Skip to main content Accessibility help

Comparison of lactational responses of dairy cows in Georgia and Israel to heat load and photoperiod

  • Y. Aharoni (a1), O. Ravagnolo (a2) and I. Misztal (a2)


The seasonal effects of heat load and photoperiod on yield and composition of milk from primiparous cows in the course of lactation were studied using test day records from 8968 primiparous cows on 76 farms in Georgia, collected from 1990 through 1997. The effect of prepartum photoperiod on milk production in the subsequent lactation of these cows was also evaluated. These estimated seasonal effects were compared with those estimated for 4728 primiparous cows on 13 farms, and for 1538 multiparous cows on three farms during consecutive lactations in Israel from 1994 through 1996. During lactation, the day length had a positive effect on milk yield and negative effects on fat and protein concentrations in the milk, but the daily change in day length had positive effects on milk yield and fat concentration, and a smaller positive effect on protein concentration. The day length during the prepartum period had negative effects on milk yield and fat and protein concentrations. The heat load during lactation had negative effects on milk yield and fat and protein concentrations. Most of the effects were highly (P < 0·001) significant. There was a very good match between the results obtained for primiparous cows in Georgia and Israel, for the combined effects of heat load and photoperiod during lactation on milk yield and protein and fat concentrations. The match between primiparous and multiparous cows in Israel was better for milk yield and protein concentration than for fat concentration. The estimated effects of pre-partum photoperiod were higher for multiparous cows in Israel than for primiparous cows in either country.


Corresponding author


Hide All
Aharoni, Y., Brosh, A. and Ezra, E. 1999. Effects of heat load and photoperiod on milk yield and composition in three dairy herds in Israel. Animal Science 69: 3747.
Aharoni, Y., Brosh, A. and Ezra, E. 2000. Short communication: prepartum photoperiod effect on milk yield and composition in dairy cows. Journal of Dairy Science 83: 27792781.
Aharoni, Y., Brosh, A. and Holzer, Z. 1997. Photoperiodic effect on live-weight gain of bull calves. Animal Science 65: 165171.
Barash, H., Silanikove, N. and Weller, J. I. 1996. Effect of season of birth on milk, fat, and protein production of Israeli Holsteins. Journal of Dairy Science 79: 10161020.
Bilodeau, P. P., Petitclerc, D., St-Pierre, N., Pelletier, G. and St-Laurent, G. J. 1989. Effects of photoperiod and pairfeeding on lactation of cows fed corn or barley grain in total mixed rations. Journal of Dairy Science 72: 29993005.
Dahl, G. E., Buchanan, B. A. and Tucker, H. A. 2000. Photoperiodic effects on dairy cattle: a review. Journal of Dairy Science 83: 885893.
Dahl, G. E., Elsasser, T. H., Capuco, A. V., Erdman, R. E. and Peters, R. R. 1997. Effects of a long daily photoperiod on milk yield and circulating concentrations of insulin-like growth factor-I. Journal of Dairy Science 80: 27842789.
Dijkstra, M. and Bergström, P. L. 1989. [The effect of increased day length in winter on the growth of beef bulls.] Report no. B-337: 34. Instituut-voor-Veeteeltkundig -Onderzoek-Schoonoord.
Guertin, G., Lachance, B., Pelletier, G., St-Laurent, G.J, Roy, D. L. and Petitclerc, D. 1995. Effects of photoperiod and feeding whole maize, whole barley, or rolled barley on growth performance and diet digestibility in veal calves. Livestock Production Science 44: 2736.
Her, E., Wolfenson, D., Flemenbaum, I., Folman, Y., Kaim, M. and Berman, A. 1988. Thermal, productive, and reproductive responses of high yielding cows exposed to short-term cooling in summer. Journal of Dairy Science 71: 10851092.
Kashiwamura, F., Furumura, K., Iketaki, T., Shinde, Y., Aotani, H., Suda, T. and Sato, F. 1991. Relationship between photoperiod and seasonality of milk production in dairy cattle. Animal Feed Science and Technology 62: 11561158.
Lawes Agricultural Trust. 1995. Genstat 5 release 3·2. Rothamsted Experimental Station, Harpenden.
Miller, A. R. E., Erdman, R. A., Douglass, L. E. and Dahl, G. E. 2000. Effects of photoperiod manipulation during the dry period on dairy cows. Journal of Dairy Science 83: 962967.
Moody, E.G., Van Soest, P. J., McDowell, R. E. and Ford, G. L. 1968. Effects of high temperature and dietary fat on performance of lactating cows. Journal of Dairy Science 50: 19091916.
Mossberg, I. and Jönsson, H. 1996. The influence of day length and temperature on food intake and growth rate of bulls given concentrate or grass silage ad libitum in two housing systems. Animal Science 62: 233240.
Peters, R. R., Chapin, L. T., Emery, R. S. and Tucker, H. A. 1981. Milk yield, feed intake, prolactin, growth hormone and glucocorticoid response of cows to supplemented light. Journal of Dairy Science 64: 16711678.
Petitclerc, D., Vinet, C. M., Roy, G. and Lacasse, P. 1998. Prepartum photoperiod and melatonin feeding on milk production and prolactin concentrations of dairy heifers and cows. Journal of Dairy Science 81: (suppl. 1) 251. (abstr. ).
Phillips, C. J. C. and Schofield, S. A. 1989. The effect of supplementary light on the production and behaviour of dairy cows. Animal Production 48: 293303.
Piva, G., Navarotto, P., Repetti, S. and Fusconi, G. 1992. Effect of photoperiod on the performance of dairy cows. Atti della Societa Italiana di Buiatria 24: 114119.
Ravagnolo, O. and Misztal, I. 2000. Genetic component of heat stress in dairy cattle, parameter estimation. Journal of Dairy Science 83: 21262130.
Ravagnolo, O., Misztal, I. and Hoogenboom, G. 2000. Genetic component of heat stress in dairy cattle, development of heat index function. Journal of Dairy Science 83: 21202125.
Ryan, D. P., Boland, M. P., Kopel, E., Armstrong, D., Munyakazi, L., Godke, R. A. and Ingraham, R. H. 1992. Evaluating two different evaporative cooling management systems for dairy cows in a hot, dry climate. Journal of Dairy Science 75: 10521059.
Schillo, K. K., Hall, J. B. and Hileman, S. M. 1992. Effects of nutrition and season on the onset of puberty in the beef heifer. Journal of Animal Science 70: 39944005.
Stanisiewski, E. P., Mellenberger, R. W., Anderson, C. R. and Tucker, H. A. 1985. Effect of photoperiod on milk yield and milk fat in commercial dairy herds. Journal of Animal Science 68: 11341140.



Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed