Beef Manauement Calendar 2
UF Researchers Declare Victorv in 25-Year Battle
Against Invasi\ e Mole Cricket Pests 2
Hog Wild in Floridal LF Experts Say Feral Pig
Problem Here to Stay 4
Three National Meetimns Slated on Beef Cattle
Reproductive Issues 6
World's First Live Cattle Diagnostic Test For BSE
De\ eloped In Canada 7
Animal Being Tested Might Have Ne\x Fonn of
AlIIF Soliciting Research Proposals 8
Prepared by Extension Specialists in
BeefCattle Management, Ona
BeefCattle Extension Specialist, Marianna
*: GR. Hansen
BeefCattle Production, Marianna
o EG Hembry, Professor
Department Chairman, Gainesville
Extension BeefCattle Specialist, Gainesville
o* T.A. Houser
Extension MeatSpecialist, Gainesville
o E.L. Johnson, Associate Professor
Extension Equine Specialist, Gainesville
T.T. Marshall, Professor
BeefCattle Management, Gainesville
: R.O. Myer, Professor
Animal Nutritionist, Marianna
W. Taylor, Coordinator
Youth Education/ .......... Gainesville
S.H. TenBroeck, Associate Professor
Extension Equine Specialist, Gainesville
T.A. Thrift, Assistant Professor
BeefCattle Nutrition, Gainesville
Dates to Remember
7-9 State 4-H Horse Show Tampa, FL
9 Meat Goat Training Course (Part 1 of 5) Quincy, FL
21 Santa Rosa County Farm Tour Milton, FL
23 2f1115 Rft'rring V\tcrinarian Appirciatiion Day -
25-29 State 4-H Congress Gainesville, FL
311 \Meat Goat Training Co(' e IPPart 2 ot' 5 Quinc,. FL
2-6 Southern Regional 4-H Horse ( hnlmpion'hips -
4 Extension Farm Field Day Jay, FL
6 Mlcal Gont Tniniiig Course IPirt 3 of 51 Quincy. FL
9-13 NCBA Mid Year Conference Denver, CO
13 North Floinda Bet'f& Foinge Group E\tension Agents-
Annual Hay Field Day Gaineuiville, FL
18 NFREC Beef Cattle/Forage Field Day Marianna, FL
27 Mleait Go.it Tr.ining Course IP.irl 5 of 51 QtIIIIL. FL
Shannon Devereaux, a junior in the University of Florida 's
Institute ofFood andAgricultural Sciences, gives a drink of
water to a thirsty quarter horse at UF s Horse Teaching Unit
in Gainesville Friday, June 17, 2005. The Coral Springs,
FL student, who plans a career in veterinary medicine, said
grooming and '..,rii,,i helps the horse become accustomed
to handling by people. (AP photo by Thomas Wright,
University of Florida/IFAS)
In This Issue...
The Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (IFAS) is an Equal Employment Opportunity Affirmatve Acton Employer authorized to provide research, educational information, and
other services only to individuals that functon with regard to race, color sex, age, handicap, or national origin. For information on obtaining other extension publicatons, contact your
county Cooperative Extension Service office.
0 Cut corn silage.
0 Control weeds in summer pastures.
0 Apply nitrogen to warm season pastures, if needed.
0 Check mineral feeder.
0 Check pastures for army worms and mole crickets,
and treat if necessary.
0 Wean calves and cull cow from herd.
0 Watch for evidence offootrot and treat.
0 Consider preconditioning calves before sale including
vaccination for shipping fever and IBR at least 3
weeks before sale.
0 Check dust bags.
0 Update market information and plans.
0 Revaccinate calves at weaning for blackleg.
0 Treat for liver flukes as close to August 15th as
possible, if they are in your area.
0 Cut hay.
0 Apply lime for fall and winter crops.
0 Harvest Bahiagrass seed.
0 Check mineral feeder.
0 Update market information and marketing plans.
0 Check for army worms, spittlebugs, and mole
crickets, and treat if necessary.
