Don't be beaten by the heat

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SA 5172

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8556 2075
8556 2654

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Dairy Australia's Cool Cows program has released a white board poster to help prevent heat stress this summer

In launching it at International Dairy Week (17th January), Cool Cows project leader, Dr Steve Little, said dairy herds across the country were at high risk of heat stress at this time of the year.

"Even farms that are well set up with sprinklers, shade and water troughs can come unstuck by a simple oversight, for example if farm staff all assume someone else will check the water pump," Dr Little said.

Successful heat stress management relies on alerting staff to days of high risk and outlining what needs to be done and who is responsible.

That's where the new Cool Cows white board comes in handy. It can be put up on a wall in the dairy to provide a daily reminder to activate the farm's systems every time heat stress is forecast.

"Many dairy farms have different heat stress practices, depending on the level of risk.," Dr Little said. "So staff need to know the day's level of risk and who needs to do what."

A good way to start is to sit down with everyone involved and discuss the farm's approach for different levels of stress. The decisions can be written on the white board. It also contains a dial which can be adjusted to show the day's heat stress risk, according to the weather forecast on the Cool Cows website.

The Cool Cows white board is available to all farmers who subscribe to the Cool Cows Heat Stress Alert e-mail service. The alert service sends an email whenever a high heat load event is forecast in the next few days for your local area.