In This Issue...
Beef M management Calendar .............................. 2
Livestock Sum m ary ....................... ........ .......3.
USDA Issues New Scrapie Eradication
Program Record Keeping Guidelines
for M markets, Dealers ....................................
UF Research Provides Head Start for
Controlling Fire Ants................. ................... 4
New USDA Directive Mandates 'Aggressive'
Approach to Listeria Testing ..........................6
Bronson Announces Multi-Million Dollar
Program to Improve Florida's Water
4-H Clubs Celebrate "Make A Difference
Day" by Helping Others .............................. 8
Prepared by Extension
Specialists in Animal
*. F.G. Hembry, Professor, Department
E.L. Johnson, Associate Professor, Extension
T.T. Marshall, Professor, Beef Cattle
R.O. Myer, Professor, Animal Nutritionist,
R.S. Sand, Associate Profe Extensi
W. Taylor, Coordinator south
*. S.H. TenBroeck, Associate Professor,
Extension Youth Specialist
*. T.A. Thrift, Assistant Professor, Beef Cattle
5-6 FCA Year End Quarterly Meeting Sebring,
7 Salacoa Valley Farms Brangus Bull Sale -
11-12 FL Bull Test Ends
13 N. Florida Livestock Annual Bull Sale -
Lake City, FL
13-14 Junior 4-H Congress High Springs, FL
16 Brangus Bonanza, Heldon Ranch -
24 Christmas Eve
25 Christmas Day (Holiday)
27 Arcadia Special Slaughter Cow and Bull
Sale Arcadia, FL
3 Hog & Ham Workshop Palmetto, FL
14 Ocala Bull Sale Ocala, FL
14-16 ECS Led Training Course Gainesville, FL
15-16 Florida Cattlemen's Institute and Allied
Trade Show Kissimmee, FL
20 Hog & Ham Workshop Gainesville, FL
21-23 ECS Led Training Course Palmetto, FL
22-24 AI Management School Okeechobee, FL
25 FL Bull Test Sale Marianna, FL
31-Feb 2 American Youth Horse Council Youth
Horse Leadership Symposium St. Louis,
Sctsorn'5s Gr in0
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 December 2002
0 Begin grazing small grain pastures (if ready).
0 Check mineral feeder.
0 Check for external parasites and treat if needed.
0 Deworm cows and heifers prior to winter
0 Observe regularly for calving difficulties.
0 Rotate calving pastures to prevent diseases.
0 Watch for scours in calves.
0 Investigate health of bulls before you buy.
0 Have dead animals posted by a veterinarian or
0 Complete review of management plan and
update for next year.Check replacement heifers
to be sure they will be ready to breed 3 4
weeks prior to the main cow herd.
0 Apply lime for summer crops.
0 Check for lice and treat if necessary.
0 Control weeds in cool season pastures.
0 Begin grazing winter clover pastures when
approximately 6 inches high. Rye should be 12-
8 inches high.
0 Check mineral feeders.
0 Put bulls out for October calving season.
0 Make up breeding herd lists if using single sire
0 Watch for calf scours.
0 Give bulls extra feed and care so they will be in
condition for breeding season.
0 Make sure cow herd has access to adequate
0 Buy only performance tested bulls with superior
0 Get taxes filed.
0 Discuss herd health with you veterinarian and
outline a program for the year. Review herd
health program with your veterinarian regularly.
0 Carry a pocket notebook to record heat,
breeding abnormalities, discharges, abortions,
retained placentas, difficult calvings and other
0 Observe cow herd for calving difficulties.
0 Watch for grass tetany on winter pastures.
0 Increase magnesium levels in mineral mixes if
grass tetany has been previous problem (if you
are not already using a high magnesium
0 Examine bulls for breeding soundness and
semen quality prior to the breeding season.
R Vaccinate cows and heifers against vibriosis and
leptospirosis prior to the breeding season.
