As unbearable as last week's heat wave was, at least humans are able to sweat. Unlike dairy cows—and NY State dairy farmers say their cows have been too uncomfortable. Douglas Aukema, of Chenango Forks farm, told the Press and Star Bulletin that his farm's milk production was "down by a third, probably, because of the heat stress."
Cows are eating and drinking less in this weather, which means they are making less milk. Which gets farmers concerned about "cow comfort." At Spencer farms, there are three-foot diameter fans to cool the bovines. Also: "Each cow at his farm has its own rubber mat to lie on, and other farms go as far as to install sprinkler systems." Cody Spencer said, "When you're 1,500 pounds, it makes a big difference."
An expert says that cows like temperatures of 40-60 degrees best and when it's 90 degrees, it makes sense they don't even want to graze. And earlier this month in Texas, a drought was so bad that cows were overdrinking water and dying.