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In 2019, The BC Climate Change Adaptation Program (CCAP) completed a report through the regional adaptation program which identified Dairy as one of the key industries impacted by extreme heat events. BC Dairy was approached by CCAP to help identify the most beneficial areas to address heat stress in the barn. What rose to the surface in a small advisory group was the fact that most barns have some heat mitigation (eg. fans, soakers, etc) but that producers should be empowered to monitor the impacts in their own barns. There’s a good chance that many barns would benefit from changing the angles of their fans to facilitate better air flow on the bedded areas.
From there-on, the IAF extreme heat working group, which included dairy producers, BC Dairy staff members, Dr. John Dick, and Ministry of Agriculture staff – oversaw a project proposal and call for contractors. West Coast Robotics responded to the call for contractors and given their experience with dairy and their existing technology to collect the data needed for a project like this, they were a logical fit to carry out the project. The details in this project apply to all dairy farms, whether robotic or parlour.
Denis Langlois was the project lead from West Coast Robotics and presented their results at the 2022 Greenbelt Veterinary Services/BC Dairy partnered event.
Funding for this project was provided by the Governments of Canada and British Columbia through the Canadian Agricultural Partnership, a federal-provincial-territorial initiative. Additional funding was provided by the BC Dairy Association. The program was delivered by the Investment Agriculture Foundation of BC.