al Scienf e
In This Issue...
Beef M management Calendar ................ ................ 2
Livestock Sum m ary.................................................3
Body Condition Scoring The Cow Herd................. 4
New Product Helps Synchronize Cattle Breeding ..5
Public Citizen Blasts Irradiation Provision In
Farm Bill; Expert Blasts Public Citizen............. 5
CSPI: Mycoprotein In Poultry, Meat
Analogs Is Causing People To Get Sick .........8.
Prepared By Extension
Specialists In Animal Sciences
F.G. Hembry, Professor, Department Chairman
E.L. Johnson, Associate Professor, Extension
o R.O. Myer, Professor, Animal Nutritionist,
R.S. Sand, Associate Professor, Extension
A. Stelzleni, Research Programs/Services
W. Taylor, Coordinator Youth
S.H. TenBroeck, Associate Professor,
Extension Youth Specialist
CVM MBNA Equine Conference
Timpoochee Horse Camp -
Florida Limousin Steer & Heifer
2002 Corn Silage Field Day -
CVM Annual Florida Goat
Production Conference -
Welaka Horse Camp Welaka
19-21 2002 FCA Annual Convention and
Trade Show Marco Island
24-26 4-H Hog & Ham Program -
Harvesting & Processing Week
27 State Horse Demonstrations and
Public Speaking* Contests
Horse Quiz Bowl, Horseman of the
State 4-H Horse Show Tampa
Florida 4-H Congress Gainesville
Southern Regional 4-H Horse
The Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences is an equal opportunity/affirmatve action employer authorized to provide research, educational information and other services only to
individuals and institutions that function without regard to race, color, sex, age, handicap, or national origin For information on obtaining other extension publications, contact your county
Cooperative Extension Service Office Florida Cooperative Extension Service/Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences/University of Florida/ Christine Taylor Waddill, Director
... UNIVERSITY OF
Institute of Food and Aggricultural Sciences ,
2 June 2002
1 Last date for planting sorghum.
1 Check mineral feeder, use at least 8%
phosphorus in mineral an not over 2 /2 to 1
calcium to phosphorus ratio.
1 Check pastures and hay field for spittlebugs,
mole crickets, and army worms. Treat if
necessary; best month for mole cricket control.
1 Check dust bags.
1 Watch for evidence of pinkeye and treat.
1 Utilize available veterinary services and
1 Get heifers vaccinated for brucellosis if not
1 Pregnancy check cows.
1 Update market information and plans.
1 Make first cutting of hay.
1 Put bulls out June 1 for calves starting March
1 Reimplant calves at 90 to 120 days with
1 Cut corn silage.
1 Cut corn silage.
1 Control weeds in summer pastures.
1 Apply nitrogen to warm season pastures, if
1 Check mineral feeder.
1 Check for army worms and mole crickets, and
treat if necessary.
1 Wean calves and cull cow herd.
1 Watch for evidence of footrot and treat.
1 Consider preconditioning calves before sale
including vaccination for shipping fever and
IBR at least 3 weeks before sale.
1 Check dust bags.
1 Update market information and plans.
1 Revaccinate calves at weaning for blackleg.
" Cut hay.
" Apply lime for fall and winter crops.
" Harvest Bahiagrass seed.
" Check mineral feeder.
" Update market information and marketing
" Check for army worms, spittlebugs, and mole
crickets, and treat if necessary.
" Check dust bags.
" Wean calves and cull cow herd.
1 Watch for evidence of abortions.
" Observe animals regularly for signs of disease.
" If cattle grubs were found on cattle last winter
or heel flies were observed in the pasture, treat
for cattle grubs this month.
" Pregnancy test and cull open heifers from
Jodi Crowley, graduate student of animal sciences at the
University of Florida's Institute of Food and Agricultural
Sciences, checks leg splints on Die Hard, a premature filly, at
UF's Horse Teaching Unit in Gainesville, Friday APR-26,
2002. Die Hard was born six weeks early due to her mother
having placentatitis, an infection of the placenta. The splints
on Die Hard's legs will keep them strong and help with muscle
development since she had poor muscle mass at birth.
