Round 1 of hot and humid weather has passed, but we know more is on the way. In fact, after the weekend cool down, we'll see temperatures back near 90 again this week. Keeping the herd cool and "well watered" is key to reducing a drop in milk production. Cornell Cooperative Extension has some tips on keeping the girls cool.

As temperatures climb, cows will require 50% more water in order to cool themselves as well as to put towards milk production.  As the mercury rises dry matter intake in cows declines along with milk production.  Increase the number of fans used, keep cows inside during the day with proper ventilation and then let them out during the cool evenings.  Make extra watering tubs available.

If you are relying on ponds or smaller creeks to supply water for livestock be sure to monitor water levels and quality.  Shallow water during prolonged bouts of heat can quickly turn a water source in to a petri dish full of harmful bacteria and algae.  Water tanks in barnyards and free stall barns should also be routinely cleaned and disinfected to ensure that water remains appealing.

SOURCE:  Cornell Cooperative Extension Marylynn Collins

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