Poultry flocks, livestock, crops and workers are currently struggling through the hottest days of the Mississippi summer and yesterday saw temperatures top 100F (38C).

In poultry units, the damage from heat stress can be seen in only a matter of minutes.

According to poultry specialist, Craig Coufal, heat becomes an issue every summer, even though extremely hot days are not uncommon at this time of the year.

“Modern broiler facilities are environmentally controlled with evaporative cooling pads and fans to help keep the birds cooler,” said Mr Coufal.

However, he added: “If something does break down, it is a matter of minutes before the impact is felt.”

But its not just birds seeing the effects, risk management specialist, Ted Gordon, said there are more workers’ compensation claims for heat illness in agricultural workers than any other occupation.