The U.S. Department of Agriculture and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration projected the first emergency levels of heat and humidity across much of the U.S. this week. Forecast maps indicated emergency levels in Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas and neighboring states – as well as parts of southern California and Arizona. Iowa State University Beef Extension Veterinarian Grant Dewell says cattle producers and feeders need to take precautions to minimize the effects of this extreme heat on their cattle by working them early in the morning or in the evening.
Also – make sure cattle are getting enough water by introducing extra water tanks to ensure they have access to enough water – as a 1,000-pound animal needs 1.5-gallons of water per hour. As for feed – Dewell says cattle should receive at least 70-percent of their feed two to four-hours after peak ambient temperature – and the energy content of their diet should be reduced by five to seven-percent. Shade, air flow and insect control are also very important to combat heat stress with cattle. For more information – visit ARS dot USDA dot gov (www.ars.usda.gov) and search Heat Stress.