Climate Dependent Heat Stress Mitigation Modeling for Dairy Cattle Housing

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DeVoe, Katlyn
Baumgard, Lance
Major Professor
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Ramirez, Brett
Associate Professor
Hoff, Steven
Professor Emeritus
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Organizational Unit
Animal Science

The Department of Animal Science originally concerned itself with teaching the selection, breeding, feeding and care of livestock. Today it continues this study of the symbiotic relationship between animals and humans, with practical focuses on agribusiness, science, and animal management.

The Department of Animal Husbandry was established in 1898. The name of the department was changed to the Department of Animal Science in 1962. The Department of Poultry Science was merged into the department in 1971.

Historical Names

Organizational Unit
Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering

Since 1905, the Department of Agricultural Engineering, now the Department of Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering (ABE), has been a leader in providing engineering solutions to agricultural problems in the United States and the world. The department’s original mission was to mechanize agriculture. That mission has evolved to encompass a global view of the entire food production system–the wise management of natural resources in the production, processing, storage, handling, and use of food fiber and other biological products.

In 1905 Agricultural Engineering was recognized as a subdivision of the Department of Agronomy, and in 1907 it was recognized as a unique department. It was renamed the Department of Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering in 1990. The department merged with the Department of Industrial Education and Technology in 2004.

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  • Department of Agricultural Engineering (1907–1990)

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Dairy cattle are susceptible to heat stress with reported milk production loss exceeding 1.2 billion dollars in 2010. Heat stress occurs when the local thermal environment prevents adequate dissipation of metabolic heat production over extended periods. Implementing mitigation strategies in order to reduce heat stress has been a crucial need as dairy housing has transitioned from pasture to indoor housing systems. In order to maximize production, producers need the most effective cooling system to reduce heat stress. A heat stress mitigation model was developed using TMY3 data sets as inputs. The objectives of this research were to: (i) analyze the thermal environment’s ability to reduce heat stress in dairy cattle in selected regions using TMY3 data, (ii) model Holstein cattle subjected to various environmental modification systems (elevated airspeed, evaporative pad cooling, direct sprinkling) by region, (iii) create a universal barn/cooling system model to apply to selected regions with given TMY3 data inputs, and (iv) develop contour maps with optimal cooling system recommendations throughout the United States. A transient thermal balance model was developed using equations and parameters from published heat stress models in order to quantify heat dissipation from a dairy cow to her environment. The model was initially tested and evaluated using two TMY3 stations (Fresno, California SN:723890 and Eau Claire, Wisconsin SN:726435). The model’s predictions were within one standard deviation of field data. Once validated, the model was applied to all 215 TMY3 Class 1 stations and contour maps of the U.S. were created for producers to determine which cooling strategy is the most economical in their region.


This proceeding is published as DeVoe, Katlyn R., Steven J. Hoff, Brett C. Ramirez, and Lance H. Baumgard. "Climate dependent heat stress mitigation modeling for dairy cattle housing." ASABE Annual International Meeting. Spokane, WA, July 16-19, 2017. Paper No.1700981. DOI: 10.13031/aim.201700981. Posted with permission.