R Top dress winter forages, if needed.
0 Check and fill mineral feeders.
0 Put bulls out with breeding herd.
0 Work calves (identify, implant with growth
stimulant, vaccinate, etc.).
0 Make sure lactating cows are receiving an
adequate level of energy.
0 Watch calves for signs of respiratory diseases.
0 Cull cows that failed to calve while prices are
0 Check for lice and treat if needed.
December 2002 3
Pasture and range conditions
have been reported as poor in a
large portion of the country as late
as early October. Florida was more
fortunate than most in this area.
Not surprisingly, the USDA is reporting that
cattle on-feed inventories continue to decline.
Aggressive marketing this summer and reduced
feedlot placements this spring and summer are the
Also adding to the market push are the rising
feed grain prices. Even so, slaughter weights remain
well above the weather reduced levels of 2001. The
weights are expected to continue upward until early
There is indication of forage improvement this
fall. If this occurs, the higher grain prices will
encourage increased weight gain from pasture with
the hopes of moderating feed cost.
On-feed placements were down in the second
half of 2001 and are expected to decline again this
year. Forage development will heavily influence the
Fed cattle marketing are expected to decline
below a year earlier from Fall 2002 into 2003. The
largest year-to-year declines are predicted to occur
in the second half of 2003.
A modest year-over-year reduction in fourth
quarter beef production is projected. The record
high slaughter weights are the cause. Even the
declining fed-cattle marketing can only marginally
influence the trend.
For the year 2002, beef production is expected
to surpass the 2000 record of 26.8 billion pounds.
Sharply increased slaughter weights aided the trend.
Slaughter weights are expected to set another
record in 2003, but year-to-year increase is
predicted to moderate. Strong demand for higher
quality beef will encourage heavier weights.
Additionally, few discounts are occurring for
heavier carcasses as the industry moves toward
marketing individual muscles rather than cuts.
Demand is increasing for higher graded beef with
Retail prices are projected to gradually rise
through winter as supplies begin to tighten. Large
supplies of competing meats, especially pork, are
expected to moderate the price trend.
Feeder calf prices should rise, but the best
prospects are for the higher graded calves. Order
buyers will continue to seek quality and
consistency. The overall economy and weather can
help or hurt the outlook, but prospects appear bright
as beef demand has remained strong and fed-cattle
Florida Steers: Monthly Average Prices for 2001
Sept Oct Nov Dec
Florida Milk Cow Production
1999 2000 2001
4 December 2002
Florida Broiler Chicks Placed
animal Agriculture (NIAA) and small ruminant
specialist with the University of Minnesota. "It
allows market channels to operate normally and still
be in compliance with the scrapie eradication
National Institute for Animal
Release November 1, 2002
SOURCE: The Florida Agri-Journal
Researched by Les Harrison
Development Rep. I
Division of Marketing
Release November 5, 2002
USDA Issues New Scrapie
Eradication Program Record
Keeping Guidelines for Markets,
New compliance guidelines to simplify record-
keeping for sheep and goat dealers and markets
have been issued by the U.S. Department of
Agriculture's (USDA) Animal and Plant Health
Inspection Service-Veterinary Services (APHIS-
VS) as part of the national scrapie eradication
The new record-keeping compliance
guidelines require only standard business practices
of record buyer, seller, the number of animals, date,
species and breed or class of animal. No longer will
dealers and/or market operators be expected to
record individual identification information unless
individual "IDs" are inserted or replaced by a dealer
The record-keeping change is important to
all segments of the sheep and goat industries,
according to Dr. Cindy Wolf, Sheep Health
Committee Chairperson for the National Institute of
Heads will roll as a U.S. Department of
Agriculture plan to control imported fire ants is put
into practice this month in Florida.
The plan, based on research by Sanford Porter,
a University of Florida Institute of Food and
Agricultural Sciences adjunct professor employed
by the USDA, introduces tiny South American
phorid flies to the United States to control the pesky
ants, whose spread has been unaffected by poisons
and other measures.
