Lot et Garonne. The heat wave endangers animals on farms, a cow died in Cocumont

Fodder could be lacking, as here at Jean-Pierre Lagardère in Meilhan-sur-Garonne, in Lot-et-Garonne. (© Photo The Republican / Michel Pradeau)

A cow was found dead in the breeding of Didier Barriviera in Cocumont, in Lot-et-Garonne. The breeder has 200 cows with heifers, of the Prim’Holstein breed.

Effects on Cows and Ewes

The heat wave currently raging in the South-West of France, with 39°C recorded this Friday June 17, 2022 in Lot-et-Garonne, 41°C expected tomorrow Saturday June 18, 2022 according to Météo-France, has disastrous effects on cattle farms in particular.

Growing concern for fodder

“Cows are big consumers of grassland but we are starting to run out of it. May-June are the months when the grass grows and when we gather the most hay, but there we are going to run out of it and we can already worry about next winter,” says Didier Barriviera. The little grassland that remains will burn if the weather situation persists at such high temperatures. “We are in a worse situation than in 2003 and even 1976” laments Didier Barriviera.

For poultry, we can ward off this calamity for a few days thanks to foggers or fans, but in cattle or sheep farms the situation is more delicate.

Lower milk production to be expected

The hot weather acts as an appetite suppressant, the cows no longer produce milk. Dairy production will be affected. For sheep, the same observation, the decline in milk production will have consequences for the manufacture of cheeses, loss of income to be expected, as underlined by Jean-Pierre Lagardère, breeder of dairy cows in Meilhan or Sylvie Van de Vondèle, who a sheep farm in St-Sauveur de Meilhan.

“For health reasons, I was unable to hay last year, I will probably pay for it this year” worries Jean-Pierre Lagardère who recalls the impact of price increases since the conflict in Ukraine on cereal seeds, diesel, fillers etc, but the price of milk will not compensate.

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