Yeast culture may be another way to deal with heat stress — now that the “dog days of summer” are upon us.

A diet containing supplemental yeast culture may help the rumen utilize nutrients more efficiently than a diet without yeast, and that may boost a cow’s performance during heat stress.

A study conducted in Saudi Arabia in 1999 looked at the production response of Holstein cows. (Air temperatures in the study ranged from about 72 F to 114 F.) Cows fed a yeast culture at the rate of 0.2 percent of diet dry matter produced about 2 pounds more milk than non-supplemented cows.

And, a 2003 trial initiated in Italy showed feed efficiency increased 2.5 percent when a commercially available yeast-culture product was fed, with the effect being more marked during the summer season when heat-stress situations were reported.