Phorid flies use the decapitated heads of
imported fire ants to reproduce.
"This is the only way we're ever going to see a
reduction in the number of fire ants in North
America," said Fred Santana, the integrated pest
management coordinator for the UF/IFAS Sarasota
County Extension Service.
Santana will be the first under the USDA plan
to release the flies to Florida. The USDA funds the
Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer
Services' Division of Plant Industry to produce and
distribute the flies.
9/1412002 9/21/2002 9/2812002 1015/2002
December 2002 5
Sanford Porter, a University of Florida Institute of Food and
Agricultural Sciences adjunct professor, inspects imported fire
ants at a USDA Division of Plant Industry rearing facility. A plan
designed to control imported fire ants by infecting the pests with
a parasitic fly is based on Porter's research. (University of
"I had thought maybe you could just release
the flies into the environment, but you have to go to
great pains to make sure that the flies attack the
ants," Santana said.
After the flies are incubated, Santana will
remove selected fire ants from their nests and place
them in a flat-bottomed "attack box" that is about
35 inches long and 17 inches wide. Agitating the
ants to ensure they don't adopt defensive postures,
he will release 40 to 60 flies into the box. After two
hours, Santana will return the newly infected ants to
Santana said imported fire ants, which
accidentally were introduced to Florida from South
America 70 years ago and differ from a less-
common native species, have a major impact in his
area. The ants are capable of multiple stings and
inject venom that raises white pustules.
"The ants cost millions in crop, equipment and
livestock loss, and millions to control them,"
Santana said. "They're problems in playgrounds,
parks, golf courses, pastures, lawns around houses,
edges of sidewalks and just about any disturbed
Santana said previous efforts to control the
ants have been unsuccessful.
"We've been trying to kill these ants for more
than 50 years, but their range just keeps expanding,"
he said. "There are lots of poisons out there to kill
them, but where you broadcast a poison which kills
on contact or by ingestion, you also kill many
nontarget ants and other beneficial insects."
Unlike poison, Porter said his research has
shown the flies are safe to people, animals and
"It's possible they might attack ants other than
imported fire ants, but after extensive testing we've
never been able to get them to do it," said Porter, an
entomologist for the USDA's Agricultural Research
Porter, who has been releasing phorid flies in
north Florida for about four years, was the first to
describe the fly's life cycle in 1994.
"The flies hover above the ants, dive in, latch
on to the ant's body and inject their eggs," he said.
"The egg hatches, and a maggot wiggles its way
into the ant's head, where it grows for two to three
weeks before secreting a chemical that dissolves the
membranes holding the ant's body together. In a few
hours the ant's head falls off. The maggot eats
everything in it, then uses it as a pupae case -- kind
of like a cocoon."
The density of imported fire ants in Florida is
five to seven times that of its native South America,
Porter said. He attributes this to changes in behavior
the ants display in the presence of the phorid flies.
"The flies will hover above ants like little
squadrons of Apache attack helicopters, dive in and
hit ant after ant. Needless to say, the ants don't like
it," Porter said. "They'll run and hide if they can,
and if they can't hide they'll curl into a defensive,
upside-down 'C' posture."
The ants have spread to many southern states,
and a federal quarantine designed to limit their
range regulates the distribution of agricultural
products throughout the Southeast and in many
parts of Texas. The USDA's Animal and Plant
Health Inspection Service is releasing phorid flies in
all of the areas under quarantine.
6 December 2002
Fred Santana, (941) 316-1172
Sanford Porter, (352) 374-5914
By: Patrick Hughes
UF/IFAS, Gainesville, FL
Release November 14, 2002
USDA New USDA Directive
S Mandates 'Aggressive'
Approach to Listeria
The Agriculture Department
released a new directive aimed at controlling
Listeria monocytogenes in ready-to-eat meat and
poultry products, an initiative that USDA Secretary
Anne Veneman described as "an aggressive and
targeted approach" to reduce the risk of food-borne
outbreaks from listeria-contaminated foods.