"During the first week we were unsure of the foals' prognosis,
but veterinarians are expecting a full recovery," Crowley said.
(AP photo University of Florida/IFAS/Tara Piasio)
June 2002 3
The USDA's Economic
Research Service is reporting that
boxed beef and fed cattle prices
have strengthened during the first quarter, but
remain well below the weather-induced tight supply
situation that existed the prior year. Likewise, retail
prices of choice beef are moving below the record
setting pace of 2001.
On average, feeder cattle have lost money
since last spring, but are positioned to show a profit
during the second quarter of 2002. The tightened
feeder cattle supply situation will result in feeder
cattle prices rising.
Good news for Florida cow-calf operations.
Prices will be above winter levels which were in the
low $80's, but expect to hear that feeding margins
may be declining out west.
Commercial steer and heifer dressed slaughter
weights continue to average sharply above this time
last year, but are declining seasonally.
The relatively mild and dry 2001/02 winter
contributed to good feedlot weight gains. The mild
weather marginally depressed beef cow slaughter
when compared to last year's weather induced
levels, still slaughter remains above the 2000 level.
Concerns over poor winter grazing conditions
and tight hay stocks resulted in relatively large beef
cow slaughter through February. Continued mild
weather in March and some improvement in
moisture conditions contributed to reduced
Beef cow slaughter will remain somewhat
large until additional rains replenish subsoil
moisture levels which will ensure a good spring
Dairy cow slaughter remains relatively low,
but with an increasing consequence. The Associated
Press is reporting that McDonald's has joined
Burger King, Wendy's, and other fast-food chains
that are purchasing beef imported from Australia.
The reason sited by a McDonald's spokesman
is a shortage of U.S. beef that is lean enough and is
the right price range for their burgers. For now,
McDonald's is test marketing the imported beef in
about 400 of its 13,000 U.S. restaurants.
Australian beef is grass fed and five to 20 cents
per pound cheaper than U.S. beef. McDonald's is
the biggest single buyer of both U.S. and Australian
beef, which the chain uses extensively outside the
Nationwide, beef imports were reported up
four percent in 2001 to a record 3.16 billion pounds.
Imports from Australia increased by over 12
percent, but were limited from further increases by
the tariff rate quota. The quota imposes a much
higher tariff on imports over the quota.
HEAD OF CATTLE SOLD IN FLORIDA: WEEKLY AVERAGES
FEBRUARY 18 APRIL 19, 2002
4000 .. ." '. ". ..
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9
CENTRAL U.S. CUTTER COW CARCASS GROSS CUT-OUT VALUE:
s$1 o FEBRUARY 18-APRIL 19,2002
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9
. D o.h ,Lfar up WEEK
4 June 2002
EASTERN CORNBELT DIRECT HOGS WEIGHTED AVERAGE,
FEBRUARY 18- APRIL 19.2002
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9
The Florida Agri-Journal
Release- May 3, 2002
Researched by Les Harrison
Development Rep. I
Division of Marketing
The body condition of a cow or heifer is very
important to their productivity. Body condition is
simply a measure of a cow's degree of fatness which
is very important for maintaining reproductive
function and milk production for the calf. Cattlemen
have long recognized the importance of body
condition subjectively using terms like good,
moderate, or poor condition to make management
decisions such as forage and supplement needs, and
to predict future performance.
To make body condition more objective,
scientist began to develop scoring systems to place
numeric values on the body condition of cows and
heifers. One system used values of 1 to 5 with 1
being very thin, 3 being average, and 5 being very
being emaciated cows, 5 being cows in moderate
condition with the 12th and 13th ribs showing when
cows move or have been shrunk, and 9 being very
fat cows with no bone structure seen or felt and tail
head berried in fat. This scoring system, with
photos, is available from UF/IFAS publication SP
144, Effect of Body Condition on Productivity in
Beef Cattle, authored by Bill Kunkle, Bob Sand,
and Owen Rae. The publication is found on the
Range Cattle REC or EDIS web site at:
The nice part about body condition scoring is
that it gives a producer an immediate appraisal of a
single animal or an entire herd. Cows can be scored
in the cow pen or in the pasture from the pick-up
The important relationship to body condition
score is reproductive performance. Field studies in
Florida and other states show a positive link
between pregnancy rate and body condition scores
taken at either pregnancy testing, calving, or during
the breeding season. The publication reference
above by Kunkle and others (SP 144) showed
pregnancy percentages of 13, 46, 66, and 94 for
brood cows with condition scores of 2, 3, 4, and 5,
respectively (8 field trials).
