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Q&AZ: How do Arizona's cattle survive such hot summer weather?

Q&AZ is supported in part by Abrazo Health

Earlier this month, more than 2,000 cattle died of heat-related stress in southwest Kansas, when temperatures reached triple digits and humidity was relatively low.

Through KJZZ's Q&AZ project, a listener asked: How have cattle in Arizona survived the state’s intense summers?

Veterinarians in Kansas partially blamed a quick jump in temperature, from 79 degrees one day to over 100 the next, for the deaths.

Arizona Cattle Grower’s Association President Mike Gannuscio says Arizona ranchers have lost cows to heat, but says one of Arizona’s "Five C’s" has just acclimated to the conditions.

“They'll go find a spot under a mesquite tree or something and cool off during the day, if there is one. But for the most part, they're just acclimated to it. I can look out my front yard right now and see 85, 90 head of cattle just laying there basking in the sun,” said Gannuscio.

Gannuscio says some dairy farms in the state have built facilities with fans to keep their cattle cool, but most cows in the desert have learned to live with the heat.

Vaughan Jones is the weekend reporter for KJZZ, and a graduate of ASU’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communications. He graduated with a bachelor’s degree in sports journalism, with a minor in music. As a Phoenix native, Jones’s dream is to serve his community by covering important stories in the metropolitan area.He spent two years as music director at Blaze Radio, ASU’s student-run radio station. His passion for radio stems from joining Blaze his freshman year as a DJ.When he is not working, Jones can be found writing music with his band, playing video games with his friends, or watching his favorite Phoenix-area sports teams.