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 In this issue..
 2006 beef cattle short course
 What makes for good horse hay?
 U.S. cow costs increases by $36/head...
 No betting on the come...for...
 Watch for toxic effects of stressed...






Group Title: Animal science newsletter
Title: Animal science newsletter. June 2006.
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Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00067334/00018
 Material Information
Title: Animal science newsletter. June 2006.
Series Title: Animal science newsletter
Physical Description: Serial
Creator: Department of Animal Sciences, IFAS
Affiliation: University of Florida -- Florida Cooperative Extension Service -- Department of Animal Sciences -- Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences
Publisher: Florida Cooperative Extension Service, Department of Animal Sciences, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, University of Florida
Publication Date: June 2006
 Notes
Funding: Florida Historical Agriculture and Rural Life
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Bibliographic ID: UF00067334
Volume ID: VID00018
Source Institution: Marston Science Library, George A. Smathers Libraries, University of Florida
Holding Location: Florida Agricultural Experiment Station, Florida Cooperative Extension Service, Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, and the Engineering and Industrial Experiment Station; Institute for Food and Agricultural Services (IFAS), University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.

Table of Contents
    In this issue..
        Page 1
    2006 beef cattle short course
        Page 2
    What makes for good horse hay?
        Page 2
    U.S. cow costs increases by $36/head in 2005
        Page 3
    No betting on the come...for now
        Page 4
    Watch for toxic effects of stressed pasture
        Page 4
Full Text


M


June 2006

aes toRer In this issue...
Dates to Remember


June
1 Ir. Ija5 l" 'ain.r' ,.ill FL
1 H .r-- I r iir .ln-i .-ril \,.'V .rl .[ ir ill- F I
3 4"'' r Irnua l TrI S SlIl Farrn Fi.-I1 IDa,* Jai[ r F
4 H. .r l-ii r i-ti[. i i. \A,'/. -l[ a FLI
11 H. .rs nani,hi[. -'h,.. VV l-at- FL
18 H. .r --iiar -ti[. z i ....I. \A'-llat a FI
19-20 Fl. rn.1, Cail-erni r C .. ll,. i ir.1r u I lani,1 FL
20 H arl ..IFl..rn I. a .ri.rinal i t .hlt, a l 't al 1. a. iia Fl
20-22 FCA Anni C. .n. enii 'n .N Allie. TrI,- ad hI,.x
i .ar,. Islan. i FL
23 la- I-H H..r-- F r.l- .l ari.- .ill- FI
25 H..r i r i iar ij S. h, u. .1 V/-el7 .1 F I
27-29 4-H H.. I.\ Hai *airia.-- ill- Fl


July
4 Independence Day
6-8 State 4-H Horse Show Tampa, FL
11 Htr .- Ct..ur il lr. -. i l lai..' t-r.i ll.- FL
26-30 Southern Regional 4-H Horse Championships -
North Carolina


I


2006 Beef Cattle Short Course Success!
. . . . . .. . .. 1

What N lakes For Good Horse Ha\ 2

LI.S. Cow Costs Increased By $30..Head
In 20 0 5 ... ... .. .... 3

No Betti n On The Come For No\\ 3

Watch For Toxic Effects of Stressed
Pasture ... .... .. .... -4




*4 -4 a- --



2006 Beef Cattle Short Course
Success!


The 55' Annual Florida Beef Cattle Short
Course at the University of Florida was again a
Sipremier educational program for people
associated with the beef cattle industry.
"Meeting the Challenges ofPreserving Our
Land, Managing Our Cattle, and Feeding Our
Consumers" was the theme of the Short Course
this year. Approximately 350 participants were
provided a beef market analysis and outlook to
start the program. The remaining segment of
the afternoon program was dedicated to
discussions concerning property use rights,
urban encroachment on agricultural property, and the value of farm/ranch land in community
planning. A record number of allied industry participants made for a successful and enjoyable Trade
Show and Reception to cap the evening. Thursday morning's program included topics dedicated to
cattle production including nutrition, management, product supply and coordination, and end
product markets. In the afternoon the large crowd enjoyed practical demonstrations of feeder and
continued on page 2


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The Institute ofFood andAgrcultural Sciences (IFAS) is an Equal Employment Opportunity Affirmatve Achon Employer authorized to provide research educational information and other
services only to individuals that function with regard to race, color sex, age, handicap, or national origin. For information on obtaining other extension publcations, contact your county
Cooperative Extension Service office.








