Heatwave Becomes a Threat to Profit for Housed Systems

29 July 2013, at 6:40am

ITALY – Hot conditions are causing yields on intensive housed systems to drop ten per cent, the National Confederation of Farmers (Coldiretti) has announced.

Concerns are greatest in the Po Valley, an area where housed pig, poultry and dairy farms are highly concentrated.

This means profit prospects are bleak as animal output decreases and farmers are faced with the rising costs of maintaining optimum stall temperatures.

Watering equipment is having to work twice as hard as normal. Some systems are using 140 litres of water per day against 70 litres during cooler weeks.

Pig weight gain, egg production and milk yields are falling dramatically with five to ten per cent losses posted.

Problems begin to present themselves to dairy farmers when the temperature rises above 24 degrees, Coldiretti has warned.

Once at 28 degrees, feed intake can drop by 40 per cent.