Cool Cows

Dairy cows are one of the most susceptible livestock species to heat stress.

At temperatures around 25°C or above, cows begin to accumulate heat from the environment. This means they then need to use various physiological processes to shed this heat. These processes - like panting, sweating or changes to behaviour - all use energy that could otherwise be used for milk production.

Hot weather has a large, negative impact on overall farm productivity. Not only for immediate milk production, but for lifetime production, forage growth and composition, cow fertility, cow welfare and the enduring profitability of dairy farm businesses.

Having effective feeding options to complement environmental modifications on farm, like shade structures, can help mitigate the effects of heat stress on cows - critical to ensuring their welfare, health and fertility as well as reducing negative impacts on milk production.

The Feeding Cool Cows project looks at ways to reduce the negative impact of hot weather at the plant, cow and herd level to ensure that herds can better manage the increasing occurrence of hot weather events. Outcomes will help support milk production and develop more resilient dairy farming systems in an ever-changing climate.

The Cool Cows project continues to be recognised throughout the industry as the go-to source of the latest information and advice based on cutting-edge research and innovation with practical information that equips farmers to take proactive steps to protect cows from heat, through planning and management and investments in infrastructure in both the short and long-term.


Farmers can also receive support from Dairy Australia’s farm system experts by attending a two-day workshop. It offers a great opportunity to connect with and learn from other farmers that are considering a farm system change.

The workshop will enable farmers to:

  • Outline their business objectives to determine the most suitable farm system.
  • Share initial versions of their strategic and action plans for group feedback.
  • Make an informed decision about the options and considerations for investing in a new system.
  • Get ready to start the planning, implementation and operation of their chosen system.

Register your interest in future workshops or request further information using the form below.

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