SPOTLIGHT: Play It Cool – Keeping You and Your Dairy Cows Safe From Summer Heat

SPOTLIGHT: Play It Cool – Keeping You and Your Dairy Cows Safe From Summer Heat

“Is it hot enough for you?” Summer has arrived with all the heat, humidity and everyday conversations (or complaints) about the weather. We humans know what heat and humidity feel like, but what about your livestock? Could your dairy cows be at risk for heat stress in the same way you are?

The I-29 Moo University podcast covered the topic of heat stress recently which has timely information for dairy farmers in the area. I-29 Moo University is a consortium of Extension dairy educators that share borders with Interstate 29. Extension educators in 5 states (NE, IA, SD, ND and MN) work together to provide research, resources and outreach to the dairy industry in the region.

This podcast discusses the signs and symptoms of heat stress in dairy cattle which include panting, open mouths, decreased feed intake, and decreased activity level.  The Extension Educators offer various methods to help reduce heat stress and suggest strategies for prevention.  

Just as dairy farmers need to be aware of heat stress in their animals, they also need to know the signs and symptoms of heat stress and heat exhaustion in themselves and their workers. Use the UMASH Farm Safety Check on Heat Illness to help you assess your risk and how you can prevent becoming dangerously ill. Keep yourself, your workers and you livestock safe from the summer heat. I-29 Moo University and UMASH are here to help.


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