In This Issue...
Beef M management Calendar .............................. 2
2002 Bull Test Completed............... ..................2
Livestock Sum m ary ......................................... 3
UF Extension to Manage Agricultural
M edition ................................... ..................
County-of-Origin Labeling Law Proceeding....... 4
New Website for US Government Science
Inform ation ................................................... 5
Farm Bureau Says 'Yes' to Plan to Streamline
Forest, Rangeland Management ...................5.
A rdisia crenata................................................. 6
Tender Beef Gene Test a World-First ............... 7
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,
o R.S. Sand, Associate Profesr xtens
W. Taylor, Coordinator Youth
*: S.H. TenBroeck, Associate Professor,
Extension Youth Specialist
*: T.A. Thrift, Assistant Professor, Beef Cattle
3 Hog & Ham Workshop Palmetto, FL
10 Avenue of the Breeds Bull Sale -Montgomery, AL
11 Sunshine Farms Sale Clanton, AL
11 Lake City Invitational Brangus Bull Sale -Lake City,
14 Ocala Bull Sale Ocala, FL
14-16 ECS Led Training Course Gainesville, FL
15-16 Florida Cattlemen's Institute and Allied Trade Show -
20 Hog & Ham Workshop Gainesville, FL
21 Reproduction in the Beef Herd Workshop Lake City,
21-23 ECS Led Training Course Palmetto, FL
22-24 AI Management School Okeechobee, FL
25 FL Bull Test Sale Marianna, FL
1-Feb 2 American Youth Horse Council Youth Horse
Leadership Symposium St. Louis, MO
3 All Breed Bull Sale Lakeland, FL
4-6 ECS Led Training Course Kissimmee, FL
8 Florida State Fair Horse & Livestock Judging, Tampa
both contests FFA Preliminary, 4-H Practice
11 Florida Ag Hall of Fame Induction
15 Walden's Black & White Sale Brantley, AL
21 SE Youth Fair / Neal McCoy Concert Ocala, FL
N e- New
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
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Cooperative Extension Service Office Florida Cooperative Extension Service/Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences/University of Florida/ Christine Taylor Waddill, Director
2 January 2002
N, Beef Management
0 Apply lime for summer crops.
R Check for lice and treat if necessary.
0 Control weeds in cool season pastures.
R Begin grazing winter clover pastures when
approximately 6 inches high. Rye should be 12-8
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 fresh
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 data.
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 mineral).
0 Examine bulls for breeding soundness and semen
quality prior to the breeding season.
0 Vaccinate cows and heifers against vibriosis and
leptospirosis prior to the breeding season.
0 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.
0 Prepare land for summer crops.
0 Begin grazing warm season permanent pastures.
0 Check and fill mineral feeder.
0 Observe bulls for condition and success. Rotate and
rest if needed.
0 Deworm cows as needed.
0 Make sure calves are healthy and making good
0 Hang forced-use dust bags by April 1st for external
parasite control or use insecticide impregnated ear
0 Identify, vaccinate, implant, and work late calves.
0 Put bulls out March 1st for calving season to start
0 Remove bulls March 22nd to end calving season
2002 Bull Test Completed
On December 11 & 12, 2002, the 71 bulls
participating in the Florida Bull Test were weighed and
measured to complete the test. The bulls averaged 1,233
lb, with the lightest at 960 and the heaviest at 1,585. For
the test (112 days), the group averaged 3.77 lb per day,
with the highest at 5.13 and the lowest at 2.58. Weight
per day of age averaged 3.00 pounds with a high of 3.77
and the low at 2.33. The average frame score was 6.03,
with the tallest being 8.2 and the shortest 4.07. The bulls
are ranked by an index made up of average daily gain on
test and weight per day of age. The high indexing bull
was the #281 Angus from Oak Bowery Farm, Opelika,
AL. They also had the second high indexing bull, #280.
In third, was the #320 Charolais from Rogers Bar HR,
Bulls which are indexed 90 or better are eligible for
the sale held January 25, 2003, at the unit. In order to be
in the sale they must also pass a breeding soundness
exam and a structural soundness/disposition screening.
Additional information that will be available includes
pelvic area, scrotal circumference, and ultra sound
evaluation of carcass merit. Current EPD's for all traits
will be included in the sale catalog which should be
available the first week in January. Call the NFREC-
Marianna to request a copy at (850) 482-9904.
Complete information on the bulls including
weights, gains, etc., as well as ranking, is available on
the bull test web site : http://flbulltest.ifas.ufl.edu/.
