International Journal of Biometeorology

, Volume 36, Issue 2, pp 77–87 | Cite as

Environmental profile and critical temperature effects on milk production of Holstein cows in desert climate

  • M. O. Igono
  • G. Bjotvedt
  • H. T. Sanford-Crane
Article

Abstract

The environmental profile of central Arizona is quantitatively described using meteorological data between 1971 and 1986. Utilizing ambient temperature criteria of hours per day less than 21° C, between 21 and 27° C, and more than 27° C, the environmental profile of central Arizona consists of varying levels of thermoneutral and heat stress periods. Milk production data from two commercial dairy farms from March 1990 to February 1991 were used to evaluate the seasonal effects identified in the environmental profile. Overall, milk production is lower during heat stress compared to thermoneutral periods. During heat stress, the cool period of hours per day with temperature less than 21° C provides a margin of safety to reduce the effects of heat stress on decreased milk production. Using minimum, mean and maximum ambient temperatures, the upper critical temperatures for milk production are 21, 27 and 32° C, respectively. Using the temperature-humidity index as the thermal environment indicator, the critical values for minimum, mean and maximum THI are 64, 72 and 76, respectively.

Key words

Environmental profile Heat stress Critical temperatures Milk production 

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Copyright information

© International Society of Biometeorology 1992

Authors and Affiliations

  • M. O. Igono
    • 1
  • G. Bjotvedt
    • 1
  • H. T. Sanford-Crane
    • 2
  1. 1.Division of Biosciences, Laboratory Animal Care ProgramArizona State UniversityTempeUSA
  2. 2.Digital Equipment CorporationTempeUSA

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