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Conference paper2023Peer reviewed

Exploring the impact of heat and season on dairy cow health and fertility - A mixed methods approach

Tamminen, Lena-Mari; Båge, Renee; Olmos Antillón, Gabriela


The biological cost of heat stress to cows is well known, yet the effect of summer heat waves on Swedish dairy herds remains unexplored. In this study, data collected monthly at cow and farm level between 2016-2019 as part of the Swedish milk and disease recording system were analysed. Seasonal trends, confirmed using generalised additive models, showed increased somatic cell counts (SCC) and reduced fertility measures during the summers. To understand variation between farms and farmer perceptions of the impact of season on udder health and fertility of Swedish dairy cows, in-depth interviews with 18 dairy farmers were undertaken. Farmers perceived and acted differently on problems related to SCC and fertility, suggesting that the lag between events and consequences affected farmer perception and actions. In addition, farms showing large deviations from the national average were observed, emphasising the need to consider each farm’s unique circumstances.

Published in

Title: Society for Veterinary Epidemiology and Preventive Medicine : Proceedings of a meeting held in Toulouse, France 22nd – 24th March 2023
ISBN: 978-0-948073-70-0
Publisher: Society for Veterinary Epidemiology and Preventive Medicine


Proceedings of the Society for Veterinary Epidemiology and Preventive Medicine, Tolouse, France, 22-24 March, 2023