Extreme heat has Valley farmers taking extra precautions to protect their livestock

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As temperatures climb throughout this heat spell students are learning first-hand what it takes to farm through the Valley summer. (KFSN)

Known for their thriving agriculture program, Fresno State is where students go to get real world experience on the farm. As temperatures climb throughout this heat spell students are learning first-hand what it takes to farm through the Valley summer.

"Fresno summers are always hot, but I have to say this is the hottest that I've been living in Fresno," said Teresa Melo, Student Herdsman.

Melo said they are taking extra steps to keep the cattle cool.

"It's real hard on the cows, you get temperatures put a coat on and that's what it's basically like with their hair is on them."

Like the swine, sheep, horses, and poultry, the beef and dairy cows have designated areas with misters and cooling fans.

"We take the necessary precautions in the holding pen of our parlor as well, that way when those cows are all squished together going into milk they're feeling as cool and comfortable as possible," said Melo.

"Really keeping them out of direct sun is the key, and of course the moisture helps depending on the species," said David Sieperda, Fresno State Farm Manager.

The Fresno State farm has 45 acres of open land for livestock. Student farmers and farm managers make sure to practice heat safety throughout, but there are some things that are unavoidable when it comes to the scorching heat.

"When the cows stop eating because it's so hot they stop producing as much milk. I think that's the first thing that we see is that drop in milk production," said Sieperda.

That could impact their bottom line, but they are not worried yet-- the farms yearly average factors in heatwaves like this.

"We'll always have enough for our ice cream, so you don't have to worry about that," said Sieperda.

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shoppingheatheat waveagriculturefresno statefresno countyFresno State
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