Upcoming heat could harm cows

A peak Australia dairying body has warned dairy farmers to be aware of the risk of heat stress on cows.

The advice comes as the Bureau of Meteorology predicted Colac district would experience above-average temperatures in coming months.

With a little over one month until the end of summer, Dairy Australia’s Cool Cows project leader Dr Steve Little said cows were at a high risk of heat stress.

“Even farms that are well set up with sprinklers, shade and water troughs can come unstuck by a simple oversight, say for example if farmers all assume someone else will check the water pump,” he said.

Dr Little said that although extended periods of heat stress were uncommon in the south-west, farmers in the area should still be aware in case of a heat wave.

He said cows were in danger of heat stress when the temperature humidity index reached “78 or so”.

A spokesman for the Bureau of Meteorology said temperatures would be “a degree or two higher than average” in the next month but rainfall would return to normal.

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