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Monday, June 24, 2024

Dairy farmers urged to look out for warmth stress as temperatures soar

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Dairy farmers are being urged to look out for warmth stress as temperatures throughout the UK are predicted to hit 30C over the weekend and into subsequent week.

Warmth stress in cows is turning into a serious concern for a lot of dairy farmers as summers get hotter.

A heatwave can drastically cut back milk yields and even put a farm’s sustainability in danger over an extended interval.

Dr Tom Chamberlain, a number one professional on the impacts of warmth stress, discovered that throughout the 9 farms, warmth stress led to a median lack of manufacturing starting from £24,000 to £90,000 relying on herd measurement.

Now new analysis from NFU Mutual has discovered that simply over 4 in ten (41%) farmers say that warmth stress is a precedence threat, while 70% are but to take additional steps to scale back the danger.

To deal with the issue, the agricultural insurer has launched a brand new kind of insurance coverage which pays out if elevated sizzling climate causes warmth stress.

Often called parametric insurance coverage, this index-driven cowl provides farmers pre-determined pay outs based mostly on a set off occasion.

If limits are exceeded, the coverage pays out on the finish of the summer time threat interval, with farmers with the ability to use funds in direction of the price of losses in manufacturing and to enhance farm infrastructure.

The primary dairy parametric cowl trial will probably be run this summer time with chosen farmers in key dairy areas throughout the UK.

Chris Walsh, farm specialist on the insurer, defined that the brand new insurance coverage had been developed in response to farmers’ issues about the price of heat-stress.

He stated: “To assist our dairy farmers deal with this rising downside, we’ve talked to agricultural consultants, dairies, farmers, and insurers the world over to develop an revolutionary product which operates merely and successfully.

“Parametric insurance coverage is already used to guard farmers’ incomes in some international locations, however that is the primary time it has been developed to assist the UK’s dairy sector like this.

“We imagine any such cowl could turn into more and more essential to guard different agricultural and horticultural sectors as the consequences of local weather change intensify.”

What can I do to fight warmth stress?

Working with Dr Tom Chamberlain, NFU Mutual can be sharing the next dairy warmth stress recommendation:

• Present appropriate entry to water troughs and pipes are in good working order, don’t have any leaks, and that the circulation price to the troughs is adequate.

• Determine paddocks which have better shade availability and utilising these on sizzling days.

• When buffer feeding including appropriate feed components to make sure cattle are receiving peak diet to assist rumen well being operate.

• Implement ‘Siesta’ Administration the place acceptable – this system includes cows grazing straight after milking after which being ‘housed’ at round 10am, with buffer feed obtainable to them. Cows are then despatched again out to graze after afternoon milking to graze till nightfall.

• Set up better numbers of water troughs in key places in order that cows are by no means greater than 100m away from a clear water supply.

• Alter milking instances to coincide with the cooler durations of the day.

• Set up shade and followers in holding yards and cow sheds.

• Evaluate breeding plans to deal with genetic strains which have better warmth tolerance ranges.


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