0 Check dust bags.
0 Wean calves and cull cow from herd.
0 Watch for evidence of abortions.
0 Observe animals regularly for signs of disease.
0 If cattle grubs were found on cattle last winter or
heel flies were observed in the pasture, treat for cattle
grubs this month.
0 Pregnancy test and cull open heifers from replacement
0 Cut hay.
0 Heavily graze pastures to be interplanted to cool
0 Check mineral feeder.
0 Check for mole crickets, spittlebugs, and
grassloopers, and treat if necessary.
0 Check dust bags.
0 Wean calves and cull cow herd if not already done.
Remove open, unsound, or poor producing cows.
R Train cowboys to observe normal and abnormal
behavior and signs of disease.
0 Be sure any replacement purchases are healthy and
have been calfhood vaccinated for brucellosis.
0 September or October is a good time to deworm
the cow herd if internal parasites are a problem.
0 When replacement heifers are weaned, give them
required vaccinations and teach them to eat from a
bunk then put them on a good nutrition program.
0 Determine bull replacement needs, develop selection
criteria, and start checking availability of quality
0 Review winter feed supply and feeding plans so that
needed adjustments can be made before supplies
tighten and prices rise.
_FLORIDA UF Researchers
IFAS EXTENSION Declare Victory in 25-
Year Battle Against
Invasive Mole Cricket Pests
After a quarter-century fight against three invasive
insects from South America, University of Florida
researchers are declaring victory against the pests that
caused $94 million in damage to turf and pastures each
The successful battle against mole crickets is a prime
example of how biological control agents can be used to
manage pests without conventional pesticides, said
Howard Frank, a professor of entomology at UF's
Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences.
He said the release of three beneficial organisms
- wasps, nematodes and flies imported from South
America that attack mole crickets has reduced mole
cricket populations in the Gainesville area by 95 percent,
and the control is spreading throughout Florida.
"Reductions increased during the past 12 years as
populations of the introduced natural enemies increased
and began to have a spectacular effect on the mole cricket
pests," said Frank, who has coordinated the mole cricket
research program since 1985.
Frank said four species of mole crickets are found
in Florida: northern, short-winged, southern and tawny.
The northern mole cricket, which is indigenous to
the state, is not closely related to the three South
American invaders, and it is not troublesome because
native wasp and nematode species in Florida keep it
under control. Unfortunately, the three invasive mole
cricket species are not affected by native wasps and
nematodes in Florida, he said.
Accidentally introduced to the southeastern United
States more than 75 years ago, the pest mole crickets
first became a problem for Florida vegetable growers
and were poorly controlled with arsenic baits. The
invasive pests became a nuisance again in the 1970s
when the Environmental Protection Agency banned
chlordane and similar pesticides.
"When the three invasive mole crickets left their
natural enemies behind, there was nothing to stop their
population boom here," Frank said. "These pest mole
crickets, which tunnel into the ground and feed on plant
roots, are now found from North Carolina to Texas,
and they continue to spread north and west."
Of the three, the tawny mole cricket is the most
destructive, eating grass roots in Florida pastures and
turf as well as the roots oftomatoes, cabbages, eggplants
and bell pepper seedlings, Frank said.
He said the pest crickets have a real affinity for
bahiagrass, Florida's most common pasture grass, which
covers more than 2.5 million of the state's 35 million
acres. Like the pest crickets, bahiagrass was imported
from South America, and it provides the insects with an
almost endless food source. They also eat Bermudagrass
on Florida golf courses.
"Early research on the three invasive pests showed
how mole crickets, like moles, burrow into soil around
plant roots and prevent them from absorbing water,"
Frank said. "We also realized that permanent control of
these pests could only be achieved with a classical
biological control program, and we began looking for
natural enemies in SouthAmerica."
