Heat Wave Deadly for Cows

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(Sacramento, CA)
Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Hundreds of cows – most in the San Joaquin valley – are dying in the record heat.  Jerry Higgenbotham is a Dairy Farm advisor for the University of California Cooperative Extension in the Fresno area.  He says the nights have been so hot that cows haven’t had a chance to cool down.  They also produce less milk in the heat – anywhere from 5-15 percent.  He says the combination makes this the worst summer he can remember:

“I know some dairymen are really having a real struggle right now paying their bills you might say and this will really aggravate that and it may force some out of the business.”

Higgenbotham says a good milking cow is worth 15-hundred to two-thousand dollars.  He adds that it’s also tough to breed successfully in this heat…which could have longer lasting implications.