Stress forecast maps a user can see if their animals might be in a heat stress prone area before any animals incur heat stress. Along with using the forecast maps manually, a user can create and manage up to five locations. Each location gives the user current and forecasted data that are relevant to preventing heat stress. The five locations are also able to notify the user in advance if their saved locations are prone to heat stress. Alerts are customizable by the user, allowing them to select how far out they would like to be notified and their preferred time of notification.