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Dairy farmers feel effects of East Coast heat wave

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Updated: 7/19/2013 2:07 pm
By Lori Burkholder
NBC News

LANCASTER COUNTY, Pa. -- The heat and humidity in the Northeast isn't only affecting people, but also cows.

Dairy farmers say their herds are producing less milk because of the heat, and that could hit you in the pocketbook and the fridge.

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"We do all we can to keep lots of air moving and refresh them with some water," says dairy farmer Joe Wivell.

Cows like it cold. The ideal temperature for a dairy herd is around 45 degrees, so when it's hot outside farmers worry about heat stress which leads to loss of milk production.

"They can drop as much as 10 pounds of milk production per cow per day," Wivell says.

Wivell tends to his cows needs by using a barn that keeps air circulating.

Ceiling fans are a must as well as fresh drinking water.

There's also technology in place to soak the cows in cool water. How often it goes off is based on the temperature in the barn.
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