Parts of Brazil experience similar hot weather conditions to Florida’s and thus ranchers there face similar problems with effects of heat stress on cattle. Dr. Cassio Cassal Brauner, an animal science professor in Brazil, currently spending a year in Ona working with Dr. Philipe Moriel as an exchange visitor, research scholar, was our guest presenter for the September Ona Highlight. He shared his insights on the Brazilian cattle industry, its challenges, and his and others work there on heat stress.
Regarding challenges, Dr. Brauner explains how heat stress affects cattle in the various regions of Brazil and its impact on reproduction. Although most cattle in Brazil are Bos indicus breeds (Nelore) or crosses, which are supposed to be more resistant to heat, temperatures in Brazil’s typical late spring / summer breeding season can cause problems.
Therefore, they have proposed several questions about heat stress in Brazil:
- Is it a real problem in the Brazilian beef cattle industry?
- Can we modulate some animals’ responses?
- Can we improve reproductive performance during these hot months?
They have done a series of trials in different locations in Brazil using the amino acid methionine as a supplement trying to reduce the negative impact of heat stress during breeding season. Thus far their results have been interesting, with most related to body temperature reduction and some showing positive impacts on follicular development, which could drive better conception rates. But data is still being reviewed, and future experiments are being planned to get a better understanding of heat stress in Brazil.
Click here to watch Dr. Brauner’s full presentation on YouTube which was broadcast live on September 12, 2023 from the UF/IFAS Range Cattle Research and Education Center in Ona, Florida:
Dr. Brauner is an associate professor at the Federal University of Pelotas in Brazil. If you have questions, you can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.