Record high dew points, resulting in heat indices of 115ºF or more, have reportedly killed 1,000 cattle in Minnesota this week. Most of these animals were black coated in open feedlots.
Some Minnesota dairy producers are also reporting death losses in calves housed in hutches that have no auxillary shades over them.
Extension and other state livestock officials across the Midwest are urging livestock producers to contact their local United States Department of Agriculture Farm Service Agency (FSA) offices about indemnity programs for cattle lost to heat stress. FSA officials must verify both the type and number of livestock lost prior to animals being buried or composted, says Tyler Melroe, South Dakota State University Extension livestock educator.
To track heat stress warnings, follow weather patterns at this USDA site.