Summer Strategies for Dairy!
Summers can be challenging when managing dairy cows. Dairy producers often lose milk sales each summer becasue of the impact of heat stress. The combination of high temperature and humidity is especially stressful to dairy cows, resulting in decreased feed intake, milk production, milk fat percentage, and reproductive effeciency. It also impacts the growth and development of calves and heifers, while additionally having a negative impact on dry and transition cows. These "other" groups around a dairy often go unnoticed and the impact can persist for many months.
Water, feed and shade are critical in managing heat stress. Water helps regulate temperature. As the temperature rises [above 72oF], the respiration rate increases and sweating will occur, increasing water loss from the lungs and skin.