Effect of evaporative cooling and altitude on dairy cows milk efficiency in lowlands

BROUČEK, Jan, RYBA, Štefan, DIANOVÁ, Marta, UHRINČAT, Michal, ŠOCH, Miloslav, SISTKOVÁ, Marie, MALÁ, Gabriela and NOVÁK, Pavel. Effect of evaporative cooling and altitude on dairy cows milk efficiency in lowlands. International Journal of Biometeorology, 2020, 64, 433-444. ISSN 0020-7128.
CathegoryScientific publication in impacted journals
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The objective of this current work was to determinate the effect of high temperatures on milk production of dairy cows in southern Slovakia in the year 2015. The hypotheses that milk production is influenced by the altitude and cooling were tested. Production data included 227,500 test-day records belonging to 34 Holstein breed herds situated in lowlands, 115 to 150 m above sea level (ASL) and kept in free-stall housing. Dairy farms were classified into groups based on cooling system. The first group of cows (19 herds) was cooled evaporative (foggers) and forced ventilation, and the second group (15 herds) was using cooled only forced ventilation (automatically controlled fans in housing and feeding areas). During the period from May to September, 36 summer and 22 tropical days were recorded, 37 days had a mean thermal humidity index value above 72.0, and on 34 days we recorded mean values above 78.0. The highest milk yields were recorded at the altitude 1 (115 m ASL) (9219.0 kg year−1; 10327.0 kg year−1) and the lowest at the altitude 2 (126 m ASL) (7598.7 kg year−1; 8470.21 kg year−1) (P < 0.001). Dairy cows cooled evaporative milked significantly more milk than cows cooled only with forced air flow (9650.4 kg vs. 8528.0 kg; P