Howard Frank, left, and Tom Walker, professors of entomology
at the University ofFlorida s Institute ofFood andAgricultural
Sciences, check a trap used to monitor mole cricket
populations near Gainesville. Frank said the mole cricket
catches started to fall about three years after the beneficial
biological control agents were released. By the early 2000s,
the numbers of mole cricket pests were 95 percent lower than
they were in the 1980s. (UF/IFAS photo by Marisol Amador)
A Beneficial Wasp
In Brazil, researchers found a native wasp (Larra
bicolor) that attacks the pest mole crickets. After the
Brazilian wasp stings the pest mole cricket and lays an
egg, the wasp grub (larva) begins feeding on the mole
cricket and kills it within two weeks.
In 1981-1983, the Brazilian wasp was released at
several South Florida locations, but it did not thrive and
failed to provide effective control of the pest mole
Undaunted, UF researchers found a tougher strain
of the same wasp in the higher elevations of Bolivia,
releasing it in the Gainesville area during 1988 and 1989.
It attacks all three pest mole cricket species, but does
not threaten Florida's native northern mole cricket.
"By late 1993, it was evident that the Bolivian strain
of the wasp had become established," Frank said. "Four
years later, the population had spread at least 20 miles
east and west of Gainesville. By 2002, it seems to have
spread 135 miles northwest and perhaps as far south. In
time, it is likely to occupy all of Florida."
A Beneficial Nematode
Next stop in the battle against the mole cricket
invasion was Uruguay where a parasitic nematode a
tiny, worm-like animal was found and brought to
Florida for mass-rearing and release.
"While other mole cricket natural enemies live
above ground, nematodes dwell in the soil where mole
crickets do most of their damage that's the real
advantage of this parasite," said Grover Smart, a
professor of nematology who brought the nematode to
Florida in 1985. "The nematode does not affect Florida's
native northern mole crickets, but it does attack all three
invasive mole cricket pests."
Once the parasitic nematode (Steinernema
scapterisci) enters the body of a mole cricket to mature
and reproduce, it kills the cricket within 48 hours, Smart
said. Young nematodes emerge from the dead cricket
about a week later to seek new hosts. Once infected,
mole crickets can spread the nematode to new areas by
flying, crawling or burrowing.
Between 1989 and 1992, scientists working on
the mole cricket research program released more than
16 billion nematodes in 21 Florida counties. "We just
don't see a lot of mole crickets anymore in areas where
we have released this parasite," Smart said.
UF holds three patents on the organism, which is
now available commercially as a biopesticide marketed
as Nematac-S by MicroBio, a biotech firm owned by
Becker Underwood Inc. in Ames, Iowa.
"If the nematode has not spread to your land, it
will eventually get there," Frank said. "If you want to
speed up its arrival, apply the biopesticide. It will kill a
large portion of your pest mole crickets year after year."
Beneficial wasp ,, n.' 'i:ni a tawny mole cricket. (Uf
photo by Lyle Buss)
A Beneficial Fly
The third effective biocontrol is beneficial fly from
Brazil (Ormia depleta) that is attracted to two species
of the pest mole crickets by the sounds they make.
"Like little guided missiles, the flies home in on
singing crickets and lay their larvae on or near the singer,"
Frank said. "The larvae burrow into the crickets and
feed, killing the host within a week."
He said the mole cricket research program found
and reared the Brazilian fly, releasing a few hundred flies
in Gainesville and Bradenton in 1988. Between 1989
and 1992, researchers released more than 10,000 flies
across the state in cooperation with golf courses and the
Florida TurfGrass Association. By 1994, the fly had
spread to 38 of Florida's 67 counties, but the tropical
insect does not seem to survive permanently north of the
"In counties where the fly is established, surveys
show significantly less damage by pest mole crickets on
golf courses," Frank said.
Phone: (352) 392-1901, Ext. 128
By: Chuck Woods (352) 392-1773,
Release June 15, 2005
i %jirJ1N Hog Wild in Florida!
IFAS EXTENSION UF Experts Say Feral
Pig Problem Here to
Florida's population boom now includes some
500,000 wild hogs whose piggish habits are causing
problems for farmers, residents and health officials as
well as native flora and fauna.
