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Warming unlikely to have major impact on animal agriculture in Northeast

Climate change will not significantly impair animal agriculture in the Northeast region of the United States, according to a multidisciplinary team of researchers, who point out there are many variables in the future scenario they envision. Although a projected increase in hot days will cause more heat stress in dairy cows and economic challenges for the equine industry, some animal agricultural endeavors in the Northeast may actually benefit from warming, predicted the team’s lead researcher. Warmer conditions could result in poultry producers incurring lower energy costs for heating chicken housing fall through spring. Researchers also suggest a warmer, wetter environment could boost the ability of beef cattle producers to grow and provide forage for their animals. However, climate change is expected to have an adverse economic impact on the equine industry in the region by requiring the building of shelters for cooling horses and heat-abatement measures at equine events.

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