Keeping things cool for Arizona dairy cows

Posted at 4:15 AM, Apr 21, 2017
and last updated 2017-04-21 09:22:30-04

The Valley is among the nation's largest milk-producing regions but, in the heat of summer, it's utterly important for farmers to keep their cows cool.

"We wouldn't leave our children in the car unattended in the summertime. We have to kind of think that way to the cows," Jason Van Der Toorn of Boschma Farms tells ABC15.

The more comfortable a cow is, the more milk it produces. Much like us, Van Der Toorn says the ideal temperature for a dairy cow is around 75 degrees. His farm has a computer-controlled system of fans and misters that automatically adjust to the elements.

"When we do what's best for the cow, she's more efficient and makes great milk for us," he says.

In decades past, Van Der Toorn says milk production during the hot summer months would drop as much as 50 percent. With more efficient cooling systems, he's seeing less than a 10-percent drop at his farm.

"The fact that we're able to control the environment our animals live in, to feed them to a very technical degree of perfection, ensures that we have a stable food supply."