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Article

Economic Risk Assessment by Weather-Related Heat Stress Indices for Confined Livestock Buildings: A Case Study for Fattening Pigs in Central Europe

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WG Environmental Health, Unit for Physiology and Biophysics, University of Veterinary Medicine, A 1210 Vienna, Austria
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Institute for Sustainable Economic Development, University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, A 1180 Vienna, Austria
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Division of Livestock Sciences, Department of Sustainable Agricultural Systems, University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, A 1180 Vienna, Austria
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University College for Agrarian and Environmental Pedagogy, A 1130 Vienna, Austria
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Institute of Animal Welfare Science, University of Veterinary Medicine, A 1210 Vienna, Austria
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Department of Environmental Meteorology, Central Institute of Meteorology and Geodynamics, A 1190 Vienna, Austria
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German Climate Computing Centre DKRZ, D 20416 Hamburg, Germany
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Department for Climatology, Central Institute of Meteorology and Geodynamics, A 1190 Vienna, Austria
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Field Station for Epidemiology, University of Veterinary Medicine Hannover, D 49456 Hannover, Germany
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Isabel Blanco-Penedo
Agriculture 2021, 11(2), 122; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture11020122
Received: 14 December 2020 / Revised: 21 January 2021 / Accepted: 30 January 2021 / Published: 3 February 2021
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Climate Change and Livestock: Impacts, Adaptation, and Mitigation)
In the last decades, farm animals kept in confined and mechanically ventilated livestock buildings have been increasingly confronted with heat stress (HS) due to global warming. These adverse conditions cause a depression of animal health and welfare and a reduction of the performance up to an increase in mortality. To facilitate sound management decisions, livestock farmers need relevant arguments, which quantify the expected economic risk and the corresponding uncertainty. The economic risk was determined for the pig fattening sector based on the probability of HS and the calculated decrease in gross margin. The model calculation for confined livestock buildings showed that HS indices calculated by easily available meteorological parameters can be used for assessment quantification of indoor HS, which has been difficult to determine. These weather-related HS indices can be applied not only for an economic risk assessment but also for weather-index based insurance for livestock farms. Based on the temporal trend between 1981 and 2017, a simple model was derived to assess the likelihood of HS for 2020 and 2030. Due to global warming, the return period for a 90-percentile HS index is reduced from 10 years in 2020 to 3–4 years in 2030. The economic impact of HS on livestock farms was calculated by the relationship between an HS index based on the temperature-humidity index (THI) and the reduction of gross margin. From the likelihood of HS and this economic impact function, the probability of the economic risk was determined. The reduction of the gross margin for a 10-year return period was determined for 1980 with 0.27 € per year per animal place and increased by 20-fold to 5.13 € per year per animal place in 2030. View Full-Text
Keywords: heat stress; farm animal; pig; livestock production; global warming; climate change; economic risk assessment; economic impact; pig health and welfare heat stress; farm animal; pig; livestock production; global warming; climate change; economic risk assessment; economic impact; pig health and welfare
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MDPI and ACS Style

Schauberger, G.; Schönhart, M.; Zollitsch, W.; Hörtenhuber, S.J.; Kirner, L.; Mikovits, C.; Baumgartner, J.; Piringer, M.; Knauder, W.; Anders, I.; Andre, K.; Hennig-Pauka, I. Economic Risk Assessment by Weather-Related Heat Stress Indices for Confined Livestock Buildings: A Case Study for Fattening Pigs in Central Europe. Agriculture 2021, 11, 122. https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture11020122

AMA Style

Schauberger G, Schönhart M, Zollitsch W, Hörtenhuber SJ, Kirner L, Mikovits C, Baumgartner J, Piringer M, Knauder W, Anders I, Andre K, Hennig-Pauka I. Economic Risk Assessment by Weather-Related Heat Stress Indices for Confined Livestock Buildings: A Case Study for Fattening Pigs in Central Europe. Agriculture. 2021; 11(2):122. https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture11020122

Chicago/Turabian Style

Schauberger, Günther, Martin Schönhart, Werner Zollitsch, Stefan J. Hörtenhuber, Leopold Kirner, Christian Mikovits, Johannes Baumgartner, Martin Piringer, Werner Knauder, Ivonne Anders, Konrad Andre, and Isabel Hennig-Pauka. 2021. "Economic Risk Assessment by Weather-Related Heat Stress Indices for Confined Livestock Buildings: A Case Study for Fattening Pigs in Central Europe" Agriculture 11, no. 2: 122. https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture11020122

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