Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences
In This Issue...
Beef M management Calendar ...................................... 2
2002 Pasture To Plate............................... .............. 3
Pasture To Plate Program For 2001-2002 Completed..... 4
UF Researchers Develop Biocontrol For
Destructive W eed .......................................... ........... 5
New Brochure On Scrapie Eradication Program
For Sheep/Goat Shows ............................................. 6
Owners Urged To Vaccinate Horses For EEE, WNV.....7
USDA Releases Over $2.2 Million To Florida For
Strengthening Agriculture Homeland Security
P protections ............................ ............ .............. 7
FSIS Sets Biosecurity Guidelines For Meat Industry...... 8
For the past year, the Animal Science Newsletter, has
been available on the web at http://www.animal.ufl.edu/
BeefCattle/Newsletter/index.htm, in both html and pdf file
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SDates To Remember
4 Independence Day (Holiday)
11-13 State 4-H Horse Show Tampa
16 Farming in the New Millennium FL
Farm Bureau, Gainesville
22-26 FL 4-H Congress Gainesville
31-August 4 Southern Regional 4-H Horse
5-8 NW FL Beef Cattle Reproduction
Management School Chipley
16 FL Brangus Breeders Annual Meeting -
17 FL Brangus Breeders Accent on
Quality Female Sale Kissimmee
24 Florida Angus Female Futurity and
29 Beef Cattle & Forage Field Day -
Prepared By Extension
Specialists In Animal Sciences
F.G. Hembry, Professor, Department Chairman
E.L. Johnson, Associate Professor, Extension
T.T. Marshall, Professor, Beef Cattle Management
: R.O. Myer, Professor, Animal Nutritionist,
R.S. Sand, Associate Professor, Extension
A.M. Stelzleni, Research Programs/Services
+ W. Taylor, Coordinator Youth Education/Training
+ S.H. TenBroeck, Associate Professor, Extension
The Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences is an equal opportunity/affirmative 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
2 July 2002
0 Cut cor silage.
0 Control weeds in summer pastures.
0 Apply nitrogen to warm season pastures, if needed.
0 Check mineral feeder.
0 Check for army worms and mole crickets, and treat
0 Wean calves and cull cow herd.
0 Watch for evidence of footrot 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 fr 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 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
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 intemal parasites are a problem.
0 When replacement heifers are weaned, give them
required vaccinations and teach them to eat then
put them on a good nutrition program.
0 Determine bull replacement needs, develop selection
criteria, and start checking availability of quality
R Review winter feed supply and feeding plans so that
needed adjustments can be made before supplies
tighten and prices rise.
The total meat production in
2002 is projected by the USDA to
be about 84 billion pounds
nationally, up one percent from a
year ago. Beef production is
expected to remain nearly
unchanged from last year, but
pork production are expected to be up
Drought conditions are forcing more cattle into
feedlots. The weather is possibly delaying herd
expansion for at least another year.
Conditions coming out of the winter, without
improved soil moisture conditions or snow pack to fill
reservoirs, have raised even greater concerns for spring
and summer forage and grazing prospects.
Projected meat exports in 2002 are expected to fall
about two percent from last year. All major meats are
expected to register declines. A stronger U.S. Dollar is
also contributing to the decline in export potential.
Greater meat production, however minor, and
lower exports are pressuring domestic prices downward.
Although fed steer prices are expected to register a year-
over-year price gain, the projected increase is below
earlier expectations as larger than expect placements
boost beef production.
July 2002 3
Beef cow slaughter, while below the large levels of
a year earlier, are above 2000 slaughter levels. Dairy
cow slaughter is historically low and consequently total
cow slaughter continues to decline.
Beef production estimates have been increased for
the year because of the larger numbers of cattle forced
into feedlots and continued record slaughter weights.
Beef production in the second and third quarters is
now expected to exceed year-earlier levels. Fourth-
quarter production is expected to average below a year
earlier. Continued poor grazing prospects and even
larger feed lot placement could push production up.
Dressed weights remain sharply above the weather;
reduced weights of the first half of 2001 are declining.
Fed cattle prices have remained relatively firm this
year, however well below the weather induced levels of
a year earlier. Increasing slaughter weights and numbers
in later April and May have pressured prices downward.
