Effect of low winter temperatures on milk production of dairy cows grazed on farms in a warm temperate climate (Australia)
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Two-day milk production figures for dairymen at Armidale (31° S Lat.) and Goulburn (35° S Lat.), Australia, were compared with minimum daily temperatures. Comparisons were made between production levels on days with temperatures above and below 0°C, and between days with varying intensities of cold: differences in production were minor. The infrequent, more prolonged periods of cold weather (“cold” being days on which the minimum temperature was below 0°C) were also associated with only very slight reductions in milk output; and the most pronounced decline in production was not attributable to low temperatures. Although short-term fluctuations in output were not related to low temperature events or low temperatures in combination with rain, thermal stress on plant growth during winter contributed to a seasonal downturn in production and below-average annual milk yields in areas with low winter temperatures.
KeywordsThermal Stress Minimum Temperature Milk Production Production Level Daily Temperature
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