2006 Beef Cattle Short Course
continued from page 1
finished cattle evaluation, calf processing techniques,
and hay reservations methods. On Thursday evening
the annual Cattlemen's Steak-Out provided the
participants to enjoy good food and an opportunity to
talk about cattle. On Friday, the participants had the
opportunity to choose to hear about current research
efforts in the areas of beef cattle production, forage
agronomy for cattle production, or attend a Florida
Beef Quality Producer program.

The Florida Beef Cattle Short Course target
audience consists of beef cattle producers and
managers who are interested in increasing net profits
and a producing quality beef products and willing to
make management changes to do so. Profitable
production, processing, and utilization of cattle without
endangering the resources at their disposal is
paramount to the Florida Beef Cattle Short Course
participant.


Dr. Matt Hersom
Co-Chair, 2006 BCSC
Email: hersom@animal.ufl.edu
Phone: (352) 392-1916
UF/IFAS, Department ofAnimal
Sciences, Gainesville, FL
Release May 24, 2006


What Makes For
Good Horse Hay


Horse owners and hay
producers don't always agree
on how to identify safe, good-
quality horse hay. Here is a
list of seven key characteristics buyers should consider
when evaluating horse hay. Krishona Martinson and
Paul Peterson, University of Minnesota extension
agronomists, spoke about these characteristics at
recent Minnesota Horse Expo seminars.

1) Mold/Moisture Buy hay baled between


15-17% moisture and it should be free of mold. "With
small square bales, you can sometimes get away with
baling at 18-20% moisture without spoilage," notes
Peterson. More-dense big square bales should be put
up below 16% moisture for safe storage. Hay baled
above 25% moisture poses the threat of severe heat
damage or spoilage, mold growth, and/or hay fires.
Hay put up at 20-25% moisture and properly treated
with organic acid preservatives can be fed safely to
horses. Horses, however, may require a short
adaptation period to readily consume this hay.

2) Maturity Don't equate seed heads with
"good" hay. Seed headsjust indicate that the plants
are mature, with thick stems, more fiber, less protein
and decreasing levels of digestible energy. Horses that
aren't working hard or lactating may be able to get by
with a "stemmier" hay containing more seed heads,
Martinson and Peterson say. But hay with more leaves
and softer, smaller stems is better quality.

Consider grass hays that have been harvested
when seed heads havejust begun to form. They have
good fiber digestibility and more available energy than
more mature hay. Legume hay harvested at about the
10% flower stage is usually a leafy hay with extra
protein that horses will convert into ammonia. Mature
legumes make hay that does not exceed a horse's
protein level in most cases, but also tends to be very
coarse, according to Martinson and Peterson. Softer
hay will be consumed more readily, they explain. "If it
feels rough to you, it will feel rough to the horse,"
Peterson says.

3) Cut Or Crop -Don't base nutritional value
on when hay is cut, the agronomists say. Maturity,
followed by hay curing and storage, determine what
nutrients a hay holds. Because plants that grow under
cooler temperatures build more digestible fiber, first-
crop hay may have more digestible fiber than later
cuttings -but it is not a guarantee. First cutting can
often produce more coarse hay than later cuttings. But
good and bad horse hay can be produced in any
cutting.

4) Grass Hay Vs Alfalfa Know how much
digestible fiber and energy your horses will need -


http://www.animal.ufl.edu/extension/beef/newsletter.shtml


SOURCE:








2006 Beef Cattle Short Course
continued from page 1
finished cattle evaluation, calf processing techniques,
and hay reservations methods. On Thursday evening
the annual Cattlemen's Steak-Out provided the
participants to enjoy good food and an opportunity to
talk about cattle. On Friday, the participants had the
opportunity to choose to hear about current research
efforts in the areas of beef cattle production, forage
agronomy for cattle production, or attend a Florida
Beef Quality Producer program.

The Florida Beef Cattle Short Course target
audience consists of beef cattle producers and
managers who are interested in increasing net profits
and a producing quality beef products and willing to
make management changes to do so. Profitable
production, processing, and utilization of cattle without
endangering the resources at their disposal is
paramount to the Florida Beef Cattle Short Course
participant.


