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August 2020 Articles

Just Rambling August 2020 Issue:
Scripture To Live By: Psalm 37:1-4,9
Spiritual Corner: Humility Unmasked
Livestock and Forage Interactions
Guidance Regarding How to Handle Unsolicited Seed Materials
• Heat Stress Impacts All Aspects of Cattle Reproduction
Soil Health in Forage Systems
Plants, the essentials of life
Feral Swine Population
LDWF Update
AgCenter entomologist studies physiological pathways’ role in honeybee health,
A problem is a chance for you to do your best.—Duke Ellington
Choosing the right warm-season forage for deer
Use summer to plan your fall garden
Strain: USMCA major victory for agriculture
Invasive Species Impacting Crops
Additional Coronavirus Relief Critical to Farm Businesses
USDA Report on Beef Prices First Step Toward Fairer Markets
AgCenter presents virtual field day from Dean Lee
Beef Brunch Educational Series
Beginning farmer training program begins Oct. 1 in Baton Rouge
LSU AgCenter Sweet Potato Field Day
Blueberry Pound Cake

(24 articles found)

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Heat Stress Impacts All Aspects of Cattle Reproduction

Heat Stress Impacts All Aspects of Cattle Reproduction A. Edwards – LSU AgCenter When summer begins to approach, farmers and ranchers begin to prepare for extreme heat and the humidity that often accompanies it. For cattle producers, this often includes checking shade structures and water sources, as well as making a grazing plan for the warm-season pastures. When high temperatures set in for days (or weeks) at a time, the internal body temperature of livestock can also increase, potentially resulting in decreased performance. Stressors, including heat, stimulate a release of corticotropin-releasing hormone (CRH) then adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) from the brain. In turn, ACTH triggers production of catecholamines and glucocorticoids to ease the effects of stress. However, as these work to alleviate stress, the brain also decreases the release of reproductive hormones (gonadotropin releasing hormone, follicle stimulating hormone and luteinizing hormone). Consequently, this compounds to reduce reproductive function in both males and females. When heat stress occurs during the breeding season, pregnancy rates can decline as much as 25-50%. Similarly, pregnancy losses may increase 25% or more through the first trimester. This is largely due to decreased production of reproductive hormones from the brain and reproductive tract. Comparably, increased environmental temperatures impact quality of sperm, despite multiple thermoregulatory mechanisms working to cool testes for sperm production. Ultimately, compromised embryo quality results in poor survival rates when fertilization does take place. Moreover, decreased libido is also common during times of heat stress. Cows subjected to heat stress in mid- to late gestation may experience decreased blood flow to the uterus and placenta. Decreased blood flow leads to a reduction in nutrients being carried to the developing calf. While loss of pregnancy may not occur, lower birth weights are possible if stress is prolonged. If heat stress is experienced post-calving, an extended post-partum interval may occur. Decreased milk yields are also common in times of excessive heat stress. For more information, please feel free to contact me at akedwards@agcenter.lsu.edu or 512-818-5476.


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