Dave Bray, dairy extension specialist with the University of Florida offers the following top 10 summer tips.

  1. Mow weeds in pastures; careless weeds in the South and thistles in the North.
  2. Remove mud from mud holes in lanes, gate areas and calving lots.
  3. Keep fly control up on all aged animals, calves and dry cows.
  4. Clean fans if dirty in freestall barns.
  5. Clean fans and adjust sprinklers or add sprinklers to the holding area; holding area cooling is a great way to cool cows or cook them.
  6. Clean condensers on your refrigerated units.
  7. Are your parlor chemicals still outside in the sun? If so your chlorine sanitizer is now yellow water. Chemicals should be under shade.
  8. Do you have fans in the parlor for the cows and the workers?
  9. Do your calves have adequate shade and plenty of fresh clean water to drink? A 6 week old calf will drink 5 gallons of water a day in hot weather. A 5 quart water bucket won’t cut it in the summer.
  10. Do your dry cows have access to shade? If not add shade cloth in multiple areas in the lots. Cows like to calve in private. Calving in a non-shaded mud hole in the sun is not a great way to start a lactation.

For more information, contact Dave Bray at drbray@ufl.edu or call (352) 392-5594 ext. 226 for more summer advice.