The new rules prescribe an intensified testing
program for plants that produce high- and medium-
risk ready-to-eat products, such as hot dogs or deli
meats. The new testing program will consist of
three types of sampling:
Product contact surfaces
Environmental surfaces inside the plants
Some plants that have an evaluated
environmental testing program designed to find and
take necessary actions to eliminate listeria will be
subject only to targeted testing of finished products.
Those plants must share data from their evaluated
environmental testing program with USDA.
Plants that have an environmental testing
program in place but choose to keep the data private
would be subject to the full USDA intensified
In practical terms, the directive means that
USDA will have environmental listeria test data
from every inspected facility producing high and
medium risk ready-to-eat products under USDA
inspection. The data will either come from the
facilities' own test data or from the intensified
USDA sampling program.
Officials with the American Meat Institute
issued a statement Monday (Nov. 18) noting that
current intervention efforts -- not testing -- have
already made a difference in reducing the incidence
"The goal of any food-safety program should
be to protect the public health," said Mark Dopp,
AMI senior vice president for regulatory affairs and
general counsel. "Data from the Food Safety and
Inspection Service show that industry efforts have
contributed to significant reductions in listeria in
ready-to-eat meat and poultry products. Based on
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention data,
illnesses associated with listeria are also are
decreasing. These are the kinds of results that are
good for our customers and good for businesses."
Dopp noted that meat processors already use
environmental testing -- "widely, aggressively and
voluntarily" -- to target and destroy listeria in the
plant environments where the pathogen can
"Although it may seem counter-intuitive to
some, good environmental testing programs must be
designed to find listeria so that aggressive actions
can be taken to remove it from the processing
environment," Dopp said. "Environmental testing
programs that only result in negative tests may not
be working. The question is, will the government
punish a company whose testing program works the
way microbiologists say it should?"
Regulatory efforts should encourage industry
to test the plant environment and should not punish
those plants that work hard to find and eliminate
listeria from the environment, Dopp said.
USDA's data on the incidence of listeria in
processing plants will likely be available to the
public through the Freedom of Information Act,
department officials indicated.
December 2002 7
Details of the new directive are available on
the USDA Web site at www.fsis.usda.gov/oa/.
Florida Agriculture and
Consumer Services Commissioner Charles H.
Bronson and U.S. Department of Agriculture
Secretary Ann Veneman are announcing a new
program for Florida that will provide more than
$150 million for water quality and habitat
improvements on agricultural lands.
Florida's Conservation Reserve Enhancement
Program (CREP), a U.S. Department of Agriculture
program recently authorized in the 2002 Farm Bill,
will restore up to 30,000 acres of environmentally
sensitive agricultural land. Conservation practices
include restoring wetlands to improve water quality
and provide new habitat for migratory waterfowl
and wading birds as well as planting trees and
grassy areas along water bodies to act as a barrier to
runoff and to prevent bank erosion. CREP will be
coordinated with other ongoing environmental
projects such as the Comprehensive Everglades
Restoration Plan and the Lake Okeechobee
Protection Plan to achieve greater environmental
"This cooperative effort will enable Florida to
make great strides in its objectives of restoring
water quality and providing a natural habitat for
many species," Bronson said. "Agricultural
producers are serious about protecting the beauty
and well being of our unique environmental
Robert White (MMT Editor Dan
Murphy also contributed to this
Release November 20, 2002
Program to Improve
Liz Compton and Leslie Palmer
Release October 28, 2002
Under the voluntary program, farmers and
ranchers will enroll in the CREP under 15-year
conservation leases with the USDA. The State will
then use its resources to offer incentives to the
landowners to extend the conservation leases to a
total of 30 years or to make them permanent.