The ideal body condition score is 5 or higher
for brood cows at calving. A body condition score
of 6 or higher would be a better target for first calf
Above, we discussed specific body condition
scores of cows in a herd and their subsequent
pregnancy rate. The importance of body condition
scoring is not only to predict what will happen, but
to determine what actions need to be taken to have a
better reproductive performance. If cows are thin at
weaning or at calving a good supplementation
program and better pasture would have a positive
effect on their conception rate during the following
breeding season. Cows could also be divided
according to condition score with thin cows offered
better pasture and/or more supplement.
The scoring system most used by scientist and
cattlemen today is one with scores of 1 to 9, with 1
June 2002 5
Body condition scoring is one of the simplest
but most useful management tools available to
cattlemen. Make it work for you in an efficient
cow/calf production program.
SOURCE: Findlay Pate
Range Cattle REC; Ona, Florida
Published in "The Peace River
Farmer and Rancher" -
A valuable tool has been added to the
reproductive toolboxes of beef cattle and dairy
producers based, in part, on testing done in the
University of Illinois Department of Animal
Sciences. The product, Controlled Internal
Releasing Device, known as CIDR, helps advance
the first pubertal estrus in beef heifers, advances the
first postpartum estrus in suckled beef cows, and
synchronizes estrus in replacement beef and dairy
heifers and suckled cows.
"This is the first new procedure in cattle
reproduction approved in 20 years," said Darrel J.
Kesler, U of I professor of reproductive physiology
who led pivotal studies on the product in 1997.
"This procedure uses progesterone and
progesterone-based procedures that have been
demonstrated to be extremely valuable for the
synchronization of estrus."
The CIDR is a "T" shaped device -- referred to
as an insert by the Food and Drug Administration,
which recently approved its use. The wings of the
device collapse to form a rod that can be inserted
into the animal's vagina with a releasing device. It is
left in place for seven days. An injection of PGF 2a
is administered on day six and the insert is removed
on day seven.
"In layman's terms, progesterone helps to
regulate estrus, making cows ready for breeding at
more predictable times," said Kesler.
Kesler said tests indicated that about 61
percent of the treated beef heifers conceived to
artificial insemination within the first three days of
the breeding season and results for beef cows and
dairy heifers were similar. The progesterone in the
device is a natural compound and is not absorbed by
any animal tissue sold for human consumption,
eliminating any residue concerns.
Originally developed in New Zealand, the
product should go on the market within a month in
the United States, marketed by Pharmacia Animal
Health, likely through artificial insemination
University of Illinois via Ag
Release May 13, 2002
Some of the Research to get FDA approval,
was done at the University ofFlorida, by Dr. Joel
Yelich and colleagues.
** Public Citizen
j Provision In
AR Farm Bill; Expert
Blasts Public Citizen
Just about every news release sent to the
Meatingplace.com regarding the recently passed
Farm Bill was positive except for one. This negative
news release came from Public Citizen and targets
the Farm Bill's irradiation provision.
6 June 2002
A concerned reader thought it should be
reported on to provide a counterpoint to PC's
charges. So the Meatingplace.com contacted an
expert source on irradiation technology, who
wished to remain anonymous, on statements from
PC's president, Joan Claybrook.
Here are her statements and the insider's
responses to her charges.
Politics of irradiation?
"Any time a huge piece of legislation is being
chewed over by Congress, there's a good chance
that big business interests are hovering at the table
like pigs at a trough," Claybrook said. "The Farm
Bill that lawmakers approved [May 1] is just such a
bill, and agribusiness lobbyists were at the trough."
