Research Supports New Strategy for Heat Stress
Regardless of geography, heat stress is an important management issue on all U.S. dairy farms. According to research at The Ohio State University, the economic impact on the industry is up to $1.5 billion annually. Those losses include lower milk production, increased metabolic diseases, reduced reproductive performance, loss of body condition and impaired immune function when temperature and humidity rise above a dairy cow’s comfort zone.
Comfort zone minimum, mean and maximum values are 64, 72 and 76, respectively, as defi ned by the Temperature Heat Index (THI).
Current methods – like added shade, water and fans – aren’t enough to prevent these losses and protect dairy cattle against the effects of heat stress. Two recent studies conducted in Texas and Arizona show promise for combating losses from heat stress by using a nutritional supplement best known for supporting normal immune function in the face of stress events.
OmniGen-AF® is a unique, patented nutritional specialty product from Phibro Animal Health Corporation. In both heat stress studies, OmniGen-AF-supplemented cows responded significantly better to heat stress compared to non-supplemented cows.
• A 15-week study in Texas demonstrated that OmniGen-AF fed dairy cows averaged 2.8 pounds more milk per day and produced fi e more pounds, daily, during the last seven weeks of the study. Early lactation cows experienced a greater impact, producing 3.6 pounds more milk during the first seven weeks and 6.4 more pounds during the last eight weeks of the study.
• In a University of Arizona study, OmniGen-AF fed cows had signifi cantly higher dry matter intake, reduced respiration rates, lower temperatures and lower somatic cell counts.
Swiss Lane Dairy in Alto, Mich., feeds OmniGen-AF year-round to its 2,000-cow herd. Co-owner Tom Oesch says he observed the product benefits when he previously served as a dairy consultant, and now it’s part of the feeding
strategy for dry, transition and lactating cows on his own operation.
“Michigan summers are cooler than many parts of the country, but we still count on OmniGen-AF during the hottest season of the year to help our cows stay healthy and perform their best,” says Oesch. For more than 150 years, Phibro Animal Health Corporation has been committed to providing livestock producers with high-quality, value-based products and solutions to help them maintain the health of their animals. To learn more about how OmniGen-AF can help protect your herd against heat stress, visit
TheOmniGenDifference.com or call 1-800-677-4623 to reach a Dairy Technical Specialist today.