Beef Producers Should Prepare for Heat Stress Possibilities

July 15, 2019, 2:22 pm | Grant Dewell

Cows grazing on a farm by Paulo M.F. Pires/ will be in the upper 90s this week, and the humidity will be elevated as well, so the Iowa Beef Center is sharing this heat and humidity reminder from June 26, 2019.

AMES, Iowa – After a cold winter and long cool spring, summer has abruptly arrived. Temperatures will be in the mid-90s and higher this Friday, Saturday and Sunday, with elevated humidity due to recent rains. Feedlot cattle may not be acclimated to summer temperatures yet and the fast warm up this weekend may cause some heat stress issues.

Producers should evaluate cattle in the morning and again in the afternoon to make sure they are coping with the heat. Make sure cattle have access to plenty of fresh water and provide shade or sprinklers if possible. Pay close attention as the rapid change in temperature may catch some at-risk cattle (cattle at end of feeding period or cattle with previous respiratory disease) dealing with excessive heat stress.

This early heat event is a good opportunity for producers to make sure that mitigation strategies will be functional for the rest of the summer. The Iowa Beef Center website has information and details on proper heat abatement strategies such as shade and sprinklers.

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Photo credit: Cows grazing on a farm by Paulo M.F. Pires/

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