As the summer months continue it's not just people who need to cool off - cows are also feeling the heat.

DairyNZ's Strategy and Investment Portfolio Manager Jenny Jago spoke to The Country Early Edition's Rowena Duncum about how farmers can help their cows beat the heat.

Keeping cows cool will be top priority for dairy farmers through February and into autumn – and there's a number of ways to do this says Jago. Everything from walking to digesting feed contributes to heat in a cow, so careful management is needed.

DairyNZ's Strategy and Investment Portfolio Manager Jenny Jago. Photo / Supplied
DairyNZ's Strategy and Investment Portfolio Manager Jenny Jago. Photo / Supplied

Many farmers will make the most of covered feedpads or paddocks with the best trees, as shade will help reduce any chance of heat stress in cows. Research indicates that cows provided with shade actually spend more time grazing per day than those without shade, resulting in increased dry matter intake.

Advertisement

Anyone planning to increase trees on their farm should look carefully at their farm's layout – and plan for the area they are planting, because along with shade, trees provide habitat for wildlife and work in with riparian plans too.

Summer management advice is available on DairyNZ's website at dairynz.co.nz/summer and tree planting info is at dairynz.co.nz/trees

Also in today's interview - Jenny talks to Rowena about DairyNZ's upcoming Milksmart events. The Milksmart sessions are tailored to experience levels, with 'skills' sessions focusing on milking routines, mastitis skills and cow flow; while the 'strategy' sessions look at how we can use research and technology to maximise efficiency and minimise mastitis.

For more information and to register, visit dairynz.co.nz/milksmart
Listen below: