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Impact of Heat Stress

Most cattle fed in America are located in the area contained within the oval shown on the map below.




This region is subject to recurring heat waves that can have significant financial impact on feedlot cattle producers.  In the last ten years there have been several heat events in the Midwest; direct and indirect financial losses for these events are estimated at over $75 million for the cattle industry alone.  These weather events are unavoidable but management strategies can reduce the impact of heat waves.   Advance notice combined with heat stress management plans can help minimize the losses associated with these recurring weather phenomenon.  This web site was developed to provide cattle heat stress estimates based on the National Weather Service seven day forecasts and heat stress research done at the US Meat Animal Research Center. 




Busby, D., and Loy, D. 1996. Heat Stress in Feedlot Cattle: Producer Survey Results. Ames, IA: Iowa State University.  A.S. Leaflet R1348

Hungerford, L. L., Buhman, M. J., Dewell, R. D., Mader, T. L., Griffin, D., Smith, D. R., and Nienaber, J. A. 2000. Investigation of heat stress mortality in four midwest feedlots.  430-433: ISVEE.

Mader, T. L., Hungerford, L. L., Nienaber, J. A., Buhman, M. J., Davis, M. S., Hahn, G. L., Cerkoney, W. M., and Holt, S. M. 2001. Heat stress mortality in Midwest feedlots.  J. Anim. Sci. 79: Suppl. 2:2.