Cattle prices in 2003 are currently projected to
increase from the anticipated 2002 levels. Smaller
inventories and stronger demand will drive prices. Cow-
calf operators can expect to profit from the price run up.
The weather is already causing concerns about the
summer of 2002. Pasture conditions in the panhandle
have been adequate, but with the shortage of rain, higher
than normal temperatures in May are raising doubts
about the forthcoming summer.
The lack of rain is causing critical conditions for
HEAD OF CAT ILE SOLD IN FLORIA' WEEKLY AVERAGES
MARCH 18 MAY 17, 202
1 2 3 i 5
7 a 9
U.S. PROJECTED PORK EXPORTS
... 00 ,
FLORIDA EGG PRODUCTION
Aug pl-1 ODD PrO& Dao
SOURCE: The Florida Agri-Journal
Researched by Les Harrison
Development Rep. I
Division of Marketing
Release June 5, 2002
2002 Pasture To
Florida's beef cattle industry, with 958,000 cows,
ranks 12th in the U.S. and has the third largest cowherd
east of the Mississippi. The inventory value of all cattle
and calves in Florida on January 1, 2001, was
$1,134,000,000 and produced cash receipts of
$309,852,000 in 1999. The Florida beef industry must
continue to be competitive and we must improve the
quality of our calves to maintain our market share and
value. Also knowing the performance of your cattle on
the rail and in the feedyard is important when evaluating
new marketing alternatives that are being offered.
The first step in this process is to determine what
you are presently producing and where improvement is
needed. Pasture to Plate is a program designed to give
cattle producer's valuable information about their cattle
that will enable them to build on the strengths, as well as
pinpointing their weaknesses, in breeding, health and/or
4 July 2002
Pasture to Plate is an educational program for
cattle producers. The purpose is to give cattlemen the
opportunity to: (1) evaluate the feedlot performance of
their cattle, (2) obtain individual carcass quality and
cutability information on their cattle, (3) become
familiar with custom feeding practices and procedures,
and retained ownership without the investment and risk
involved in feeding an entire pen of cattle.
The Marketing committee of the Florida
Cattlemen's Association in cooperation with the Florida
Cooperative Extension Service sponsors this program.
For a brochure containing general information and
a registration form that can be filled out online and
printed for mailing, visit the Beef Cattle web site at:
index.htm. The Adobe Acrobat Reader is needed for
viewing the brochure and can be downloaded from a link at
the bottom of the web page listed above. You may also
request a brochure by contacting Dr. Bob Sand at (352)
392-7529 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For additional information, please contact:
FCA Office (Jim Handley) (407) 846-6221 or
Dr. Bob Sand (352) 392-7529
Pasture To Plate Program
For 2001-2002 Completed
It seems like it has taken a long time to get the
Pasture to Plate cattle finished aid harvested this year.
The cattle were assembled in October and harvested in
late May. Given the volatility and depression in the fed
cattle market all spring, I kept hoping it would rebound
by the time our cattle were ready. It didn't, but the good
news is we marketed the cattle before the market
bottomed, if it has. The cattle were marketed to Excel on
a grid with a Choice,Yield Grade 3 base at $110.00/cwt.
of carcass. This equated to $72.10/cwt. (based on their
dressing % or yield) live when the cash market was
$67.00 or $64.00 depending on which week you price
them. When Excel got through with the discounts and
premium adjustments we were paid $107.17/cwt.
dressed or $70.21/cwt. live. The cattle did well, better
than any previous Pasture to Plate group, 69% Choice,
27% Select and 4% no roll or Standard quality grades
and yield grades were 46% YG 2 and 46% YG3,
4%YG1 and 4% no grade. The overall performance of
the group was depressed by one carcass that was no roll
(Standard) and light weight (less than 550 lbs.).
The cattle's health in the feed yard was excellent
since they did not treat a single animal, though the poor
performance of the one animal suggests that at some
point in its life it must have been sick and just didn't
show it. They averaged a daily gain of 2.81 lbs which is
below the industry minimum target of 3.0. One of the
consequences of a slower rate of gain is generally poor
feed conversion and in this case this is true. The cattle
converted 8.4 lbs. of feed as fed to a pound of gain or on
a dry matter basis 6.7 lbs. of feed per pound of gain. The
industry target is to be below 6, preferably below 5.5.