She added that one disturbing provision, in
particular, "bodes very badly for our food supply
and for anyone who buys food at a supermarket.
That provision guts current rules that prevent
irradiated food from being labeled euphemistically
Before issuing his response on this charge, the
insider set the groundwork.
"The intention of the Farm Bill was to facilitate
the use of food safety technologies that provide
consumers with food safety and choices," he said.
"The Farm Bill now formally recognizes that there
are modem-day innovations -- several alternative
safe treatments, processes and technologies -- that
achieve the same standard of food safety as thermal
pasteurization does for helping to eliminate the
threat of harmful food-bome bacteria.
"Among those many innovations discovered
over the last century are pressure treatments, pulse
electric power, ozone, acid washes and irradiation,"
he added. "All of those, either working together or
independently, provide significant protection
against harmful food-borne bacteria."
The insider pointed out to the
Meatingplace.com that these innovations all can fill
a food-safety gap.
"For example, you can't eliminate E-coli in
fresh ground beef except by irradiation or by
cooking it," he said.
PC still blasting the term pasteurization
Claybrook said that the Farm Bill's irradiation
language gives the industry several bites at the
apple to label irradiated food as being pasteurized.
One provision permits the industry to request
permission from the Secretary of Health and Human
Services to use the term "pasteurization" on the
labels of irradiated foods.
"If the Secretary does not respond within 120
days, the irradiator can label the product as being
pasteurized," she said. "There is no public notice
requirement, nor is any consumer input requested or
required before a decision on the industry request.
"A second provision directs the secretary of
HHS to revisit the issue of food irradiation labeling
through the standard regulatory process," she added.
"However, during that process, any irradiation firm
can petition the secretary to use alternative labeling
terminology. The secretary has 180 days to respond.
Again, there is no provision for a public notice
requirement nor an opportunity for the public to
"We believe the language was inserted largely
at the behest of Sen. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa), who
has accepted $175,591 in agribusiness money in the
past two election cycles, and of Rep. Billy Tauzin
(R-La.), who has accepted $86,225 in agribusiness
money in the same period," she continued. "We are
dismayed and disgusted that they chose to do so
much for their contributors at the expense of
Other side of the story
Under the Farm Bill, some alternative
processes may now be recognized as providing
pasteurization, the insider countered.
"In other words, if a 5-log reduction in eggs is
labeled as pasteurized using a thermal-heat process,
then a 5 log reduction using irradiation or some
other process is also pasteurization," the insider
June 2002 7
said. "It's an equivalency. The intent of the law is to
provide a common vocabulary, a common standard
definition based on scientific equivalency. It stops
this focus on the process and goes to the purpose."
The insider further pointed out that since 1997,
the Congress has asked FDA to devise irradiation
labeling that would not be perceived to be a
warning or to give rise to inappropriate consumer
"FDA has never done this," he added. "The
[Farm Bill] law now requires the FDA to act in a
"As I understand it, the law now forbids the
secretary of USDA or FDA from prohibiting any
technology that has been approved and proven to be
safe," the insider said. "In other words, you can't say
it's safe and approved and then turn around and
prohibit its use."
Food producers who use irradiation want to
label their products with the word "pasteurize"
because it conjures up images of wholesome milk,
Public Citizen's Claybrook charges.
"This is designed to confuse and mislead
people; they don't want consumers to know the
truth, which is that irradiated food may deplete
nutrients and may create harmful chemicals," she
"That's not true," the insider countered. "The
idea is to tell the consumer the purpose, that you
have removed the pathogens, not to associate it with
The insider added that Public Citizen's spin on
the Farm Bill passage is purely "anti-consumer."
"The Farm Bill covers all technologies, not just
irradiation," he said. "It improves the potential of
food safety. It gives consumers a choice. Public
Citizen's whole cause is designed to mislead and
"Any time you apply energy to food, you have
an impact on nutrients and the FDA and USDA
have repeatedly said this impact does not affect
diet," he added. "You can use [Public Citizen's]
argument against freezing, cooking, microwaving --
all of those technologies impact nutrients because
you're applying energy to them.
