Monetary impact of heat stress on dairy and beef industries in the US
Heat stress continues to be a major economic problem for the livestock industry. Over 10 years ago, St-Pierre et al. (2003) reported annual economic losses totaling $897 and 369 million for dairy and beef, respectively. Utilizing this publication, economic impact figures were adjusted for 1) inflation using a cumulative rate of 24.78% (US Inflation Calculator), and 2) 2012 USDA figures for the dairy and beef industry inventories by state. For dairy, estimated annual state-by-state financial loss per cow and average farm were calculated. For beef, only estimated loss per cow was found because information on average herd size by state was not available. Annual losses were primarily determined by loss in productivity (i.e., weight gain for beef and milk production for dairy). In terms of economic loss per cow from heat stress, loss to the beef industry is overwhelmed by the dairy industry, with the top ten dairy states having twenty-five times greater loss than average loss among the top ten beef states. Average annual economic losses across all states on a per cow basis for dairy producers was $89.01, while national annual losses for beef producers was only $3.05. Texas had the highest beef loss per cow in 2012 ($19.25), which was nearly double the second highest loss state which occurred in Oklahoma ($10.59). In comparison, the dairy industry showed an annual per-cow losses of $366.85 and $308.03 per animal for Louisiana and Texas, respectively. Of total loss due to heat stress in the contiguous 48 states, the top 10 states account for 85% and 68% of the losses for beef and dairy industries, respectively. Economic losses per farm showed significant variation due to differences both in level of heat strain and average herd size (ranging from 2,357 dairy cows per farm in New Mexico to 66 in Missouri). Texas (872 dairy cows per farm), once again had the highest economic losses at $268,601 per farm while the national average per farm was $33,245 (national average of 187 dairy cows per farm). When ranked according to a combination of total economic loss due to heat stress, per-cow losses, and severity of heat stress, Texas, Kansas, Nebraska, and Oklahoma are the states where heat abatement systems would have the largest economic impact.
Heat stress, Beef, Dairy, Livestock economics