This impacts the cost of gain and in this case the cost of
gain (total pounds gained/total feed yard charges) is
$0.54 according to my figures. The feedlot manager told
me they closed out 7 lots at that time and 4 were less
than 50 and 3 were over.
In summary, the cattle did very well in the packing
house and only fair in the feed yard. Financially they lost
$30.27 per head when all costs are considered compared
to their value at the start. While this is not good, we were
successful in getting good individual animal data in the
feed yard and in the packing plant, and they were not the
100 to 200 dollars per head losses we have been reading
about. If you have any questions, don't hesitate to call.
Information for the 2002-2003 Pasture to Plate program
is available through the Florida Cattlemen's Association,
your local Florida Cooperative Extension office,
Dr. Bob Sand (352) 392-7529 or on the web at
SOURCE: Dr. Bob Sand
Extension Livestock Specialist
Department of Animal Sciences
University of Florida
UF Researchers Develop
Biocontrol For Destructive
It sounds like the name of an exotic new drink, but
tropical soda apple has been more aptly described as the
"plant from hell," say University of Florida researchers
who have developed a natural way to control the rapidly
"The highly invasive plant, which forms a dense
and thorny thicket that is impenetrable to animals and
people, has been classified by the federal government as
one of the nation's most noxious weeds," said Raghavan
Charudattan, professor of plant pathology with UF's
Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences. "In Florida
and seven southeastern states, it's literally taking over,
displacing native plant species in infested areas."
He said the weed, native to South America, is a
serious environmental threat to natural areas, and it's
become a major problem for the beef and dairy cattle
Sharp thorns make the plant's foliage unpalatable,
but livestock, wild animals and birds that eat the fruit
help spread the seeds. Mature plants can produce 50,000
seeds that germinate under a wide range of conditions.
Seeds also can be spread by compost, sod and moving
water, Charudattan said.
Another concern, he said, is that cattle shipped out
of Florida may harbor plant seeds in their digestive tracts
and spread the weed to neighboring states. To stop the
spread of seeds, Georgia, South Carolina and other
southeastern states may require Florida cattle to be held
on weed-free pastures for 10 days before being shipped
to nearby states.
"Pastures infested with the weed have less area
available for cattle grazing, which means the stocking
rates the number of animals per acre must be
reduced," Charudattan said.
Wade Grigsby, vice president of the cattle division
for Alico Inc. in LaBelle, said the weed is an economic
and environmental headache for the livestock industry.
"It may be impossible to eradicate tropical soda
apple, but Charudattan's new biocontrol is the best
option we have for bringing the weed under control,"
July 2002 5
Until now, the only way to control the weed was
with repeated mowing and chemical herbicides. But,
Charudattan said, applying herbicides is a problem for
the cattle industry because of possible chemical residues
in milk and meat.
Charudattan's research has shown that a common
plant virus can be used to kill tropical soda apple, and he
is seeking commercial partners to produce and market
the virus as a natural biocontrol or bioherbicide.
"During a routine examination of several plant
pathogens for their ability to cause disease on tropical
soda apple, we discovered that tobacco mild green
mosaic virus (TMGMV) kills the weed," he said. "Tests
in two pastures demonstrated the virus kills up to 97
percent of the weed."
To determine which plants may be vulnerable to
the virus, Charudattan is testing the virus on some 200
different plant species, including other weeds and
cultivated plants. The virus does not affect people or
animals, he said.
"We know that some varieties of tobacco and
peppers are susceptible, but the virus can be used safely
in areas where tobacco and peppers are not grown," he
The virus, which can be applied easily and
inexpensively with a portable back-pack sprayer, is
effective against tropical soda apple under a wide range
of temperatures and year-round growing conditions.
Charudattan said the bioherbicide would be easy to
produce. "High concentrations of the innoculum can be
produced inexpensively in tobacco plants and stockpiled
for use. It remains effective for decades," he said.
Susceptible tobacco plants could be used to mass-
produce a commercial bioherbicide. As they mature,
infected leaves are harvested, freeze-dried and ground
into a fine powder for storage at room temperature, he
"To demonstrate how easily the bioherbicide could
be produced, we are establishing a pilot production
facility at UF," Charudattan said. "The prototype
production system could be established as a self-
sustaining service from UF or licensed to a commercial
Other UF plant pathologists working with
Charudattan on the tropical soda apple project include
6 July 2002
professors Bill Zettler and Ernest Hiebert and graduate
student Matt Petterson.
