High Temperatures Forecasted For The Next Few Days

June 11, 2024

Forecasters are predicting above normal temperatures for the next few days. When combined with humidity and low wind speed, cattle can experience heat stress.

Research has shown the most effective mitigation practices include increasing water availability, feeding later in the day so digestion occurs during the cooler nighttime hours, providing shade when possible, using light-colored bedding such as chopped hay or straw and wetting the surface of pens to lower the ground temperature. Water intake can nearly double as temperatures rise from 70 to 90 degrees; therefore, more water access, flow and availability are important.

Monitoring air temperature, humidity, wind speed and cloud cover is key to managing livestock heat stress. Overnight lows above 74 degrees do not allow cattle to adequately cool, requiring heightened observation and possibly intervention the following day. Livestock heat stress forecast maps are produced daily through the U.S. Meat Animal Research Center's partnership with the National Weather Service. These maps can be accessed by clicking here. Kansas State University Mesonet also provides an Animal Comfort Index, which can be found here.