Summer Heat Slows Milk Production - | Nashville News, Weather & Sports

Summer Heat Slows Milk Production

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by Chris Conte

WILLIAMSON COUNTY, Tenn. - Local farmers say higher summer temperatures mean their cows will be producing less milk over the next few months.

"It's not necessarily the heat, it's the humidity," explained Charles Hatcher of Hatcher Family Dairy Farm.

Hatcher said that as the heat increases, his cows eat less during the day which in some cases means they produce about one-third less milk during July and August.

"This time of year I have to maybe add some cows to keep up with the demand, to keep up with that decreased production loss," the 26-year-old added.

Unlike humans, cows can't sweat meaning Hatcher spends his days providing them with water or misting them off with fans inside the family's barn.

Typically, a cow will produce about 10 gallons of milk a day, but during the height of a hot summer, that number decreases to around six gallons.

"Water is the most critical thing you can get to cows this time of year. They can drink up to 50 – 75 gallons a day of water this time of year," he explained.

Hatcher said last year he had to increase the price of his milk about 25 cents a gallon, but he doesn't expect that will happen this year.


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