In a recent “Milk Lines” podcast, Kansas State dairy specialist Mike Brouk comments on the cooling systems of farms he toured in the Midwest this spring.

During the tours, Brouk noticed that fans were positioned poorly or not even in place. He also noticed feed-line soakers were absent in many cases or weren’t installed correctly.

“Another thing that I realized was we really have forgotten about the magic that comes when we put water on the cow’s back and then evaporate it,” Brouk says. “It seems like we’ve migrated toward systems that just move hot air over hot cows. We’ve known for years that’s not an effective way to cool cows.”

Look for ways to get water on the cows’ backs and then evaporative it efficiently with additional fans. You can do this in the holding pen, over the feed-line or, to a limited extent, over the free-stalls.