The USDA Agriculture Research Service, in cooperation with the National Weather Service, predicts emergency heat-stress levels for Saturday July 11 and Sunday July 12 across a large region of the central U.S. stretching from Texas into Nebraska and Iowa. Heat-stress risk is due to high temperatures, higher humidity, low wind speeds and little cloud cover.  

The Heat Stress Forecast Map is available online from USDA.

Saner says Saturday afternoon will more than likely be the worst in Nebraska, as the forecast is calling for wind speeds of less than 5 mph and higher humidity for the region due to scattered rain fall on Friday and little cloud cover. 

Saner recommends providing cattle with careful attention on Sunday morning to see if they have cooled down enough over night to handle Sunday’s heat load or if intervention should be implemented.  Also be aware of the humidity and cloud cover on Sunday.

Precautions should include:

·         Check water flow in waters.

·         Organize extra water sources such as livestock tanks and delivery tanks. 

·         Develop a plan for emergency water supplement may include contacting neighbors with firefighting equipment to wet down cattle that are experiencing heat stress.

Cattle with reduced lung capacity from previous sickness and black hided cattle are more susceptible.  Consider making plans to move cattle to empty pens on Friday to allow for greater use of waterers.

While sprinklers can be used be careful to watch the overuse of them creating more humidity in your lot which may increase the heat index at your lot on Sunday and Monday.  

Nebraska Extension offers good recommendations for avoiding avoid heat stress, and a very good article on the use of sprinkling mounds can be found here