Dr. Bob Sand
Extension Livestock Specialist
Department of Animal Sciences, UF
Phone: (352) 392-7529
The USDA is predicting beef
S production in the October-December
2002 quarter to be about one percent over
a year earlier. Prices for fed cattle are
projected to average in the upper $60's
per hundredweight as packers compete
for declining numbers of cattle.
Fed cattle marketing have been brisk relative to
inventory levels in recent months. The October 1, 2002,
cattle-on-feed inventory in the seven dominate states was
down five percent from the previous year. On November
1, it was 9 percent below the figure for each of the last
Feeder cattle supplies outside feedlots on October
1, 2002, were unchanged from a year earlier. Placements
are expected to remain below year-earlier levers as
wheat grazing prospects in the High Plains winter wheat
areas are the best in several years. Improved weather
conditions will result in more light cattle moved to
The upturn in prices will likely continue next year
as steer and heifer slaughter drops each quarter relative
to a year earlier. The largest year-to-year declines in
slaughter are predicted to occur during the second half of
Gains in average slaughter weights should slow
from this year's record pace if winter feeding conditions
are normal. Florida cattlemen in the western panhandle
are an exception to this. Exceptionally heavy mid-
November rains heavily damaged winter small grain
Overall, beef production forecast is down five
percent in 2003. Normal forage availability and grazing
conditions in the spring and summer would encourage
producers to retain animals for breeding.
Total red meat and poultry exports are expected to
decline three percent in 2002 from a year earlier. The
largest contributor to the decline is broiler exports.
Exporting problems to Russia and export bans related to
localized disease outbreaks are expected to register an
eight percent year-over-year export reduction.
Red meat exports are projected to post a six percent
gain in 2002 and a two percent gain in 2003. Likewise,
broiler exports are anticipated to register a seven percent
gain in 2003.
January 2002 3
Brighter price prospects lay on the horizon for
Florida's cow-calf producers, but with two big "ifs" -
the weather and the economy. Another severe drought
like 2002's will almost certainly depress demand for
feeder animals, and the prices paid for them.
The strength of overall national and world
economy will also play a role in demand and pricing.
The prospects of war with Iraq and the current "soft
spot" in the economy are dampening demand.
There is reason for optimism, but with caution.
U.S. Commercial Red Meat Production
Veal Lamb Pork Beef
19 20 1,831 2,512
Commerical Hog Slaughter by State:
AL FL GA LA
Top Five States in Equine Sales: 1998
E 65o000 ooa .
NJ VA TX FL KY
58,500 60,000 90,000 111.600 650,000
The Florida Agri-Journal
Researched by Les Harrison
Development Rep. I
Division of Marketing
Release December 6, 2002
4 January 2002
UF Extension to Manage
Florida offers mediation to people or organizations
that have received an adverse decision from a United
States Department of Agriculture agency in relation to a
disaster or loan-related program. This process is handled
by the Florida Agriculture Mediation Service (FAMS).
FAMS, which is sanctioned and funded by USDA,
will now be managed by the University of Florida's
Cooperative Extension Service, which is a part of UF's
Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences.
Mediation is consensual and less formal than
litigation or the national appeals process. Trained
mediators help parties review issues and reach
agreements without further appeals.
Mediators do not impose decisions, and individuals
may participate without surrendering appeal rights.
Possible results of mediation may include a more
beneficial outcome or a more efficient appeal process.
County extension agents do not serve as mediators.
FAMS, which was initiated by UF's Levin College of
Law and has been certified to offer mediation services
for USDA agencies since 1997, uses only mediators
certified by the Florida Supreme Court. Mediators are
independent contractors and are neutral in any cases that
If you have received a written adverse decision
from the Farm Service Agency, Rural Development
Agency or Natural Resources and Conservation Service,
the letter should explain your rights to challenge the
decision, including instructions on the mediation option.
If your letter does not include instructions on how to
mediate the decision, and you would like to see if this
option is available to you, please contact FAMS at Room
1038, P.O. Box 110210, Gainesville, Fla. 32611-0210 or
call the toll-free number (888) 712-9421.
The Farm Service Agency, Rural Development
Agency or Natural Resource and Conservation Service
can also provide more information.
SOURCE: Florida Agricultural Mediation Service
Release December 3, 2002
Country-of-Origin Labeling Law
One of the many provisions in the Farm Security
and Rural Investment Act of 2002 (aka farm bill) was a
requirement for the U.S. Department of Agriculture
(USDA) to issue voluntary country-of-origin labeling
guidelines for use by retailers who wish to notify their
customers of the country of origin of beef (including
veal), lamb, pork, fish, perishable agricultural
commodities, and peanuts.
