In addition to men, the heat is also affected by the animals in the houses and on the farms where cows, due to the stress of high temperatures, are producing up to about 10% less milk than in normal periods. This is the alarm launched by Coldiretti on the effects of raising the mercury column to 40 degrees in the last week with the greatest difficulties in the Po valley where the farms for the production of milk for the largest Italian PDO cheeses are concentrated, since Grana Padano with Parmigiano Reggiano.
If it is important for pets such as dogs and cats to always guarantee water and make sure they are always sheltered from the sun and in well-ventilated places, for cows – Coldiretti underlines – the ideal climate is between 22 and 24 degrees, beyond this limit the animals eat little, drink a lot and produce less milk.
To the rescue – notes Coldiretti – anti-heat measures have already been taken in the stables where the drinking troughs are working at full speed because every single animal has come to drink with the high temperatures of these days up to 140 liters of water per day against 70 of the less hot periods.
In the stables – continues Coldiretti – fans and refrigerant hand showers have also come into operation to better withstand the heat and meals are given a little at a time to help the cows to feed themselves better without weighing down. In addition to the drop in milk production, there is an increase in barn costs due to the higher consumption of water and energy that farmers have to bear to help animals resist the siege of the heat.
But the problems are not only for the stables in fact with the great heat and drought – finally highlights Coldiretti – farmers are preparing for emergency irrigations to save the crops in the field with ripe fruits on the plants that are likely to be injured by heat stroke and burns, while the Po level at Ponte della Becca (Pavia) is more than 3 meters below the hydrometric zero, the largest lakes in the north that quench the Po valley are in trouble and in severe deficit for months the central-southern basins.