"As far as creating harmful chemicals, Public
Citizen is the only organization that believes that,"
the insider said. "The FDA, USDA and other
reputable science and medical organizations around
the world don't believe that. And there is no
scientific basis for even saying what Public Citizen
The insider feels that Congress finally has
decided that enough was enough with propaganda
from activists and special interest groups.
"They have taken away from Public Citizen the
ability to mislead consumers using the power of
fear," he said. "It stops this business of Public
Citizen trying to frighten consumers away with
vocabulary that misleads the consumers. And that's
the whole reason Public Citizen is whining. They
will no longer be able to frighten consumers away
from irradiated product."
The insider had one parting shot at Public
"And don't forget they opposed Elsa Murano from
becoming the Agriculture Under Secretary for Food
Safety. Everybody else thought she was great
because she was a person of science, because she
studied irradiation," he said. "The last thing Public
Citizen wanted was somebody in office who
understands food irradiation."
Although this battle is won, the war between
Public Citizen and food irradiation is likely to
continue. But this time around, irradiation
proponents are pleased because finally the law is
catching up to the science.
Release May 8, 2002
8 June 2002
CSPI: Mycoprotein In
Poultry, Meat Analogs Is
Causing People To Get
Most readers of the Meatingplace.com agree
that new products are the life's blood of the food
industry. But many parties -- ranging from the
government to activist groups -- are scrutinizing
new products entering the marketplace today more
than ever before.
Most recently, the Center for Science in the
Public Interest has informed the Food and Drug
Administration that a small percentage of
consumers may get sick and vomit after eating new
chicken and meat analogs they say are made from a
fungus. Last January, the FDA allowed the
manufacturer to sell the ingredient called
mycoprotein as a Generally Recognized As Safe
(GRAS) substance, and the agency is on the brink
of formally approving it as a food additive, states a
CSPI news release.
FDA failed to take into account one of the only
scientific studies of the organism that makes up the
"mycoprotein" ingredient in Quorn-brand foods,
CSPI charged. That study linked the consumption of
Quorn foods to vomiting and diarrhea, they added.
CSPI said it provided the FDA with new
reports from several consumers who got sick after
eating Quorn products. CSPI received those reports
via its Website, http://QuornComplaints.com.
But an FDA spokesman told the
Meatingplace.com: "We reviewed information
submitted [on mycoprotein] in great detail, and we
did not see any safety concerns."
More on the complaints
Here's more details on the reported illnesses,
according to CSPI. One 22-year-old Massachusetts
man reportedly told CSPI he vomited several hours
after eating Quorn Tenders, and eight days later
after eating Quorn Nuggets. Another 35-year-old
Maryland woman reported severe vomiting and
diarrhea several hours after eating Quorn Chicken-
style Tenders. Others reported similar symptoms,
Quorn is produced by Marlow Foods, a
division of pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca.
Quorn has been commercially available in Britain
and in other European countries since 1994.
Quorn's labels identify mycoprotein as
"mushroom in origin" and as an "unassuming
member of the mushroom family; however CSPI
said that these claims are highly deceptive and that
should not be permitted.
CSPI added that three mycologists (fungus
experts) at Pennsylvania State University and the
State University of New York at Cortland told the
FDA earlier this year that while the Quorn fungus
and common mushrooms are both fungi, calling the
Quorn fungus a mushroom is like "calling a rat a
chicken because both are animals." Those scientists
also wrote that F. Venenatum is a fungus more
accurately described as a mold. Another mycologist
from Cornell University said that mushrooms are as
distantly related to Quorn's fungus as humans are to
To add more fuel to the fire, CSPI has called
on the managers of more than 400 grocery stores
that sell Quorn products, asking them to remove the
products from the shelves pending further testing
and changes in the labeling.
The FDA spokesman said that the agency had
received CSPI's most recent letter stating its
complaints and added: "We will review it and give
it careful consideration."
Release May 7, 2002
____ ___j > .