Dairy Australia - Dairy information for Australian Dairy Farmers and the industry

Primary content

This page contains information about preventing and managing heat stress in dairy cows.

Heat Stress 

Heat stress affects herd milk production and income, but the impacts of heat stress on cow fertility, health and welfare last well beyond seasonal hot weather.

To assist farmers in dealing with heat stress, Dairy Australia invests in the Cool Cows program.

Cool Cows is full of suggestions to help your cows cope in hot weather and ideas for providing shade and evaporative cooling, hot season strategies and ways to monitor how your herd is coping with the heat.

Cool Cows tools:

Cool Cows also provides dairy farmers with free access to these user-friendly web-based tools:

  • Actions Generator - This tool helps you identify actions you can take on your farm to improve your heat stress management.

  • Cost Benefit Calculator - This tool estimates the likely return on investment and payback period for a new cooling infrastructure item on your farm.

  • Heat Stress Alert Service - Subscribe to automatically receive alerts either by email or SMS of potential 'meltdown' events forecast for your area.

Cool Cows resources have been developed with funding from Dairy Australia and the Australian Government Department of Agriculture.

More information

Cool Cows: Shade, sprinklers and fans on dairy farms (PDF, 3.5MB)

Dealing with heat stress is an important part of caring for our animals. The good news is that it can be managed effectively. Heat stress affects milk production and income, and its impact on cow fertility, health and welfare lasts well beyond the seasonal hot weather. Find out information about the Cool Cows program, paddocks and laneway management, shade structures, case studies, and more.

Major Initiatives

Focus Farms

Dairy Australia has established a network of Focus Farms to support farmer decision making.


DairyBase is a web-based tool that enables dairy farmers to measure and compare their farm business performance over time.

More Initiatives