Funding for this effort totals $153 million with the
federal government contributing $96 million of this
"This partnership is an example of federal and
state resources coming together to enhance our
natural resources," said Veneman. "This
partnership means cleaner water and healthier
wildlife habitat for an array of threatened and
endangered species like the woodstork and indigo
The CREP program targets a large
geographical area of Florida, stretching from the
mouth of the St. Johns River to Florida Bay. It
focuses specifically on land in the St. Johns-
Ocklawaha-Indian River Lagoon System and in the
Everglades Watershed (Kissimmee River, Lake
Okeechobee, Caloosahatchee River, and
Today, Bronson was joined by USDA Deputy
Secretary James Moseley in Orlando to sign the
CREP agreement. USDA's Farm Service Agency
will now begin working with the Florida
Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services
and the Soil and Water Conservation Districts on a
public outreach program to educate and enroll
"This CREP will reduce sediment and
pollutants and encourage farmers to plant vegetative
cover," said Moseley. "Florida's natural resources
and the communities around them will greatly
benefit from this program."
8 December 2002
4-H Clubs Celebrate
"Make A Difference
Day" by Helping
Contrary to popular
images of today's youth as
apathetic, Make a Difference
Day found 4-H members
making elderly residents of a nursing home smile,
helping children who are terminally ill ride horses
and sewing quilts for newborns.
More than 200 people turned out for an Equine
Fun Day with 12 terminally ill children from
Dreams Come True in Jacksonville. Hosted by the
Westside Wranglers 4-H Club, the benefit featured
pony rides, horse activity games, a fall festival and
a hayride. It was part of the annual national day of
giving back to the community organized by USA
They weren't the only 4-H'ers in Florida taking
part in the annual day of service. The Silly Stitchers
4-H Club in Port Charlotte spent the day sewing
bibs and baby quilts for new mothers.
National 4-H Council is a partner in USA
Weekend Make a Difference Day, which is why so
many 4-H clubs conduct service projects that day,
said Marilyn Norman, state 4-H leader and assistant
dean for 4-H at the University of Florida's Institute
of Food and Agricultural Sciences. "Young people
are a vital part of our communities, and they can be
an active force in making the world better, if adults
will let them."
4-H clubs help the community throughout the
year, said Norman. "Giving back to the community
gives youth opportunities to take on new roles and
responsibilities. These are part of essential out-of-
school experiences shown to contribute to positive
Helping others can help you appreciate what
you have, said 4-H members. "Watching the kids
from Dreams Come True enjoy the day made us all
thankful that we are healthy and it makes you
appreciate the things that you can do," said Kara
Shoemaker, 17, of Jacksonville.
Thirty 4-H club members in Ft. Myers spent
the day carving pumpkins, singing and doing crafts
with elderly residents at Manorcare Health Services.
For Kandi Zielinski, 14, whose grandmother lives in
the nursing home, project "Make Them Smile" was
personally rewarding. "Seeing how much she and
the other residents enjoyed having all of the kids
there with them really made me happy. Our goal for
the day was to make them smile, and I think it was
myself and the other 4-H members who were
Senior citizens have a lot of love to share, said
Brooke Harvey, 11, of Alva. "I went to make a
difference in someone's life and Sally, the resident I
met, made a difference in mine," she said.
Founded in 1902 as an outreach to rural youth,
4-H has 60 million alumni and involves 28 percent
of youth in America at some point in their K-12
years, according to the U.S. Department of
Florida 4-H is the youth development program
of the Florida Cooperative Extension Service,
which is part of the UF/IFAS. 4-H worked with
more than 287,000 youth ages 5-18 last year in
Florida and has programs active in all 67 counties.
For more information about Florida 4-H, visit
www.florida4h.org. Call toll-free 1-866-4HCLUBS
4-H Youth Development
By: Ami Neiberger-Miller
4-H Youth Development