Raghavan Charudattan, left, professor with the University of Florida's
Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, and Wade Grigsby, vice
president of the cattle division of Alico, Inc. in LaBelle, examine tropical
soda apple invasive weeds in a South Florida pasture, Tuesday--June
4, 2002. Charudattan, a plant pathologist, has developed a natural way
to control the rapidly spreading weed without pesticides or mowing. He
said a common plant virus, which is not harmful to people or animals,
killed the weed in the container. Tropical soda apple forms a dense
and thorny thicket that is impenetrable to animals and people, and it
has been classified by the federal government as one of the nation's
most noxious weeds. (AP photo: University of Florida/IFAS/Thomas
SOURCE: Chuck Woods
ICS, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL
(352) 392-1773, ext. 281
Release June 6, 2002
Sources: Dr. Raghavan Charudattan
University of Florida, Gainesville, FL
(352) 392-3631, ext. 354
Vice President of the Cattle Division
Alico, Inc., LaBelle, FL
New Brochure On
Sheep and goat producers preparing to exhibit their
animals this show season are urged to become familiar
with new movement restrictions and identification
requirements associated with a national program to
"Requirements for Going to The Show", a brief
brochure on what exhibitors need to know as part of the
new scrapie eradication program is now available from
the National Scrapie Education Initiative conducted by
the National Institute for Animal Agriculture (NIAA).
"Our aim with this brochure is to help exhibitors
understand what is required in terms of individual
animal identification and health certificates for showing
their sheep and goats," said Glenn N. Slack, NIAA's
President and CEO. The brochure will be distributed
through NIAA's Scrapie Information Network,
comprised of state departments of agriculture, state farm
bureaus, state and federal animal health officials, breed
associations, state and national sheep and goat producer
associations, and state extension specialists.
"The brochure as well as other information about
the scrapie eradication program is also available on the
Internet at www.animalagriculture.org/scrapie,"
according to Slack.
In general, any breeding animal going to any show
with entries from more than one state will require
official USDA identification and must be accompanied
by a health certificate.
"However there are exceptions," said Slack, so he
has several recommendations for exhibitors:
1. Read a copy of Requirements for Going to "The
2. Check with your local veterinarian or your State
Veterinarian's Office to see if your state has any
further rules and regulations;
3. Check with the show/exhibition organizers to see if
there are any special rules pertaining to that particular
For an individual copy of the brochure, write to
Scrapie Eradication, National Institute for Animal
Agriculture, 1910 Lyda Ave., Bowling Green, KY
42104-5809 or call 270-782-9798.
SOURCE: Gale Johnson
National Institute for Animal Agriculture
gj ohnson@animalagriculture. org
(270) 782-9798, ext. 112
Release May 24, 2002
Owners Urged To Vaccinate
Horses For EEE, WNV
Several cases of Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE)
and West Nile Virus (WNV) have occurred around the
state this season, and Florida horse owners are being
encouraged to check with their veterinarians to make
sure that their animals have been vaccinated against the
diseases and that the vaccinations are up to date.
Six Florida horses this season have contracted
EEE. Seven horses in the state have been afflicted with
Both EEE and WNV are mosquito-bome illnesses,
said Florida Agriculture Commissioner Charles H.
Bronson, who explained that the cases being detected
now are happening before the onset of Florida's
traditionally rainy season when mosquito populations
increase, and that could suggest that the state is in for a
tough year in terms of mosquito-bome illnesses.
Visitors to Florida, as well as residents, are
encouraged to take precautions against mosquitoes,
Bronson said, including avoiding outdoor activities after
dark, wearing long sleeves and long pants when it is
necessary to be outside during non-daylight hours, and
wearing insect repellent while outside. Certain types of
mosquitoes are active biters during the day, so
precautions against mosquitoes should be taken at all
times. Bronson also suggested removing standing water
July 2002 7
from yards and properties, as stagnant water is an
excellent breeding ground for mosquitoes.
Authorities also are asking members of the public
to report dead birds through the Florida
Fish and Wildlife Commission's website at
wld.fwc.state.fl.us/bird cr by calling their local county
Health Department Office.
