Animals

Climate change may affect animal agriculture in a variety of ways. These include the ability to produce feed-grain, the quality of pastures and forage crop production, animal health, growth, and reproduction, and disease and pest distributions.

Outside of their ideal temperature range, animals need to conserve or shed heat to maintain productive. Optimum animal core body temperature is often maintained within a 2°C to 3°C range. For many species, deviations of core body temperature in excess of 2°C to 3°C cause disruptions of performance, production, and fertility that limit an animal’s ability to produce meat, milk, or eggs. Deviations of 5°C to 7°C often result in death. These changes can slow animals’ growth and reduce reproductive rates, which can increase costs for animal producers and consumers. Because of these impacts, changes in temperature associated with climate change may have an effect on the productivity of animal agriculture.

Continue to the full text Animal Agriculture in a Changing Climate or browse related content:

The USDA Northern Plains Climate Hub (NPCH) contributed, as coauthors, to three articles in as special issue of the journal of Climatic Change on the "Vulnerability Assessment of US Agriculture and Forests developed by the USDA Climate Hubs" (January 2018, Volume 146, Issue…

Capstone students are helping us hear the stories of farmers who are adapting to climate change The Public Communication Capstone is a service-learning course at the University of Vermont (UVM). The USDA Northeast Climate Hub partnered with a team of Capstone students in Spring…

In 2015, the Southwest and California Climate Hubs published a report describing the potential vulnerability of crops, forests and animal agriculture to climate-driven environmental changes. The exposure of specific sectors of the agricultural and forestry industries varies…

Research at dairy farms in Vermont shows how management practices can affect water quality, economics, and greenhouse gas emissions. Agriculture is a common land use for the well-drained and productive soils of Vermont’s Winooski floodplain. Intense rain and flooding events are…

Sensitivities A. More wildfire and insect outbreaks will increase loss of late-successional forest habitat and connectivity. B. Loss of habitat structure and spatial heterogeneity will increase species vulnerability to changing climate. C. Higher temperature and increased…

Sustainable Agriculture and Research for Understanding, or SARE, has released the following resource: Cultivating Climate Resilience on Farms and Ranches. This document outlines the new challenges that changing weather patterns pose in agriculture throughout the United…

The following content is from a publication from the Forest Service Office of Sustainability and Climate, the full content can be viewed/downloaded in PDF Drought Effects Droughts can result in reduced growth rates, defoliation, and increased stress on vegetation, with…

A project designed to build a virtual consortium of Masters and Doctoral students working on climate adaptation in agriculture and forestry. Nominated by a university partner within the USDA Northeast Climate Hub network, GradCAP scholars work with Climate Hub leadership,…

How does the changing climate impact dairy operations, and what can dairy farmers do to adapt?  Increased heat stress in dairy livestock can reduce feed intake, milk production, and livestock fertility. For a Southern Pennsylvania farm, average annual losses in milk production…