Heat stress is expensive.

It is estimated that heat stress costs the dairy industry anywhere from $900 million to $5 billion each year, depending upon the calculation used. The level of stress experienced by an animal and resulting financial losses fluctuate as temperature and humidity go up and down.

“Regardless of which figure you use, money goes down the drain each year as a result of heat stress,” says Jamie Jarrett, dairy nutritionist with Purina Animal Nutrition. “But when we talk in numbers that big, sometimes it can be hard to relate that to what’s actually happening at the individual farm level.”

To help dairy producers understand what the impact heat stress is having on specific operations, Jarrett shares that heat stress can cause a farm to lose 10 to 35 percent of an animal’s current milk production.

“When we put financials behind these percentages, the losses an individual operation is facing start to become very real,” says Jarrett.