University of Florida

Dr. Luiz Ferraretto

Assistant Professor, Livestock Nutrition

Research Summary

Dr. Ferraretto’s research program aims basic and applied dairy nutrition with emphasis on: carbohydrates utilization by lactating cows, improving forage quality and utilization, use of alternative feed ingredients, use of feed additives, and the development of laboratory and on-farm techniques to improve forage and feed analysis.
Although research on nutrients such as fiber and protein that could be used to update industry-relevant models of nutrient use in dairy cattle is available, the same cannot be said about starch and sugars. Furthermore, research evaluating the interaction between macronutrients is scarce and those interactions are not accounted for in models used to formulate dairy cattle diets. One of Dr. Ferraretto’s career goals is to further understand these interactions and generate data that could be later incorporated into models and benefit nutritionists and dairy farmers.
Recent increases in corn and soybean meal prices have generated much interest by dairy farmers and their nutritionists to find alternatives for these ingredients. However, to understand the impact of replacing dietary ingredients demands continual research trials. Thus, to evaluate alternative feed ingredients and optimize the utilization of corn grain in dairy cattle diets through increases in starch digestibility is an important topic studied in his lab. Testing commercial and experimental feed additives to improve lactation performance and/or prevent metabolic disorders, and to make possible the replacement of corn and soybean meal is another research area of interest.
Whole-plant corn silage is a main feed ingredient in dairy cattle diets worldwide and the continuous improvement in starch and fiber digestibility through varied practices is essential. Dr. Ferraretto’s goal is to continuously enhance corn silage quality and utilization by dairy cows by aiming on all areas related to corn silage production, including: harvesting and processing methods, hybrids, storage length, inoculants, additives and others. Furthermore, he aims to contribute with the evaluation of the replacement of corn silage with alternative forages to benefit producers willing to use other crops as forage source (i.e. sorghum, millet).
Most of Dr. Ferraretto’s research goals include the improvement in nutrient utilization of feed ingredients but methods to evaluate these benefits on-farm or in laboratories may not be accurate or even exist. Thus, research on the development of techniques to improve forage and feed analysis and provide benefits to farmers, the feed industry, and the dairy and the industry as whole is another important component of his research laboratory.


2012-2015; Ph.D. (Dairy Science), University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, WI.

2010-2011; M.S. (Dairy Science), University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, WI.

2004-2008; B.S. (Animal Science); College of Veterinary Medicine and Animal Science (FMVZ), São Paulo State University (UNESP), Botucatu, SP, Brazil.

Academic Positions Since Final Degree:

2016-Present; Assistant Professor of Livestock Nutrition, Department of Animal Sciences, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL
2015-2016; Post-doctoral Fellowship, The William H. Miner Agricultural Research Institute, Chazy, NY

Professional Memberships

American Dairy Science Association (2010 - present)
American Society of Animal Science (2012 - present)
American Registry of Professional Animal Scientists (2013 - present)

Honors, Recognitions, and Outstanding Achievements

Dairy Young Scholar Award, Midwest Section of American Dairy Science Association, March 16th, 2015, Des Moines, IA.

3rd Place, Graduate Student Poster Contest (MS Division), American Dairy Science Association Annual Meeting, July 17th, 2012, Phoenix, AZ.



Luiz Ferraretto, Ph.D., PAS

PO Box 110910
Gainesville, FL 32611

2250 Shealy Dr.
Gainesville, FL 32611