Most of Kansas, Oklahoma and Texas, along with Eastern Nebraska and most of Iowa are under either a “Danger” or “Emergency” category Heat Stress Alert for Monday and Tuesday this week. Wednesday the heat moves out of Nebraska and Iowa but will continue to affect Kansas, Oklahoma and Texas.

Most notably, the Emergency Heat Alert affects some normally dry areas of Southwest Kansas and Western Oklahoma.

CRITICAL:

  • Make sure cattle have access to excess water. This means getting extra water tanks into pens filled with fresh water. During the heat of the day (noon through sundown) cattle may increase their water demand to 2 gallons/100 lbs. of body weight.
  • Do not handle or process cattle past 9:00 am.
ENCOURAGED:
  • Shift feeding to provide 70% of the day’s feed delivered after sundown.
  • Provide shade. A minimum of 20 sq. ft./head of shade is recommended.
  • Remove restrictions to air flow, such as wind breaks.
  • Provide mounds for cattle to make use of what little breeze may be available.
  • Grind light-colored bedding, such as straw or grass hay, into the pens. This will provide a cooler surface to rest on than the dark-colored pen surface.
EMERGENCY:
  • When heavy, black-hided cattle show signs of severe heat stress such as continuous, open-mouthed panting, get these cattle to a shaded area, and cool these cattle with a hose, including their head and body. Either a stream of water or large droplets which will penetrate through the hair coat to the skin is critical to provide evaporative cooling.

For more details see: http://www.ars.usda.gov/Main/docs.htm?docid=21306.