Cornell Research Seeks to Better Understand, Offset Effects of Heat Stress on Dairy Cows | Business Wire

TEANECK, N.J.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Summer is right around the corner. For dairy cows, summer heat isn’t

just uncomfortable — it’s also detrimental to their immune system,

fertility and productivity. A team of Cornell University researchers,

led by Dr. Joseph McFadden, is conducting a project to learn more about

the ramifications of heat stress in order to help U.S. dairy producers

better mitigate it through nutritional solutions and other innovations.

The Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research (FFAR) asserts that

heat-stressed dairy cows cost the American dairy industry $1.5 billion

each year. The organisation recently awarded a grant to develop

innovative ways to reduce the impact of heat stress on dairy cows and

improve their ability to withstand extreme heat. The grant was funded in

part by Phibro Animal Health Corporation, AB Vista, Adisseo, Balchem

Corporation, Berg + Schmidt, Elanco and Vetagro S.p.A. The group

invested $736,000, which was matched by FFAR to fund the $1.47 million


“As a leader in research associated with the negative impact of heat

stress on dairy cow production, Phibro’s Research and Technical Team

looks forwards to working with Dr. McFadden and his team to develop

innovative ways to reduce the impact of heat stress on dairy herds,”

says Derek McLean, Ph.D., senior director, collaborative research,

Phibro Animal Health. “It’s collaboration like this that'll help U.S.

dairy producers continue to produce quality milk and dairy products

despite environmental variations.”

Overcoming Barriers

As principal investigator, McFadden will lead a team in exploring the

relationship among dairy cattle gut health, intestinal permeability,

liver health, immunity and milk production. In doing so, the team will

seek nutrition-based solutions to improve a dairy cow’s ability to

withstand heat stress.

McFadden received a B.S. degree with Distinction in Research from the

Department of Animal Science at Cornell University, along with an M.S.

degree in Dairy Science from the University of Illinois and a Ph.D. from

Virginia Tech. His most recent research efforts have challenged current

fatty acid and methyl donor feeding practices in dairy cattle. His work

has been made possible by state, federal and industry support, which he

says furthers his goal of helping dairy cows better adapt to different

forms of stress including extreme heat while maintaining health and milk

production — a timely goal, given the challenges facing the dairy

industry today.

“The resilience of agricultural production systems, like dairy, will

unequivocally determine whether food security can overcome climate

change and world population growth,” McFadden says. “The global demand

for dairy will certainly increase. Heat-stressed cows are

inefficient milk producers. We need to give producers the technologies

and strategies that they need in order to provide the world with

high-quality and nutrient-rich dairy products.”

About Phibro Animal Health Corporation

Phibro Animal Health Corporation is a diversified global developer,

manufacturer and marketer of a broad range of animal health and mineral

nutrition products for livestock, helping veterinarians and farmers

produce healthy, affordable food while using fewer natural resources.

For more information, visit

Bree DeVerger
Mobile: +1.217.592.6502
[email protected]