As the dry heat and temperature index continue to rise, farmers in the valley find themselves needing to take extra care of themselves and their livestock. “The heat is definitely a factor when it comes to farming,”says Andrea Crain of DeKalb Farmers Coop.
ANIMALS CAN OVERHEAT JUST LIKE PEOPLE. “They need to keep fresh water and have a source of shelter and shade for those animals,” says Crain. It’s important for farmers to monitor their livestock during extremely hot weather conditions, especially chicken farmers.
“Chickens can die from heat stress within hours, so if the houses are not well ventilated or if they don’t have enough water,” explains Crain. “Enough fresh clean water to keep them hydrated, it can get really ugly really quickly.”
With agriculture being a huge part of so many people’s livelihoods, hot temperatures can greatly affect business. “You can have a chicken farmer that can lose a house full of chickens within hours and that is their pay check for that three months, that four months. So it’s very, very critical that they keep these animals alive and hydrated and healthy.”
Farmers must also take care of themselves. “It’s a grind and it’s a constant grind. They have to be out there from sun up to sun down out there. They have no choice,” says Crain.
Farmers are encouraged to drink plenty of water as well, wear sunscreen
and try to take breaks in shade as much as possible. Read more…