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Benefits of Keeping Cattle Cool


A recent UF/IFAS study revealed that heat and agitation has an impact on meat and milk production in our cattle. Cooler cows maintain a lower body temperature, and having cooler dispositions allows for increased meat and milk production when compared to cows who are hot and agitated.

Raluca Mateescu, an associate professor of animal sciences with UF/IFAS, conducted the study that took the temperatures of Brangus herd’s as they came through the chute. The findings of this study are particularly important to cattlemen and beef producers in hot, humid environments— like Florida. It is a reminder that our cattle need ideal conditions in order to produce the best quality meat, milk, and other commodities for consumption.

Different breeds of cattle have different physical characteristics that will impact their temperature in the heat. Cattle with shorter hair are cooler and thus, more productive. If your ranch or land does not provide adequate shade or areas to get out of the sun, the herd will constantly be hot and agitated. To try and lower their temperatures, cows use a lot of energy, and when they use a lot of energy, they tend to eat less (which also affects your land management strategy). This leads to less production of meat and milk.

Griffin Fertilizer is committed to helping both growers and ranchers make sound agronomic and economic decisions to maximize the health of their grove and pasture. For questions or concerns about your farm or pasture, get in touch with one of our team members today.

This column is sponsored by Griffin Fertilizer Co., and the opinions expressed herein may not reflect those of CFAN or of its advertisers.

BIO: Mike Roberts is the Vice President of the Frostproof, Fla.-based Griffin Fertilizer Co. Roberts joined the company in November 2011. He has spent the majority of his career in the fertilizer/agchem industry. Roberts earned a Bachelor of Science degree in citrus production from Florida Southern College in Lakeland. For more information, visit griffinfertilizer.com.