Heat-stressed dairy cattle prompt traveling road show

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Heat stress not only affects people; it’s hard on cattle too, said a dairy industry expert. The Dairy Heat Stress Road Show, a multi-institutional effort, will hit the road this fall and next spring to help producers cope with the problem.

Todd Bilby, associate professor and Texas AgriLife Extension Service dairy specialist at Stephenville, said heat stress on dairies not only affects cow comfort, but also lowers milk production and fertility which costs the dairy industry millions of dollars annually.

“The Dairy Heat Stress Road Show, financed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture in collaboration with several universities, is a series of educational programs that will travel to four states and Puerto Rico,” Bilby said. “The effort’s purpose is to teach producers how to overcome some of the negative effects of heat stress by implementing strategies such as nutritional changes, hormonal treatments and facility improvement.”

All the sessions will run from 10 a.m.- 2:45 p.m. with lunch provided.

The dates and locations this fall will be: 

            – Dec. 6, County Extension Office, 458 Highway 98 North, Okeechobee, Fla.

            – Dec. 8, Camuy, Puerto Rico, to be delivered in English and Spanish.

The 2012 dates and locations are:

            – April 3, Southwest Regional Dairy Center, Stephenville, Texas

            – April 4, Clovis Civic Center, Clovis, N.M.

            – April 6, Consumer Education Pavilion, Vet Medicine Center, Tulare, Calif.

Topics and speakers from the University of Florida will include Cooling During Heat Stress, Pete Hansen, distinguished professor; Nutritional Programs for the Heat-Stressed Herd, Jose Santos, associate professor, and Economics of Heat Stress: Implications for Management, Albert DeVries, associate professor. Bilby will also speak on Strategies to Improve Reproduction During Summer.

Along with on-site instruction, the road show will provide the latest research technology, software tools and proceedings in English or Spanish at each program.

The road show is free and open to the public, Bilby said.

For more information on the road show contact Stephanie Prater at (254) 968-4144 or snprater@ag.tamu.edu 

Learn more about managing heat stress in dairy cattle or the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Research and Education initiative by contacting Bilby at (254) 968-4144 or trbilby@ag.tamu.edu  .



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