Dr. Matt Hersom
Co-Chair, 2006 BCSC
Email: hersom@animal.ufl.edu
Phone: (352) 392-1916
UF/IFAS, Department ofAnimal
Sciences, Gainesville, FL
Release May 24, 2006


What Makes For
Good Horse Hay


Horse owners and hay
producers don't always agree
on how to identify safe, good-
quality horse hay. Here is a
list of seven key characteristics buyers should consider
when evaluating horse hay. Krishona Martinson and
Paul Peterson, University of Minnesota extension
agronomists, spoke about these characteristics at
recent Minnesota Horse Expo seminars.

1) Mold/Moisture Buy hay baled between


15-17% moisture and it should be free of mold. "With
small square bales, you can sometimes get away with
baling at 18-20% moisture without spoilage," notes
Peterson. More-dense big square bales should be put
up below 16% moisture for safe storage. Hay baled
above 25% moisture poses the threat of severe heat
damage or spoilage, mold growth, and/or hay fires.
Hay put up at 20-25% moisture and properly treated
with organic acid preservatives can be fed safely to
horses. Horses, however, may require a short
adaptation period to readily consume this hay.

2) Maturity Don't equate seed heads with
"good" hay. Seed headsjust indicate that the plants
are mature, with thick stems, more fiber, less protein
and decreasing levels of digestible energy. Horses that
aren't working hard or lactating may be able to get by
with a "stemmier" hay containing more seed heads,
Martinson and Peterson say. But hay with more leaves
and softer, smaller stems is better quality.

Consider grass hays that have been harvested
when seed heads havejust begun to form. They have
good fiber digestibility and more available energy than
more mature hay. Legume hay harvested at about the
10% flower stage is usually a leafy hay with extra
protein that horses will convert into ammonia. Mature
legumes make hay that does not exceed a horse's
protein level in most cases, but also tends to be very
coarse, according to Martinson and Peterson. Softer
hay will be consumed more readily, they explain. "If it
feels rough to you, it will feel rough to the horse,"
Peterson says.

3) Cut Or Crop -Don't base nutritional value
on when hay is cut, the agronomists say. Maturity,
followed by hay curing and storage, determine what
nutrients a hay holds. Because plants that grow under
cooler temperatures build more digestible fiber, first-
crop hay may have more digestible fiber than later
cuttings -but it is not a guarantee. First cutting can
often produce more coarse hay than later cuttings. But
good and bad horse hay can be produced in any
cutting.

4) Grass Hay Vs Alfalfa Know how much
digestible fiber and energy your horses will need -


http://www.animal.ufl.edu/extension/beef/newsletter.shtml


SOURCE:








then find hay that will provide it. Alfalfa and clover
generally have higher protein content than grasses. So
alfalfa hay is a good protein source for young
developing horses. But it may have more protein than
what other horses need. Fiber from grasses is more
digestible than from alfalfa and other legumes at the
same maturity stage, say Martinson and Peterson.

5) Smell -Not all sweet-smelling hay is good,
caution the experts. Sometimes hay smells sweet
because sugars within it carmelize, which indicates
mold presence. Horse owners should look closely at
the hay to make sure they aren't dealing with mold
issues.

6) Color A green color is only a fair indicator
of hay quality, Peterson says. "Bleached color
indicates exposure to sunlight or rain, and can mean
vitaminAhas oxidized. But other essential nutrients are
usually present in bleached hay." When only bleached
hay is available, horse owners should have it tested.

7) Storage Considerations/Spoilage Once
you've bought it, keep stored hay away from water
and wild animals, which can contaminate it. Studies
have shown that up to 50% of a hay bale can be
mined when stored where moisture can be wicked up
into it from the ground. Round bales should be dense
and well-formed with twine or net wrap, and less than
18% moisture to minimize storage loss potential.

Martinson and Peterson recommend that horse
owners take representative samples of every hay lot to
a forage testing lab for an equine nutritional analysis.
Information about sampling and forage testing can be
found at http://www.foragetesting.org.

Contact Martinson at bjork026@umn.edu and
Peterson at peter072@umn.edu.


