Farmer's Weekly

Maximising efficiency against heat stress in cattle

Livestock production systems are the world’s largest users of land resources, and the situation in Southern Africa is no different. Approximately 84% of the surface area of South Africa is available for agriculture, of which only about 13% is arable. The greater part of South Africa is suitable only for extensive livestock production. The livestock value chain has a responsibility to be fully aware of these facts and that the industry stands to suffer as a result of global warming.

MITIGATION OF HEAT STRESS

Temperature, solar radiation, humidity and wind all affect animals directly, with temperature having the greatest direct effect on livestock production.

Most livestock perform at their best at a temperature between 4°C and 24°C. Given the effects

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