"Nothing personal, but the only state with more
wild hogs than Florida is Texas," said Bill Giuliano, an
assistant professor of wildlife ecology at the University
ofFlorida's Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences.
Wild or feral hogs can now be found in every Florida
county and in at least 35 states including 1 to 2 million
hogs in the Southeast. Nationwide, their population totals
about 3 million.
"Because they are prolific breeders, there is no way
to completely eradicate them," Giuliano said. "Even with
intensive hunting pressure, you're not going to get rid of
He said the problem can be traced to 1539 when
Hemando DeSoto brought hogs into southwest Florida,
and some of them found freedom in the New World.
Nearly 500 years later, there are some 3 million
descendants of these "pioneer pigs" across the nation.
In Florida, some of the highest densities of feral
hogs can be found north and west of Lake Okeechobee
where large forested tracts, dense vegetation, abundant
water and limited public access provide an ideal
environment for the pigs. Hog numbers tend to be lower
in areas with intensive agriculture or urban development.
"Although they are a popular target for hunters,
wild hogs are coming into conflict with people and
wildlife," Giuliano said. "Farmers are not happy when
feral hogs root up their fields, and health officials say the
animals carry diseases that could affect wildlife, livestock
Giuliano, who conducts research on the animals
with George Tanner, a professor in the UF wildlife
ecology and conservation department, said hogs can also
host many diseases and parasites, including hog cholera,
psuedorabies, brucellosis, tuberculosis, salmonellosis,
anthrax, ticks, fleas, lice and various flukes and worms.
"Wild hogs, which usually weigh 100 to 200
pounds, are dangerous," Giuliano said. "Although they
prefer to run and escape danger, they can be aggressive
when they're injured or cornered. They can move with
great speed and can cause serious injury with theirtusks."
Acorns are their favorite food, but they will eat
almost anything, including dead animals, and it seems
like they're always looking for opportunities, he said.
When natural foods are scarce or inaccessible, hogs will
forage on almost any agricultural crop and livestock feed.
They will also feed on tree seeds and seedlings, causing
significant damage in forests, groves and plantations. In
Florida and the Southeast, this may be a problem in
regenerating long-leaf pine forests.
In addition to the effects of consuming, knocking
down and trampling large amounts of native vegetation
and crops, the rooting behavior of wild hogs causes
significant damage, Giuliano said. Rooting digging for
foods below the surface of the ground destabilizes
the soil surface, uprooting or weakening native
vegetation, damaging lawns and causing erosion. Their
wallowing behavior destroys small ponds and stream
banks, which may affect water quality. They also prey
upon ground- nesting wildlife, including sea turtles.
"Wild hogs compete for food with other game
animals such as deer, turkeys and squirrels, and they
may consume the nests and young of many reptiles,
ground-nesting birds and mammals," he said. "With their
fine sense of smell, wild hogs can find and consume young
domestic livestock, including poultry, lambs and goats.
Millions of dollars are spent each yearto prevent damage
Feral hogs resemble domestic hogs, but are usually leaner
with different behaviors to survive in the wild, according to
researchers with the University of Florida 's Institute of Food
andAgricultural Sciences. Wild hogs have an excellent
sense of smell and good hearing, but relatively poor vision.
They use variety of vocalizations, including an alarm grunt
given to sense an intruder that causes a light response by
the rest of the herd. (UF/IFAS photo byJ. Dunlap)
Tanner said it may be possible to limit further
population expansion by hunting, various trapping
methods and exclusion.
"Hunting is an important control method for wild
hogs because it provides recreational opportunities," he
said. "Baited hog traps may be more successful than
hunting, especially when the animals are nocturnally
active. The traps should be strong enough to contain
large hogs and have tall walls or a wire roof to prevent
them from escaping. And remember that hogs are
powerful animals that are easily excited when trapped."