SOURCE:


eHay Weekly
Hay & Forage Grower
http://hayandforage.com/
Release May 9, 2006


/


~#J~e ,'


4


U.S. Cow Costs Increased By
$36/Head In 2005
Cattle-Fax(R) says its 2005 cow-calf survey
revealed cash costs/cow averaged $351 in 2005 -
$36/head more than the 2004 average of $315/head.
In the past decade, annual cow costs have ranged
from $292 to $351/head, with a 10-year average of
$307/head.

Cattle-Fax analysts attribute the increase largely
to higher energy and fuel costs. The costs cited above
don't include depreciation, opportunity cost or returns
to management.

Overall, 96% of producers selling weaned calves
were profitable in 2005, a record-high percentage,
Cattle-Fax says. Of producers selling calves at
weaning, 80% made a profit of $100/head or more,
44% made $150/head or more, and only 4% were not
profitable.

The results show a strong correlation between
high-return producers and lower costs and higher
production performance. Average cow cost for those
profiting $100/head or more was $347. Those who
profited less than $100/head had an average cow cost
of $377/head.

The average cow cost for the low 1/2 (least cost)
of producers was $267/head compared to the high
1/2 (highest cost) of producers was $445, a $178/
head difference. The results also show a positive
correlation between weaning percentage and profit-
ability. Producers who made more than $150/head,
weaned 4% more calves than those who broke even
or lost money.

The survey also found 79% of producers use the
Internet, 53% have registered a premise ID, 84%
precondition their calves, and 78% felt the market
rewarded them for preconditioning. Tod Kalous,
Cattle-Fax(R) Update, taken from the Michigan State
University Beef Cattle Research Update


SOURCE:


BEEF
http://beef-mag.com/
Release May 15, 2006


http://www.animal.ufl.edu/extension/beef/newsletter.shtml


' 1


, !






4


No Betting On The Come... For
Now

"The last few years, time has usually saved you if
you're a margin operator (feeder or stocker), now it
will be against you," says Derrell Peel, Oklahoma
State University Extension livestock marketing
specialist. "There's no more betting on the come."

That's the quintessential summary of cattle-
industry economics now compared to last year. The
market is running away from margin operators
because supplies are increasing significantly relative to
demand.

"The biggest difference today than at this time
last year is we have about 10% more cattle on feed
heading into the summer, which is record large for this
time of year," explains Mike Miller, Cattle-Fax
director of research and education.

Not only is a wall of increased supply set to hit
the market during what are historically the softest
market months of the year, it's coming at a time when
high breakevens already have feeders losing around
$100/head (more on yearlings, less on calf-feds, Miller
says).

However, Peel believes the record April 1 cattle-
on-feed numbers make reality appear darker than it
actually is. Though numbers are up, he says it's not
because the cattle inventory is 9%-10% larger than
predicted but because more calves were forced into
the feedlot earlier than anticipated by drought and a
lack of stocker pasture.

"We started the year with a cattle inventory 1.7%
larger than in 2005. We'll add maybe another 1-1.5%
to those numbers with feeder calves from Canada. So,
we have the capability for feeder cattle supplies to be
4-4.5% larger this year, but not 9%," Peel says.

Either way, Miller adds, "We're still in really
good shape from a demand perspective, but probably
not good enough to offset the supplies we see coming
toward us."

In fact, retail beef demand is down 4.5% through
the first quarter, according to preliminary Beef
Demand Index figures. Consumption is actually up


slightly, but a sharp decline in inflation-adjusted prices
means demand is down, but still well ahead of 1998
when it finally tured the corer. Analysts like Nevil
Speer at Western Kentucky University wouldn't be
surprised to see beef demand suffer more under the
collective weight of record and near-record supplies
of poultry and pork. That's on top of high fuel prices
that increase the price of all consumer products, while
making consumer wallets lighter to start with.

For anyone who thinks the outlook would be at
least twice as bright if politics and ineptitude hadn't
conspired to keep international beef trade in limbo,
both Peel and Miller say having the international
markets fully engaged would undoubtedly provide a
psychological lift. However, it probably wouldn't have
changed the industry's current position from a
fundamental standpoint.


