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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.


I am the main supervisor of the PhD student Mikaela Jardstedt, working with beef cow feeding, and Kristina Holmström, studying economy in pasture-based beef production, and assisting supervisor of Niclas Högberg and Morten Tofastrud. I also supervise master and bachelor thesis and give single lectures, mainly in animal nutrition focused on beef production.

Selected publications

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Höglund, J., Dahlström, F., Hessle, A. 2013. Weight gain-based targeted selective treatments (TST) of gastrointestinal nematodes in first-season grazing cattle. Veterinary Parasitology, 196, 358-365.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Höglund, J., Hessle, A., Zaralis, K., Arvidsson-Segerkvist, K., Athanasiadou, S. 2018. Differences in host performance and susceptibility to gastrointestinal nematode infections between purebred dairy and dairy x beef crossbred calves. Veterinary Parasitology 249, 88-91.
  • 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.
  • 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.

Researcher at the Department of Animal Environment and Health; Division of Production Systems
Telephone: 0511-67143
Postal address:
Inst för husdjurens miljö och hälsa, Box 234
532 23 Skara
Visiting address: Gråbrödragatan 19, Skara