Fencing is an effective but expensive control option
for a small area such as a garden, but hogs are intelligent
and resourceful animals that often find ways through many
types offences, Tanner said. Chain link fences buried at
least 12 inches under the ground with heavy supports
and posts, and various types of mesh or multi- stranded
electric fence provide the best results.
SOURCE: Bill Giuliano
Phone: (352) 846-0575
Phone: (352) 846-0570
UF/IFAS, Wildlife Ecology and
By: Chuck Woods (352) 392-1773,
Release June 2, 2005
Meetings Slated on
The North Central Region Bovine Reproduction
Task Force will oin forces with several other institutions
this fall to host intensive workshops on reproductive
strategies for beef cattle.
The workshops, "Applied Reproductive Strategies
in Beef Cattle," will be in three locations around the
country. Many topics will be repeated at each site, but
some presentations will be specific to the particular host
The meetings are October 27-28 in Reno, NV.;
November 1-2 in Lexington, KY; and November 12-
13 in College Station, TX. Each location will feature an
industry trade show.
"The excellent pregnancy rates possible with
today's synchronization systems and the increasing
opportunities to get paid for specific, known genetics
are making estrous synchronization and AI (artificial
insemination) even more valuable tools than they have
been in the past," said Sandy Johnson, reproductive
physiologist with Kansas State University Research and
Two previous meetings coordinated by the task
force (in 2002 in Manhattan, KS, and 2004 in North
Platte, NE) sparked the demand for similar events in
The upcoming workshops are designed to improve
understanding of the physiological processes of the
estrous cycle, the procedures currently available to
synchronize estrus and ovulation, and the proper
application of these systems. Sessions also will focus on
improving understanding of methods to assess male
fertility and of its effects on Al program success.
"They are for anyone interested in beef cattle
reproduction and estrous synchronization, including
producers, veterinarians, Al technicians and Extension
specialists," said Johnson, who is one of the workshop
Among others, each workshop's first-day topics
will include information on the physiological principles
underlying estrous synchronization, a detailed review of
current estrous synchronization systems, costs and
comparisons, nutrition and reproduction interactions, and
dealing with non-cycling females.
Day two sessions will include presentations on
breeding-soundness exams, sexed semen, industry
application of technology in male reproduction, embryo
transfer, reproductive tract scoring, and ultrasound for
early pregnancy diagnosis and fetal sexing.
Each workshop program will end with a panel of
veterinarians discussing the use of advanced reproductive
Interested persons can check the Web site
http://westcentral.unl.edu/beefrepro/, for links to all
For more information about the October 27-28
workshop in Reno, NV, they also can contact Ron Torell
at (775) 738-1721 firstname.lastname@example.org. The contact
person for the November 1-2 meeting in Lexington, KY,
is John Hall, (540) 231-9153 email@example.com,
and the November 12-13 workshop in College Station,
TX, is Gary Williams, (361) 358-6390 or
The North Central Region Bovine Reproduction
Task Force includes members at land grant universities
in Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri,
Nebraska, and South Dakota. It is coordinating the fall
workshop series with help from the Cooperative
Extension Services of Kentucky, Tennessee and Virginia;
the Texas A&M University System; and the Western
Beef Resource Committee, which includes members in
Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana,
Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah and Washington.
Mary Lou Peter
Phone: (785) 532-5806
Phone: (785) 462-6281
K-State Research & Extension'
105 Experiment Farm Road
PO Box 786
Colby, KS 67701
Release June 9, 2005
'K-State Research and Extension is a short name for
the Kansas State University Agricultural Experiment
Station and Cooperative Extension Service, a program
designed to generate and distribute useful knowledge
for the well-being of Kansans. Supported by county,
state, federal and private funds, the program has county
Extension offices, experiment fields, area Extension
offices and regional research centers statewide. Its
headquarters is on the K-State campus, Manhattan.