SOURCE: Florida Market Bulletin
Florida Department of Agriculture and
Release June 2002
USDA USDA Releases Over
i $2.2 Million To Florida
Agriculture Under Secretary for Marketing and
Regulatory Programs Bill Hawks today announced that
the U.S. Department of Agriculture is releasing
$2,231,451 to the state of Florida to bolster food and
agricultural homeland security protections, out of a total
of more than $43 million being provided to states. The
resources are part of $328 million approved by President
Bush and the Congress earlier this year to strengthen
USDA's homeland security preparedness.
"These grants are an important component of the
Administration's continued efforts to strengthen
homeland security protections for America's food and
agriculture," said Hawks. "States, local communities,
academia and the private sector are all critical partners in
making sure we are prepared in the event of an
The $43 million will provide funding to support
critical efforts to strengthen the food supply
infrastructure. Of that, $20.6 million will be provided to
our state and university cooperators to be used to
establish a network of diagnostic laboratories disbursed
strategically throughout the nation to permit rapid and
accurate diagnosis of animal disease threats; $14 million
will be used to strengthen state capabilities to respond to
animal disease emergencies, primarily by helping every
8 July 2002
state to meet the national standards of emergency
preparedness established by the National Animal Health
Emergency Management System; $4.5 million will be
used to strengthen state-level surveillance for animal
disease; and $4.3 million will be used to assist states to
improve their capability to detect plant pests and
Under Secretary Hawks was joined by Florida
Agriculture Commissioner Charles Bronson in
announcing the state's homeland security funding. This
week, Agriculture Secretary Ann M. Veneman and
Under Secretary Hawks, along with several USDA
subcabinet members, are traveling to nearly a dozen
states to discuss the importance of homeland security
with Congressional, State and local officials and actions
that federal, state, private sector and academia are taking
to improve agriculture protection systems.
The state of Florida will receive $2,231,451 in
funding. Of that, $1,650,000 will be used for rapid
detection and diagnostics network, $350,000 will be for
plant pest and disease detection, $162,045 will be for
animal disease response, and $69,407 will be for animal
Earlier this year, USDA also announced additional
homeland security allocations which include:
S$177 million to make physical and operational
security improvements at key USDA locations. This
provides $64 million at the animal disease center in
Ames, Iowa to relocate labs from leased space into the
main Ames campus and includes funds for a new facility
for sensitive diagnostic work, which will be completed
in 18 months.
$23 million for USDA's Plum Island laboratory,
pending an independent review of the critical needs and
options for the facility.
$35 million to strengthen the Agricultural
Quarantine Inspection program to exclude agricultural
pests and diseases at the borders. These funds are being
used to expedite development of an automated system of
inspections in coordination with the U.S. Customs
Service. In addition, USDA is purchasing 100 rapid
pathogen identification devices and hiring additional
$16.5 million for the Food Safety and Inspection
Service to increase monitoring, provide training to
inspectors and expand technical capabilities. $1.5
million of these funds are being used to hire additional
inspectors for imported meat and poultry.
$15.3 million for the Agricultural Research
Service to improve rapid detection technologies for foot
and mouth diseases as well as other animal diseases.
Additional information on homeland security is
available from http://www.usda.gov/homelandsecurity.
In USDA's FY 2003 budget request, more than
$150 million is being requested for additional homeland
security protections. As well, if the budget is approved
by Congress, it would bring food safety and pest and
disease protection spending to the highest levels ever at
SOURCE: Alisa Harrison (202) 720-4623
Johna Pierce (202) 720-4623
Release May 30, 2002
FSIS Sets Biosecurity
Guidelines For Meat Industry
The Food Safety and Inspection Agency released a
notice last week announcing new food-security
guidelines to assist federal- and state-inspected meat,
poultry and egg establishments in identifying ways to
strengthen biosecurity, according to a news release.
FSIS will send the food-security guidelines in
pamphlet form to all federal and state inspected facilities
and to the Inspector-in-Charge at these facilities. The
voluntary guidelines will be distributed through the
HACCP network and through industry groups and
To access the FSIS notice, logon to please visit
or contact the USDA Technical Service Center at (800)
233-3935. To access the guidelines, visit
SOURCE: Dan Murphy
Release May 28, 2002