SOURCE:


BEEF


http://beef-mag.com/
Release May 23, 2006

Watch For Toxic Effects of
Stressed Pasture

As if running out of feed wasn't challenging
enough, drought grows plant toxicity and its potential
for poisoning livestock.

"Stressed pastures bring out toxic plant problems
in several ways," says Dave Sparks, DVM, Okla-
homa State University Extension food animal quality
and health specialist. "At these times, toxic plants
become more prevalent. Many toxic plants are able to
withstand the stress of overgrazing better than more
palatable forage plants. As the stress on the pasture
continues, decreased competition means greater
populations of toxic plants. Many of the toxic plants
become more toxic under stress conditions such as
drought or overgrazing."

Go to http://farwest.tamu.edu/rangemgt/pdfs/
Drought5.pdf, for more details in a fact sheet by Hart
and Carpenter.


SOURCE:


BEEF
http://beef-mag.com/
Release May 23, 2006


http://www.animal.ufl.edu/extension/beef/newsletter.shtml






4


No Betting On The Come... For
Now

"The last few years, time has usually saved you if
you're a margin operator (feeder or stocker), now it
will be against you," says Derrell Peel, Oklahoma
State University Extension livestock marketing
specialist. "There's no more betting on the come."

That's the quintessential summary of cattle-
industry economics now compared to last year. The
market is running away from margin operators
because supplies are increasing significantly relative to
demand.

"The biggest difference today than at this time
last year is we have about 10% more cattle on feed
heading into the summer, which is record large for this
time of year," explains Mike Miller, Cattle-Fax
director of research and education.

Not only is a wall of increased supply set to hit
the market during what are historically the softest
market months of the year, it's coming at a time when
high breakevens already have feeders losing around
$100/head (more on yearlings, less on calf-feds, Miller
says).

However, Peel believes the record April 1 cattle-
on-feed numbers make reality appear darker than it
actually is. Though numbers are up, he says it's not
because the cattle inventory is 9%-10% larger than
predicted but because more calves were forced into
the feedlot earlier than anticipated by drought and a
lack of stocker pasture.

"We started the year with a cattle inventory 1.7%
larger than in 2005. We'll add maybe another 1-1.5%
to those numbers with feeder calves from Canada. So,
we have the capability for feeder cattle supplies to be
4-4.5% larger this year, but not 9%," Peel says.

Either way, Miller adds, "We're still in really
good shape from a demand perspective, but probably
not good enough to offset the supplies we see coming
toward us."

In fact, retail beef demand is down 4.5% through
the first quarter, according to preliminary Beef
Demand Index figures. Consumption is actually up


slightly, but a sharp decline in inflation-adjusted prices
means demand is down, but still well ahead of 1998
when it finally tured the corer. Analysts like Nevil
Speer at Western Kentucky University wouldn't be
surprised to see beef demand suffer more under the
collective weight of record and near-record supplies
of poultry and pork. That's on top of high fuel prices
that increase the price of all consumer products, while
making consumer wallets lighter to start with.

For anyone who thinks the outlook would be at
least twice as bright if politics and ineptitude hadn't
conspired to keep international beef trade in limbo,
both Peel and Miller say having the international
markets fully engaged would undoubtedly provide a
psychological lift. However, it probably wouldn't have
changed the industry's current position from a
fundamental standpoint.


SOURCE:


BEEF


http://beef-mag.com/
Release May 23, 2006

Watch For Toxic Effects of
Stressed Pasture

As if running out of feed wasn't challenging
enough, drought grows plant toxicity and its potential
for poisoning livestock.

"Stressed pastures bring out toxic plant problems
in several ways," says Dave Sparks, DVM, Okla-
homa State University Extension food animal quality
and health specialist. "At these times, toxic plants
become more prevalent. Many toxic plants are able to
withstand the stress of overgrazing better than more
palatable forage plants. As the stress on the pasture
continues, decreased competition means greater
populations of toxic plants. Many of the toxic plants
become more toxic under stress conditions such as
drought or overgrazing."

Go to http://farwest.tamu.edu/rangemgt/pdfs/
Drought5.pdf, for more details in a fact sheet by Hart
and Carpenter.


SOURCE:


BEEF
http://beef-mag.com/
Release May 23, 2006


http://www.animal.ufl.edu/extension/beef/newsletter.shtml




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