Keeping cows cool a top priority for AZ dairy farmer's

Posted: Updated:
Dairy cows keep cool under the misting system. (19 June 2017) [Source: 3TV/CBS 5 News] Dairy cows keep cool under the misting system. (19 June 2017) [Source: 3TV/CBS 5 News]
The heat can slow milk production on dairy farms. (19 June 2017) [Source: 3TV / CBS 5 News] The heat can slow milk production on dairy farms. (19 June 2017) [Source: 3TV / CBS 5 News]
Hot cows don't produce a lot of milk. (19 June 2017) [Source: 3TV/CBS5 News] Hot cows don't produce a lot of milk. (19 June 2017) [Source: 3TV/CBS5 News]
BUCKEYE VALLEY, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) -

Making sure Arizona's dairy cows are cool and content is a top priority for dairy farmers, especially during this heatwave.

"Everything is comfort, if they're not comfortable, they're not going to produce milk for us," said Bill Kerr.

Kerr owns Kerr Dairy in Buckeye, he has around 1,100 cows that are milked three times a day.

"They look forward to going to the barn and getting milked, and then they get cooled off," he said.

That though, is just one of the ways the cows are able to get some relief.

Over the years, Kerr has added some key components to the corrals to help keep them cool.

"We gotta keep them in the shade, we gotta keep them with misters and fans on them, we've learned over the years how to do it," said Kerr.

Between the shade, automated fans, which kick on when it hits 90 degrees, and misters, Kerr says they're able to drop the temperature between 20 and 25 degrees.

"So if its going to be 118 like they're saying we're going to get it down into the low 90s or so and that's comfortable for the cows; they can handle it," said Kerr.

Still, production does dip a bit in the summer.

"There's no doubt it takes a hit," Kerr said adding, "we'll lose probably about 20 percent of our production in the summertime when it's hot."

It's something they expect and are able to plan for. 

The challenge is making sure the cows are able to maintain that summer time status quo, because a huge hit could impact production and potentially impact the price of milk. 

The federal government sets the price of milk, not dairy farmers.

Kerr said last year was tough for the dairy industry but they're hoping this year will be better.

Even as the Valley hit 118 on Monday, Kerr taking a moment to appreciate the little things, like the fact that this heatwave is hitting in June instead of monsoon-heavy July or August. "Dry heat is not as bad cause we can still cool them."

Copyright 2017 KPHO/KTVK (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.

Amanda GoodmanAmanda Goodman joined Arizona’s Family in May 2014.

Click to learn more about Amanda.

Amanda Goodman

The Yuma native and ASU Walter Cronkite School graduate is delighted to be back home in Arizona.

Goodman started her career in St. George, Utah, working at an independent station. While there, she was able to do a little bit of everything from reporting to anchoring to shooting her own video and even producing.

From there, she headed east to West Virginia, working at the No. 1 station in the Huntington, Charleston market, WSAZ-TV.

Before returning to Arizona, Goodman spent the past three years at KRQE-TV in Albuquerque. During her time there, she covered many high-profile, stories including the murder trial of a former Albuquerque police officer, the Las Conchas wildfire that threatened Los Alamos National Lab, and the massive Wallow Fire that made its way into New Mexico from Arizona.

When she’s not reporting and tweeting, Goodman spends a lot of her free time hanging out with family and friends.

She also loves to travel and has been to four, soon to be five, continents.

Goodman is so excited to be back home and can’t wait to share some of your stories.

Hide bio

  • Featured VideoMore>>

  • Volunteers panhandle, raise money and awareness for homeless

    Volunteers panhandle, raise money and awareness for homeless

    Sunday, July 23 2017 2:27 AM EDT2017-07-23 06:27:41 GMT
    A group of 80 volunteers spent Saturday out on the street, panhandling to raise money and awareness for the Valley's homeless population. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)A group of 80 volunteers spent Saturday out on the street, panhandling to raise money and awareness for the Valley's homeless population. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)

    A group of 80 volunteers spent today, not at the pool or at the movies, but out on the street, panhandling to raise money and awareness for the Valley's homeless population.

    More >

    A group of 80 volunteers spent today, not at the pool or at the movies, but out on the street, panhandling to raise money and awareness for the Valley's homeless population.

    More >
  • Vigil held for Payson flash flood victims

    Vigil held for Payson flash flood victims

    Sunday, July 23 2017 2:18 AM EDT2017-07-23 06:18:19 GMT
    On Saturday night, Payson community members held a candlelight vigil in the memory of a family that died in a flash flood near Payson. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)On Saturday night, Payson community members held a candlelight vigil in the memory of a family that died in a flash flood near Payson. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)

    It’s been one week since a flash flood ripped through the Cold Springs swimming hole near Payson. Fourteen extended family members celebrating a birthday were swept away. Ten perished.

    More >

    It’s been one week since a flash flood ripped through the Cold Springs swimming hole near Payson. Fourteen extended family members celebrating a birthday were swept away. Ten perished.

    More >
  • Family of 12-year-old boy who died on hot hike holds vigil

    Family of 12-year-old boy who died on hot hike holds vigil

    Sunday, July 23 2017 12:29 AM EDT2017-07-23 04:29:25 GMT
    To honor and remember Cody Flom, the Flom family held a vigil in front of their house. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)To honor and remember Cody Flom, the Flom family held a vigil in front of their house. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)

    One year ago today, a 12-year-old Valley boy died after hiking in extremely hot temperatures on a north Phoenix trail.

    More >

    One year ago today, a 12-year-old Valley boy died after hiking in extremely hot temperatures on a north Phoenix trail.

    More >