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The effect of storms on Finnish dairy farms: electrical outage statistics and the effect on milk production

Hanna Huitu (), Kim Kaustell and Matti Pastell
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Hanna Huitu: Natural Resources Institute Finland (Luke)
Kim Kaustell: Natural Resources Institute Finland (Luke)
Matti Pastell: Natural Resources Institute Finland (Luke)

Natural Hazards: Journal of the International Society for the Prevention and Mitigation of Natural Hazards, 2020, vol. 104, issue 2, No 26, 1695-1704

Abstract: Abstract Due to technological advancement, agricultural production is increasingly dependent on electricity. At the same time, power delivery infrastructures are challenged by extreme weather events. Losses in primary food production due to electrical outages are still largely unquantified. This paper reports the effect of storm-induced power outages on milk production in Finland. The study used detailed, farm-level records of power cuts from 2010 to 2015 available from two power companies and contrasted them to the respective monthly milk production statistics collected at farm level. For each major storm event, deviation in the milk production compared to previous month was calculated for each farm. Effect of power outages onto milk production was estimated using linear mixed modeling. Power outages mainly occurred during and after storm events, and dairy farms experienced more outages than what was a national average for rural power customers. The power outages decreased the monthly milk yield of the most affected farms by 4.6% (farms experiencing outages longer than 72 h), and production recovered already for the month following the storm event. The results imply that milk production in Finland is prepared and resilient toward power outages shorter than 3 days and that the current magnitude of power outages in dairy farms is higher than what was known previously.

Keywords: Power outage; Dairy farming; Milk production; Storm (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2020
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DOI: 10.1007/s11069-020-04240-0

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