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Anna Hessle

Anna Hessle


I have a master in animal science, and I am an associate professor in nutrition in beef production. Since 1999 I am employed at SLU in Skara.

Beside researching, I am the coordinator of Götala Beef and Lamb Research Centre, SLU's experimental facilities for beef and lamb production. The task implies that I am the contact person when researchers want to conduct an experiment on the farm. The plant manager Jonas Dahl, and I thereby together coordinate the practical logistics at the farm. I am also the head of our section, the Section of Production Systems at the Dept. of Animal Environment and Health.

In leisure hours, I spend my time with my family, sheepdogs and farm.


My research mainly concerns different aspects of the nutrition and feeding of cattle with special focus on beef production. I appreciate intradisciplinary research with an applicable approach. During my period as a PhD student and for a following study, the focus was on how to rear growing cattle on semi-natural grasslands and combine production of high-quality carcasses with proper management of the grasslands to maintain biodiversity. Both within the dissertation and afterwards I have studied grazing behaviour and the ecology of the grasslands.

Later, I have been working in various projects were I have been responsible for the nutritional and performance aspects of growing cattle, not specified for grazing systems but also for indoor systems. Sometimes animal nutrition has been the main focus of the projects, but sometimes meat science, economy, animal welfare or parasitology.

Cooperation projects are regulary undertaken. At present, I am in charge of a common research project on beef and lamb production with Västra Götalandsregionen, Hushållningssällskapet Sjuhärad and SLU and an innovation project with industrial partners dealing with surveillance system for grazing cattle and sheep based on digital techniques.

Research networks includes national and international universities and institutes, industrial partners, authorities, non-governmental organizations.

My Orcid-address is


At present, I am the main supervisor of PhD student Kristina Holmström, studying economy in pasture-based beef production, and assisting supervisor of Niclas Högberg, working with remote sense techniques for animal welfare assessments in grazing cattle and sheep. Until 2019 I was main supervisor of PhD Mikaela Jardstedt, who worked with beef cow feeding, and assisting supervisor of PhD Morten Tofastrud, studying ecology of grazing cattle in forests. I regularly supervise master and bachelor thesis and give lectures, mostly at SLU and mainly in animal nutrition focused on beef production.

Selected publications

  • Eriksson, S., Ask-Gullstrand, P., Fikse, W. F., Jonsson, E., Eriksson, J-Å., Stålhammar, H., Wallenbeck, A., Hessle, A. 2020. Different beef breed sires used for crossbreeding with Swedish dairy cows – effects on calving performance and carcass traits. Livestock Science 232, 8 pp.
  • Kumm, K-I., Hessle, A. 2020. Economic comparison between pasture-based beef production and afforestation of abandoned land in Swedish forest districts. Land 9, 42, doi:10.3390/land9020042.
  • Tofastrud, M., Hessle, A., Rekdal, Y., Zimmermann, B. 2020. Weight gain of free-ranging beef cattle grazing in the boreal forest of south-eastern Norway. Livestock Science, in press.
  • Hessle, A., Therkildsen, M., Segerkvist, K. 2019. Beef production systems with steers of dairy and dairy x beef breed based on forage and semi-natural pastures. Animals 9, 1064.
  • Högberg, N., Lidfors, L., Hessle, A., Arvidsson Segerkvist, K., Herlin, A., Höglund, J. 2019. Effects of nematode parasitism on activity patterns in first-season grazing cattle. Veterinary Parasitology,
  • Holmström, K., Hessle, A., Andersson, H., Kumm, K-I. 2018. Merging small scattered pastures into large pasture-forest mosaics can improve profitability in Swedish sucker-based beef production. Land 7, 58.
  • Höglund, J., Hessle, A., Zaralis, K., Arvidsson-Segerkvist, K., Athanasiadou, S. 2018. Weight gain and resestance to gastrointestinal nematode infections in two genetically diverse groups of cattle. Veterinary Parasitology 249, 88-91.
  • Jardstedt, M., Hessle, A., Nørgaard, P., Frendberg, L., Nadeau, E.2018. Intake and feed utilization in two breeds of pregnant beef cows fed forages with high fiber concentrations. Journal of Animal Science 96:8, 3398–3411.
  • Hessle, A., Bertilsson, J., Stenberg, B., Kumm, K-I., Sonesson, U. 2017. Combining environmentally and economically sustainable dairy and beef production in Sweden. Agricultural Systems 156, 105-114.
  • Jardstedt, M., Hessle, A., Nørgaard, P., Richardt, W., Nadeau, E. 2017. Feed intake and urinary excretion of nitrogen and purine derivatives in pregnant suckler cows fed alternative roughage-based diets. Livestock Science 202, 82-88.
  • Patel, M., Sonesson, U., Hessle, A. 2017. Upgrading plant amino acids through cattle to improve the nutritional value for humans – effects of different production systems. Animal 11:3, 519-528.
  • Johansson, B., Hessle, A., Kumm, K-I. 2016. Using clover/grass silage as a protein feed for dairy bull calves. Organic Agriculture 6, 57-63.
  • Hessle, A., Dahlström, F., Bele, B., Norderhaug, A., Söderström, M. 2015. Effects of breed on foraging sites and diets in dairy cows on mountain pasture. International Journal of Biodiversity Science, Ecosystem Services & Management, 10, 334-342.
  • Ahnström M. L., Hessle, A., Johansson, L., Hunt, M. C., Lundström, K. 2012. Influence of slaughter age and carcass suspension on meat quality in Angus heifers. Animal 6:9, 1554-1562.
  • Hessle, A., Dahlström, F., Wallin, K. 2011. Alternative production systems for male Charolais cross-bred cattle using semi-natural grasslands. Acta Agriculturæ Scandinavica, Section A - Animal Science 61, 21-33.
  • Hessle, A., Kumm, K-I. 2011. Use of beef steers for profitable management of biologically valuable semi-natural pastures in Sweden. Journal for Nature Conservation 19:3, 131-136.


Researcher at the Department of Animal Environment and Health; Division of Production Systems
Telephone: +4651167143
Postal address:
Institutionen för husdjurens miljö och hälsa
Box 234
532 23 Skara
Visiting address: Gråbrödragatan 19, Skara