Evaluating heat stress and energy use on dairies workshop series started

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Farm Forum

BROOKINGS – More than 24 dairy producers attended the first of four workshops focusing on heat stress and energy usage on dairies. The workshops are hosted as a joint effort between the SDSU Extension and University of Minnesota Extension Engineering and Animal/Dairy Science Departments.

The Aug. 27 workshop focused on educating producers about the costs of heat stress, not only physically on the animals, but also economical costs due to lost production and increased energy inefficiencies.

Producers participated in lectures and a series of “hands-on” break-out sessions. Areas covered included: the effects of heat stress on dairy cow performance, ventilation and cooling to manage heat stress, measurement of airflow and airspeed in the barn, understanding fan capacity and efficiency, assessing heat stress of the cows first hand, and evaluation of lighting systems options.

The event was hosted at the Hammink South Dairy located near Bruce. The dairy is owned and operated by Wim and Nicolien Hammink.

The workshop is partially funded by a grant received from the North Central Risk Management Education Center via the USDA/NIFA award number 2012-49200-20032. Additional program sponsors included the Midwest Dairy Association, Lange Ag Systems, Elanco, South Dakota Dairy Producers and Minnesota Milk Producers.

Three additional workshops are being organized in various regions of South Dakota and Minnesota for 2014. Visit iGrow.org for future workshop information.