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Agricultural News

Back Home at Her Alma Mater- Megan Rolf Discusses Research on Water Utilization in Cattle

Fri, 01 Jul 2016 04:30:50 CDT

Back Home at Her Alma Mater- Megan Rolf Discusses Research on Water Utilization in Cattle

In areas of the country where water is scarce, there can be competition between human, wildlife, livestock and other agricultural uses. Dr. Megan Rolf, animal science professor at Kansas State University, says having more information on how much water cattle actually consume could help contribute to conservation efforts.

Rolf worked in the Oklahoma State University Animal Science Department for four years before making the move back to her alma mater this year. Before leaving OSU, she began working on a project focused on quantifying variation in water intake on a large scale and determining whether its a heritable trait in beef cattle that can be selected for. Rolf says water intake variation is heritable in laboratory species like mice, and she thinks it’s likely the same for beef cattle.

One of the goals of Rolf’s research is to identify the most water efficient animals.

“There is a lot of variation in water intake, and you have some animals in instances that will drink twice as much as another animal who’s eating about the same amount of feed,” she says.

Rolf says there are also water efficiency differences among the various breeds of cattle.

“Typically those breeds of Brahman descent that we think of as typically adapted to harsher environmental conditions tend to drink less water,” she says.

Listen to Rolf talk more about water efficiency in cattle during today's Beef Buzz.

The Beef Buzz is a regular feature heard on radio stations around the region on the Radio Oklahoma Network and is a regular audio feature found on this website as well. Click on the LISTEN BAR below for today's show and check out our archives for older Beef Buzz shows covering the gamut of the beef cattle industry today.


Ron Hays Beef Buzzes with Dr. Megan Rolf about her work on water utilization by cattle
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