The USDA just released the rules to enact the
voluntary component of this new law and will be
enforcing mandatory compliance of this
law by September 30, 2004. The process to make
mandatory rules will begin in April of 2003.
1. The guidelines are voluntary. However, if one chooses
to use the USA label they must follow the
2. Labeling becomes mandatory September 30, 2004.
3. Retailers are responsible for ensuring that guidelines
are followed. Those who violate the guidelines can be
fined up to $10,000 per violation.
4. Food services (restaurants, cafeterias, lunchrooms,
food stands, saloons, taverns, bars, lounges, ets.) are
exempt from the labeling law.
The following items are covered by the law and
must be labeled at the final retail point of sale as to
country of origin:
* fresh or frozen muscle cuts of beef (including veal),
lamb, and pork;
* ground beef, ground lamb, and ground pork;
* farm-raised fish and shellfish;
* perishable agricultural commodities (fresh and
frozen fruits and vegetables);
For the next 180 days, USDA will take submissions
on the utility of the voluntary guidelines. Even though
our goal of mandatory labeling is not a reality, the ball is
quickly moving in that direction. We must be diligent in
following the USDA as it develops the rules.
The Florida Department of Agriculture and
Consumer Services has been a great partner in our
efforts to ensure that the national labeling program
mirrors our state program. The Florida law has worked
well for years and hasn't resulted in undue burdens on
SOURCE: Ray Hodge, FFBF
National Affair Coordinator
Reprinted in part with permission, from
Edward R. Albanesi, Editor
Release December 2002
science.gOV New Website
Government Science Information
The American public is now connected as never
before to U.S. Government science and technology.
Fourteen scientific and technical information
organizations from 10 major science agencies have
collaborated to create science.gov (www.science.gov),
the "FirstGov for Science" web site. Science.gov is the
gateway to reliable information about science and
technology from across Federal government
From science.gov, users can find over one thousand
government information resources about science. These
resources include: technical reports, journal citations,
databases, Federal web sites, and fact sheets. The
information is all free, and no registration is required.
"Science.gov aims to bring the substantial
resources of the federal science and technology
enterprise together, in one place. Working together,
federal agencies have assembled countless pages of
government research, data, and reports. The site is a
great example of e-govemment in action," said Dr. John
H. Marburger, Director, Office of Science and
Technology Policy, Executive Office of the President.
Science.gov is for the educational and library
communities, as well as business people, entrepreneurs,
agency scientists, and anyone with an interest in science.
Support for building the science.gov gateway came from
January 2002 5
"CENDI," an interagency committee of senior managers
of Federal science and technology information
"Science.gov provides the unique ability to search
across the content within databases as well as across
Web sites," said Eleanor Frierson, Deputy Director of
the National Agricultural Library and co-chair of the
science.gov Alliance, the interagency group that created
science.gov. "It shows that Federal agencies can work
together to pull off something none of them could do
The agencies participating in science.gov are the
Departments of Agriculture, Commerce, Defense,
Education, Energy, Health and Human Services, and
Interior; the Environmental Protection Agency; the
National Aeronautics and Space Administration; and the
National Science Foundation.
Additional information is available at
www.science.gov/communications or by contacting
Valerie Allen (phone (865) 576-3469; e-mail:
firstname.lastname@example.org) or Sharon Jordan (phone (865) 576-
1194; e-mail: email@example.com).
SOURCE: First Gov for Science
Release December 5, 2002
Farm Bureau Says
W 'Yes' to Plan to
Streamline Forest, Rangeland
Despite the outcry from environmentalists over a
loosening of red tape on forest management plans, the
head of the American Farm Bureau Federation came out
in support of recent changes proposed by the U.S. Forest
Service and the Interior Department, according to a news
"The administration's healthy forest initiative will
lead to better forest management, fewer catastrophic
wildfires and will benefit rural communities on the front
lines whenever devastating wildfires break out," said
Bob Stallman, AFBF president. "This plan represents a
positive step toward better management of our nation's
forest and rangelands."
6 January 2002
Stallman said the forest initiative would "reduce
the red tape" that has prevented needed fuel-reduction
efforts, such as timber stand thinning and fuel wood
removal projects. He said the plan should lead to better
coordination between land management and wildlife
management agencies when endangered species are
"Farmers and ranchers across the country rely on
well-managed federal forests and rangelands to enhance
the viability of their own operations," he said. "In recent
years, these lands have been ravaged by devastating
wildfires and crippling pests. Unfortunately, some of the
obstacles to better management have been the agencies'
own internal procedures."
