Temperature-humidity index (THI) values applicable to South Africa and Namibia have been established during this investigation for each month of the year by means of computerized modelling and mapping techniques.
The data indicate that each year heat stress risk areas (HSRA's) expand from August to January and retract from February to July. The THI values classified according to the Livestock Weather Safety Index (LWSI) for lactating dairy cattle (LDC), suggest that, especially during November to March there is the risk of moderate to advanced heat stress in most South African dairy cows. This has important implications for their general health, udder health, production and reproduction. Careful planning of facilities and highly adaptable herd management are required to protect dairy cattle from heat stress.
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