Livestock producers across the central United States will need to contend with at least a couple more days of dangerous heat and humidity. The latest Cattle Heat Stress Forecast maps from the USDA and the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration shows heat and humidity index levels in the “emergency” range today, July 25 and Friday, July 26.
The forecast maps for today show an emergency zone spreading from Texas up through much of Oklahoma. Another large area of emergency conditions persists in southern California and southwestern Arizona.
By Friday, the maps show the central emergency zone covering virtually all of Texas and Oklahoma, most of Kansas and parts of southeastern Nebraska. The southwestern emergency zone is forecast to spread northward across much of California and eastward across most of the southern half of Arizona.
The current forecasts indicate heat stress conditions should peak on Friday, and the emergency zones begin to shrink on Saturday and through the weekend. By Tuesday, July 29, the maps show emergency conditions confined primarily to south Texas and parts of southern California, Arizona and southern Nevada.
The USDA website that offers the Cattle Heat Stress Forecast maps also includes a number of resources related to heat stress in cattle. These include:
- Environmental Risk Factors
- Recognizing Heat Stress
- Actions To Minimize Heat Stress
The Iowa Beef Center also provides a selection of heat-stress resources on its website.