Experts and activists admonish us to be more energy conscious, but let’s be honest, warmer weather is not actually THAT awful. Global warming could be NICE, especially if you currently live in a cooler place.
But for the average bovine, hot weather is horrendous.
More than just ice cream melting
Historically, cows don’t do stinking hot summers very well. Dairy farms tend to located in temperate cooler regions.
Don’t get me wrong, cows are able to survive when temperatures rise, but hot and bothered cows, are not in the mood for mothering.
And mothering is a pre-requisite for milk production.
Milk production is “heat” dependent
Reseachers from University of Washington , milked the milk production data from farms across the USA, to establish what cows prefer.
Milk production was influenced by day/night temperatures and humidity.
As a rule,
- cold temps, especially night time temps – see milk production freezing up, and
- high day time temps, mixed with high humidity, also sees cows cut milk production
So for dairy farmers, farming is all about location, location, location.
Global warming unsettling the location
As climate change alters local and global weather patterns – scientists are predicting a lot more hot and bothered cows, as temperatures rise higher and fluctuate more.
The knock on effect of all these hot cows – is there will be less milk available for human consumption.
Lattes and milkshakes
Don’t panic – you will still be able to get your usual energy fix, in the form of a piping hot frothy latte, if you really need it, from your favourite coffee shop. But it might be a little more expensive. Supply and demand and all that jazz.
Of course, it might not be – improved management practises, breeding and other technologies are likely to help the cows of the future, keep cool. Who knows – maybe they will all be carrying blue umbrellas and have ice cold water bottles strapped to their udders.
Do your bit, think sustainable energy
Got milk ? Climate change means stressed cows in southern US may have less - press release from University of Washington.
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