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Haryana

Posted at: May 26, 2018, 12:10 AM; last updated: May 26, 2018, 12:10 AM (IST)

Heat wave intensifies, state may see 20 pc slump in milk production

Heat wave intensifies, state may see 20 pc slump in milk production
A buffalo bathes at the NDRI in Karnal. Tribune photo Sayeed Ahmed

Parveen Arora

Tribune News Service

Karnal, May 25

The intensity of heat has taken a toll as it has affected the milch animals resulting in decline in production of milk. Due to heat wave, the livestock are under the influence of “heat stress”, one of the greatest challenges faced by dairy farmers during summer, which affects the health of dairy animals.

As per scientists at the National Dairy Research Institute (NDRI) here, milk production may decrease up to 20 per cent in cross-breed animals and up to 10 per cent in indigenous breeds.

They, however, admitted that buffaloes were better adapted to “heat stress” conditions. “Cross-breed animals contribute 14.2 per cent of milk production in Haryana, while 25 per cent in Punjab, so farmers have to take extra care of cross-breed animals,” said Dr RRB Singh, Director, NDRI.

He said as per research, the ideal environment condition for dairy animals ranged from 6°C to 25°C for maintaining the physiological body temperature i.e. between 38.4°C and 39.1°C.

“Visible affect starts appearing in dairy animals once the temperature crosses 40°C and affects the production,” he said.

He said high temperature increased body surface temperature, respiration rate, heart rate and rectal temperature which in turn affected food intake, production and reproductive efficiency in animals.

Dr Rajan Sharma, principal scientist, Dairy Chemistry Department, said Haryana and Punjab were among the major contributors of milk production in the country, which was leading the world with around 163 million metric tonnes of milk.

“Of the total production, Haryana produces 89.75 lakh litres of milk annually, of which 12.79 lakh litre is produced by cross-breed animals. Similarly, Punjab contributes 112.82 lakh litre annually, of which cross-breed contributes 29.22 lakh litre,” he said.

Dr SS Lathwal, in charge, livestock research centre (cattle yard), NDRI, said there was a need to take extra care of milch animals during summer. Farmers should include more green and dry fodder in the diet of animals, besides, avoiding exposure during mid afternoon.

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