This summer is gearing up to be one of the hottest on record. The negative effects of excessive heat can play a role in all facets of agriculture – from the health of animals to the growth of crops. Here are some important considerations relative to maintaining agricultural environments and mitigating heat concerns during the summer months.
Although horses and other animals have natural ways to keep themselves cool during the summer, there are preventative measures farmers and ranchers alike should utilize to make sure animals are thriving with the right temperature for optimal performance.
Just as humans can get overheated after a strenuous exercise regimen in the summer, horses are no different. There are a few different ways to cool a horse down to a safe temperature after a hard ride or workout. A horse’s internal body temperate can reach as high as 102 degrees Fahrenheit safely, but they are in danger when their internal temperature reaches 105 degrees. On a hot day, horse owners should give their horses plenty of water, remove any tack immediately following a ride, hose them down with cool water, walk them around in the shade, and make sure they have a cool area to take breaks during the summer heat. Portacool evaporative coolers offer the perfect solution to providing consistently cool breezes and carry away heat radiating from their skin. Many owners place our larger evaporative coolers like the Jetstream 250, 260, or 270 in the stable to provide a constant source of cool air. You could also use an evaporative cooler as spot cooling near key rest areas, like the water station.
The summer heat can put undue strain on farm animals at temperatures that are only slightly uncomfortable for humans but are severe for animals. Even at 80 degrees, animals should be monitored for heat exhaustion and provided with cooling. Heavy panting and an open mouth are sure signs of overheating for animals such as chickens, pigs, and sheep. Optimally, it is best to have a cooling system in place before the weather gets dangerously warm to mitigate any adverse side effects of the heat. Portacool evaporative coolers can keep a coop of chickens or a drove of pigs cool during a warm day. Shade, adequate water, and additional cooling are measures that not only prevent heat stress – keeping some animals, like chickens, cool can improve their productivity when it comes to egg production.
When growing crops, the ideal temperate environment is needed for optimal growth during the year. A greenhouse is a great way to keep plants warm during the cold months and cool during the brutal summer heat. Although during the summer, it can be a challenge to keep a greenhouse at the optimal temperature. There are a few signs to look for to determine if your plants are overheating. Check for wilting leaves, drooping flowers, and, although it is hard to see, closed plant pores. Plants close their pores to avoid losing water when they are overheating to minimize dehydration. One of the best ways to combat the heat is to give plants a steady flow of cool air and ventilation to move warm, stagnant air. While fixed evaporative cooling systems are certainly an option, portable evaporative coolers can be used as standalone solutions or an addition to existing cooling practices to combat the heat. Given the various sizes of Portacool portable coolers, there is a perfect size for any greenhouse to distribute cool air and keep plants growing strong.
Be sure to watch your animals AND plants for signs of heat stress as the mercury rises. Check out the full line up to determine which cooler is right for your agriculture needs. And, you could always add a Portacool to your back porch to enjoy during summer evenings once you experience the cooling power!