National Dairy Month, UF researchers look for ways to cool cows as temperatures heat up


As we step into the month of June, we are weeks away from the first day of summer -- which means the temperature is only going to rise in the sunshine state. And the heat has some impacts you might not think about.

Florida has longer summers which means more days of heat stress, causing cows to produce less milk and creating other negative affects. Dr. Jimena Laporta with the University of Florida says her research show high heat impairs the cellular process in cows, causing problems when time to birth and lactate.

"The calf is going to weigh less, it's going to have impaired immunity, Dr. Laporta says. She is going to have a hard time to get pregnant when she has reached puberty. And also produce less milk in the future. (the calf)."

Some of the ways farmers are using to reduce the negative affects of heat stress are by providing fans and soakers to cool down the cows. By wetting the cows with misters or sprinklers, it helps the cows exchange heat with the outdoors.

Dr. Laporta says the University is working closely with local farmers to stress the importance of cooling cows year around to not only produce more milk but save money.

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