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:

Increasing humidity and precipitation and rising extreme temperatures are having negative impacts across the Midwest. Integrating climate adaptation into planning processes can help build adaptive capacity to increase climate resilience. The U.S. Climate Resiliency Toolkit for…

Keeping cows cool in the summertime is a major concern for dairy farmers, even in the relatively moderate climate of the Northeast. During humid heatwaves, temperature and humidity levels can rise above a cow’s comfort zone, leading to heat stress. When heat stress occurs, dairy…

One third of all of our food comes from pollinated crops.  Because increasing temperatures impact both plants and the pollinators they rely on, climate change poses a dual threat to crop production. Shifts in dates when plants flower or pollinators are present could…

Warmer temperatures and longer growing seasons offer Pennsylvania dairy farmers the ability to plant more than one crop in a season. But increasing frequency of extreme rainfall presents new challenges. Double cropping with winter annuals can increase forage production and…

  Project Area R&G Miller & Sons Inc. operates an organic dairy in the Southern Wisconsin and Northern Illinois Drift Plain region. This area is characterized by gently sloping ground moraines, lake plains, out-wash plains, drumlin fields, end moraines, flood plains,…

As climate change continues to influence ecosystems around the world, wildlife species will be under increasing pressure to adapt. Wildlife managers face the growing challenge of helping wildlife populations and ecosystems respond to climate change. Partners in the Great Lakes…

Dibaginjigaadeg Anishinaabe Ezhitwaad - A Tribal Climate Adaptation Menu and resources.   Climate change has impacted and will continue to impact indigenous peoples, their lifeways and culture, and the natural world upon which they rely, in unpredictable and potentially…

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…