For BSE Developed In Canada
Vacci-TestT Corporation has announced that a
simple, reliable and economical diagnostic tool for the
detection in "live" cattle of infectious Brain Diseases
(BD), including Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy
(BSE), will soon be available for use on farms and
ranches in Canada and around the world.
Designed for the measurement of immunity and the
presence of infectious diseases in both humans and
animals, patented Vacci-TestTM allows for the precise
evaluation of the immune status very quickly through a
simple blood test. Vacci-TestT BD can determine the
presence of a protein marker which identifies brain
infections such as BSE in cattle.
"A single drop of blood will identify the presence
of Protein 14-3-3, the marker for brain infections,
including BSE," says Bill Hogan, President and CEO.
"This will facilitate affordable mass testing of live cattle
in the field with results readable in less than 30 minutes.
Furthermore, Vacci-TestTM platform can diagnose any
kind of bacteria-viruses based infectious diseases in
livestock and humans. To this end, we now have 6
additional Vacci-TestTM In Vitro diagnostic products
ready for commercialization," said Hogan.
"Vacci-TestT BD represents a significant scientific
and medical breakthrough as it has the in-field ability to
detect a marker in the blood that is present when an
animal or human has an infectious brain symptom, such
as BSE in cattle or new variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob
Disease in humans," says Dr. Jacques Mayet, co-
inventor, who has been working on the procedure
platform in Lyon, France since 1996. "The breakthrough
for our Vacci-TestM BD came when live BSE sera was
made available to us for testing by both the AFFSA of
France, and the Veterinary Laboratories Agency (VLA),
Weybridge, England that is managed by Danny
Matthews," said Mayet.
The Scientific Review of the last 2-years test results
has been continuously filed with the French Food Safety
Agency (AFSSA), the European Food Commission
(EFSA) in Brussels, and the VLA. The Canadian Food
Inspection Agency (CFIA), Health Canada and the
Alberta Government have also received updated test
results. The next step is to transfer all of the final results
to EFSA and CFIA. These Agencies will then follow
our protocols in order to confirm the internal lab results
for Validation. The EFSAin Brussels will then add the
test to their approved list. The Validation procedure will
allow the test to be used in the market place to guarantee
the safety of their cattle. Upon Validation, Vacci-Testn:
BD can then go to the market, which is expected this
"The implications for the livestock industry are
extensive. Soon producers will be able to certify that
their cattle are free of brain infections such as BSE. We
believe that Vacci-Test" BD will provide the required
assurance to allow cattle to be exported across any
border," says Hogan.
At present, BSE can only be detected "post-
mortem", in a laboratory procedure that takes much
longer to identify and is significantly more expensive than
the "pre-mortem" Vacci-TestT.
"We forecast that Vacci-TestTM BD, at a cost of
approximately $20 per animal, will be available in North
America for purchase by the fall of 2005," says Hogan.
For more information contact: William J. Hogan or
The Honourable Charlie Mayer or visit http://www.vacci-
Release June 16, 2005
Animal Being Tested Might Have
New Form of BSE
At least one scientist believes that the so-called
"November cow" currently being retested for bovine
spongiform encephalopathy in England might have an
atypical form of the disease.
Juergen Richt, a senior USDA scientist based at
the agency's lab in Ames, Iowa, told Reuters that while
there is no conclusive evidence, anomalies in the sample
sent by USDA to the OIE B SE Reference Laboratory
in Great Britain suggest that the animal in question may
have developed a new, atypical form of BSE.
Similar cases are suspected in Italy and the
Netherlands, although no firm diagnosis has been made.
Richt said it is too early to tell, but that the samples, on
which he worked both last fall and last week, exhibit
"hallmark signs" that it could be atypical and the result
of some sort of sporadic development rather than the
result of ingesting infected feed.
Release June 20, 2005
AMIF Soliciting Research
The American Meat Institute Foundation has issued
a request for proposals on applied and fundamental
research to improve pathogen control in meat and poultry
products. Proposals are due to AMIF by August 5.
The full RFP is available on the AMIF Web site at
Release June 17, 2005