As global temperatures continue to rise and populations and food needs grow, ranchers struggle to produce cattle more efficiently and ethically. Some researchers at the University of Florida are working to improve cattle’s ability to withstand hot summer temperatures by targeting their genetic code. This shows promise to improve overall cattle production with selective breeding, making it easier to produce a cow with the perfect traits for maximum efficiency. Learn about the research in today’s blog, and visit our website for more upcoming information on the industry

How does it work? Raluca Mateescu, a researcher at the University of Florida Institute of Agricultural and Food Sciences, is taking a look at cows’ genetic code. She’s looking to isolate the genes that help cows withstand high heat and humidity. Her work is important to ranching in Florida but will prove useful to farmers across the country who will have herds that also need to withstand warmer temperatures. If the cattle are better able to tolerate heat, they’ll be more efficient in reproduction. 

Why look at different breeds? Each breed of cow has its own desirable qualities and traits that breeders would like to preserve. While one might be more tolerable to heat, others might show extremely hardy traits or produce the best-tasting beef. To learn more about the cows at Dark Hammock Legacy Ranch and what we do here, visit our history page

What is being researched? Mateescu says Florida is the perfect place to perform this research since there are many breeds that live here. She’s able to include a variety of breeds in her study, from Brahman to Angus and mixtures of the two. A large amount of data is being gathered, including the results of genotyping 250,000 genetic markers and measuring sweating rates. 

The research is still being performed, but we can see a future with more efficient cattle production in higher temperatures. This helps ranchers better provide for our communities. To get your grass-fed beef, visit our website