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Livestock Nutrient Management Minimizing the Impacts of Heat Stress to Dairy Cows

Minimizing the Impacts of Heat Stress to Dairy Cows

An example of how one dairy in Eastern WA adapted to increased periods of heat by investing in heat stress abatement technology. The dairy farmer, herd manager and consultant at J&K Dairy LLC in Sunnyside, WA speak on how cooling cows with a PLC controlled soaker system have proven to maintain milk production and reproduction even during the heat of the summer months. An additional benefit is that additional water is not used to cool the cows. The dairy is using the same amount of water, only it is being recycled after it cools the cows, and therefore used two times prior to crop irrigation. Find more on animal agriculture adaptation to climate change at

Heat stress on dairies was an expensive problem during the summer of 2015. With the periods of heat increasing, and arriving earlier in the summer and later into the fall, it is necessary that dairies are prepared to cool their cows effectively and efficiently to maintain healthy cows and keep profit margins. Joe Harrison (Washington State University), Jay Gordon (WA State Dairy Federation) and Guillaume Mauger (University of Washington), and Jason Sheehan (J&K Dairy, LLC) are interviewed to provide information and education on the topic of climate change impacting dairy production and how producers are successfully adapting to the heat.