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From the sky to the cells: a multidimensional study of thermal comfort of animals raised on crop-livestock-forest integrated systems (CLFS)


In 2018 Brazil became the principal exporter of beef with an 11% growth in shipping and US$ 6.5 billion in revenues. However, as demand growths, the requirement for products of high quality, for ethical production and animal welfare also growths. Under stress, animals activate adaptative mechanisms which alter their physiology and behavior. In Brazil, thermal stress is a problem which reduces animal productivity, what is aggravated by the recent increase in heat loads and the scarcity of trees in the pastures. In this context, the use of pastures with trees, such as in crop-livestock-forest integrated systems (CLFS), has been indicated as an alternative for the development of production systems more friendly to animals raised in tropical climates. Brazil has two million hectares established with CLFS and has compromised to achieve five million hectares until 2030. Nonetheless, much technical information still lacks about these systems and the possible gains in animal performance to be achieved with their use. Considering all that, adopting a multidimensional approach, the proposal has the objective of determining the effects of afforestation on the microclimatic conditions of pastures as well as the possibility that these microclimatic alterations may induce positive modifications in physiological and behavioral aspects of the animals, which may improve their productivity. The project involves the use of innovative methodologies for automated data acquisition, inside the concept of Precision Livestock Farming, with the perspective of favoring the analysis of multimodal databanks and complex biological interpretations of body thermoregulation in beef cattle raised on CLFS. (AU)

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