Heat causes drop in milk production - Cincinnati News, Weather, Sports from FOX19 NOW-WXIX

Heat causes drop in milk production

Dairy cows produce about six to eight gallons of milk every day. But when the weather gets hot, that production can drop by a gallon a day. Dairy cows produce about six to eight gallons of milk every day. But when the weather gets hot, that production can drop by a gallon a day.
Siemers keeps his cows shaded and turns on fans when the temperature hits 82 degrees to try to maximize production during the summer months. Siemers keeps his cows shaded and turns on fans when the temperature hits 82 degrees to try to maximize production during the summer months.
Siemers said to keep a close eye on the heat up north where there are more dairy farms. Siemers said to keep a close eye on the heat up north where there are more dairy farms.
CAPE GIRARDEAU COUNTY, MO (KFVS) -

As the heat turns up in the Heartland, it's harder for people who have to work outdoors.

But it's also harder on farm animals, especially dairy cows, and that could end up affecting your pocket book.

Dairy cows produce about six to eight gallons of milk every day.

But when the weather gets hot, that production can drop by a gallon a day.

"If they're not eating and a cow is hot, they don't eat, and they don't produce," said dairy farmer Jerry Siemers.

He tends to more than 200 cows a day, each one producing less milk as the temperatures rise.

"Our cows didn't really see much of an effect until the middle of last week when we had the two back to back days with the extreme humidity," he said.  "Humidity actually affects them as much if not more than the heat does because cows can not sweat."

Siemers keeps his cows shaded and turns on fans when the temperature hits 82 degrees to try to maximize production during the summer months.

He also says while an increase in milk prices at the grocery store is possible, it's unlikely.

"It would really take a nationwide hot spell of a prolonged period of about 30 days to really shut down production enough to where it's going to affect anything in the store," he said.

Siemers said to keep a close eye on the heat up north where there are more dairy farms.

If there is a heat wave up there, that's when you could see jump in milk prices.

"The problem is cows up there are acclimated to weather that's in the 50 to 60 degree range and they can't tolerate 100 degree heat indexes like cows down here. And even our cows down here, while they can tolerate it, they don't really produce in it. They basically shut down," he said.

Copyright 2013 KFVS. All rights reserved.

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