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Focus on Livestock

Livestock and Climate in the Midwest

 

Livestock of the Midwest

Livestock production in the Midwest is comprised of a mixture of different species ranging from hogs, beef cattle, milk cows, sheep, layers, broilers, turkeys, goats, and horses. There are other animals such as ducks and geese and game animals which add to the diversity of animal production systems.

 

Responding to Climate Change

Most of the animal production systems are in confined operations; however, there is a still an impact from a changing climate mainly due to the warmer temperatures. Animals have a narrow range of temperatures where they have optimal meat, milk, or egg production and when exposed to conditions outside of that range begin to reduce their productivity.

  • One of the goals of the Midwest Climate Hub is to work with livestock producers to help understand the potential impacts of warmer temperatures and temperature extremes on livestock production.

One aspect in animal production from climate which is overlooked is the potential effect from the changing climate on insect and disease populations which will also affect productivity. Compilation of these impacts is underway to determine what may change in the future.

 

Additional Resources

Animal Agriculture in a Changing Climate is a project supported by a grant from USDA and the National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA). The project aims to provide animal producers, extension specialists and other animal agriculture professionals with research and science-based information about the impacts of climate change on animal agriculture as mitigation strategies for adapting to and planning for climate change effects.