Dairy producers often struggle to quantify the impact of heat stress on their operations. The ability to use dairy management records to identify seasonal trends is critical to assess potential heat stress related losses. Diving into a dairy’s herd management software can help a producer quantify where the losses are occurring and, with some easy calculations, determine the profitability of investing in cow cooling measures.
Heat stress occurs when an environment impacts the ability of a cow to get rid of body heat. Cows need to be raised in an environment where temperatures are within their thermoneutral zones to achieve their maximal genetic potential. Failures to establish adequate environmental temperatures can dramatically alter behavior, health, and productivity of cows.