Changing cow care in hot weather

By MaryBeth Matzek
MAA Editor

It is summer in the Midwest and that means hot and humid weather. Unfortunately, dairy cows do not like the heat and see their production and health decline.
The Missouri Dairy Industry Alliance (MDIA) and the University of Missouri-Extension recently held a field day to educate nearly 100 farmers on how they can make their cows more comfortable in hot weather and improve their overall health.
“Dairy cows are very vulnerable to heat stress,” said Reagan Bluel, an Extension dairy specialist. “In addition to lost milk in the lactating herd, recently released research from Florida shows that heat stress during the last 42 days of the dry period causes changes to the unborn calf with lasting impact. During parturition, the calf of a heat stressed dam is more likely to be delivered stillborn. Additionally, she is born about 10 pounds lighter and is more likely to be culled during the first year of life.”

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Planning for potential business disasters vital

By Dave Coggins
Recent news showcased how more than 50 dairy farms were nearly devastated by the Canadian trade policies that forced Grassland Dairy Products to drop them as patrons. While that roller-coaster experience has ended with nearly all of the affected farms finding new processors, it should serve as a wake-up call for every farm owner to plan for the unthinkable.
Most farmers are well-equipped in terms of insuring their business against potential acts of nature. But many are not so prepared for other types of disasters that warrant having a “Plan B” if they want their business to survive.
While it’s human nature to want to avoid the unthinkable, planning for all types of disasters is a crucial part of farming operations.

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