The effects of summer heat stress on dairy cows can linger into the fall months, especially when it comes to reproductive performance, says Rob Goodling, Penn State University extension educator for dairy farm/data management in Lebanon and Berks Counties. “Monitoring and managing your herd for sound performance can aid in a successful recovery from stress caused by the summer temperatures.”

Here are a few points to monitor:

  • Keep an eye on percent of heats observed.
  • Keep an eye on first service conception rates.
  • Know your herd’s typical performance so you can spot trends early.

If the heat continues into the beginning of fall (August and September have been warmer months in previous years) consider adjusting your heat detection methods, suggests Gooding. Heat stress will result with cows expressing estrus less often and for shorter duration. Increase how frequently the herd is observed for heat, and be sure to check for heats in the cooler times of the day (early morning and late evening).

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Source: Penn State University