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‘Cows suffer a lot from prolonged heat’- Record-breaking heatwave in Italy’s Lombardy plummets milk production by 10%

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« The summer of 2023 has earned its place in history as the hottest ever, scorching the entire planet. Lombardy and Milan, in particular, bore the brunt of this extreme heat, with August smashing records with an average daily temperature of 33 degrees Celsius.
Footage filmed in Lombardy on Tuesday shows a farm in action, tending to cows by feeding them fresh grass, milking them and keeping them cool with water and fans.
The persistent heatwave has severely impacted the agricultural sector, with the dairy industry taking a particularly heavy hit. Lombardy, which contributes to half of Italy’s milk production, is experiencing multiple challenges due to the high temperatures.
« The cows suffer a lot from the prolonged heat. Several consecutive days of heat are detrimental to them, » explained Alessandro Bonetti, a breeder.
« We have an alternating ventilation and misting system. First, the air is blown over the animals and afterwards shower of water wet the animal’s body, » he added.
Despite efforts to beat the heat, such as the installation of fans, vaporisers, and water showers in cowsheds, milk production in the region has plummeted by a staggering 10%. The consequences of this decline ripple through the production of quality cheese and dairy products.
« There has been a drop in production of 10-12% for the territory of Lombardy. If we consider that Lombardy produces 50% of all Italian milk these percentages are a lot in total production, » said Luigi Simonazzi, Coldiretti Economic Manager Milan-Lodi-Monza Brianza.
As Lombardy grapples with the repercussions of climate change, farmers and dairy producers are urgently seeking innovative solutions to protect their industry from the relentless heat. »

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