Exploration of factors determining milk production by Holstein cows raised on a dairy farm in a temperate climate area.

Affiliation

Center for Animal Disease Control, University of Miyazaki, Miyazaki, Japan. [Email]

Abstract

In this study, we examined factors that affected milk production by cows raised in a temperate climate area. We conducted this study on a large dairy farm containing approximately 2000 Holstein cows, located in a temperate climate area. We collected 7803 calving records for 4069 cows from 2012 to 2016. We then assessed the effect of hot weather on milk yield by examining three climate factors: season, maximum temperature (MAX), and the temperature and humidity index (THI). We found that increases in heat stress caused linear decreases in milk yield (P < 0.05). Additionally, the effects of the three climate factors on milk yield varied depending on cow parity and days open (P < 0.05). Thus, management procedures should consider cow parity and lactating stage to minimize the negative effects of heat stress on milk production. We also found that the lowest Akaike information criterion value was obtained in our model when using THI for 305-day milk yield. This suggests that THI is a more accurate variable for evaluating heat stress than MAX or season.

Keywords

305-day milk yield,Heat stress,Number of days open,