Heat stress is a significant issue for many intensive-livestock enterprises particularly for dairy.
The impacts of heat stress on dairy cattle have been well documented
Heat stress has been shown to result in:
Reduced feed intake but greater nutritional/energy requirements;
Reduced milk production;
Lower milk quality; and
Increased frequency of health-related issues e.g. mastitis, rumen acidosis and ketosis.
These impacts can result in significant loss of income and increases in management costs and for this reason effective heat stress management programs are essential
Shifting weather patterns and a trend towards higher temperatures means heat stress and its impact on cow performance, health and welfare is becoming a serious issue for Australian dairy farmers.
Dairy Australia is helping farmers adapt to this changing operating environment through the Cool Cows program, which offers dairy farmers and their advisers information and tools to help stay ahead of heat stress.
Cool Cows is also involved in a number of important research and farm demonstration activities. It has delivered more than 60 on-farm workshops and other extension activities to date, all in close collaboration with farmers, advisers, researchers and industry partners.
The Dairy Australia levy-funded program Grains2Milk develops the Cool Cows resources and works with others to extend them in each region.
Cool Cows is supported by funds from Dairy Australia and the Australian Government Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry.