Hot, steamy weather affects dairy cows' production

Written by Matt Paul and Radio Pennsylvania | Jul 20, 2013 4:40 AM
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(Peach Bottom) -- Midstate dairy farmers are scrambling to keep their cows cool amid a stretch of unseasonably hot, muggy weather.

Lisa Graybeal, an owner member of Graywood Farms in Peach Bottom, Lancaster County, says the combination of heat and humidity stresses dairy cows, ultimately affecting their milk production.

"Not just during the day, but we haven't had any recovery in the evening," Graybeal says. "It's been staying at 70 degrees or above, and if there's no recovery time at night that makes things even more stressful."

Graybeal uses a sprinkler system and around-the-clock fans to keep her cows comfortable. Other farms employ massive underground or tunnel ventilation systems. She notes all the extra work is necessary in the summertime because milk production may decline, but demand for dairy products does not.

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