Stallman said the administration's plan dovetails
with Farm Bureau's efforts to restore multiple-use and
sensible management for public lands forests and
"We appreciate the administration's efforts to
improve resource management policy," he said.
SOURCE: Dan Murphy
Release December 16, 2002
Common Name: Coral
ardisia, coral berry, spice
Origin: Japan to northern
* This plant has recently been implicated in some animal
deaths. It has not been recognized as highly toxic, but
Botanical Description: Evergreen subshrub to
1.8 m (6 ft) tall (more commonly 0.5-1 m in height),
growing in multi-stemmed clumps. Leaves alternate, to
21 cm (8.3 in) long, dark green above, waxy, glabrous,
with crenate (scalloped) margins and calluses in the
margin notches. Flowers white to pink in stalked axillary
clusters, usually drooping below the foliage. Flowers
small, bisexual, with petaloid parts pinkish white and
anthers yellow. Fruit a bright red, globose, 1-seeded
drupe, to 8 mm in diameter.
Ecological Significance: Introduced into
Florida for ornament near the beginning of this century
(Royal Palm Nurseries 1900). Noted as escaping into
moist woods in 1982 (Wunderlin). Seen naturalized in
hardwood hammocks across USDA Plant Hardiness
Zone 9, including several areas in northern Florida (H.
Dozier, University of Florida, personal observations).
Recently reported as new to Texas flora, dominating
understories in portions of two reserves (Singhurst et al.
1997). May reach densities of greater than 100 plants per
m2 (H. Dozier, University of Florida, unpublished data).
Native plant species richness substantially lower in its
presence, regardless of its density or the site history; also
reduces the already dim light of forest understories by an
additional 70%, potentially shading out native seedlings
(H. Dozier, University of Florida, unpublished data).
Mature naturalized plants usually surrounded by a carpet
of seedlings, displacing small native ground cover such
as violets, Viola spp., and wakerobins, Trillium spp., (M.
Zeller and K. C. Burks, Florida Department
of Environmental Protection, personal observations).
Distribution: Most widely distributed Ardisia
worldwide (Watkins and Wolfe 1956, Watkins 1969).
Naturalized on 2 islands in Hawaii (C. Smith, University
of Hawaii, 1995 personal communication), and noted as
an escapee in wet forest remnants in Mauritius over 60
years ago (Lorence and Sussman 1986; Vaughan and
Wiehe 1937, 1941). Reported from Florida natural areas
in Alachua, Flagler, Gadsden, Highlands, Hillsborough,
Leon, Liberty, Marion, Martin, and Orange counties
Recorded by herbarium specimens from Alachua,
Citrus, Franklin, Gadsden, Hemando, Highlands, Leon,
Marion, Orange, and Pasco counties (Wunderlin et al.
Life History: Prefers moist soil (Chabot 1952,
Odenwald and Turner 1980), but may succumb to fungal
rot in flooded soil (J. Tea, University of Florida, 1996
personal communication). Resprouts vigorously after
cutting; propagated by cuttings for compact growth
(Chabot 1952). Does not carry fire well through its thick
foliage and resprouts following fire (F. E. Putz,
University of Florida, 1996 personal communication).
Produces fruit within 2 years from seed (Odenwald and
Turner 1980). Fruit crop usually heavy, with viable seed
retained year-round on plants (H. Dozier, University of
January 2002 7
Florida, personal observations). Seeds dispersed by
birds, including mockingbirds and cedar waxwings (K.
Brady, Birdsong Nature Center, 1997 personal
communication) and by raccoons (H. Dozier, University
of Florida, personal observations). Seeds able to
germinate in a range of soil pH, from pH 4 (acid) to pH
10 (alkaline), with germination rates of 84 to 98% within
40 days (M. Zeller, Florida Department of
Environmental Protection, unpublished data).
For more information, please visit:
SOURCE: Center for Aquatic and Invasive Plants -
University of Florida
iGene Test a
Th 1 1
will allow beef producers to breed animals for their
ability to more consistently deliver enhanced
The test was developed by a consortium
comprising; the Cattle and Beef Quality Cooperative
Research Centre, CSIRO Livestock Industries and
Meat and Livestock Australia.
Brisbane-based company, Genetic Solutions, has
won the global race to bring the test to the market.
"There is keen interest in using this tool to
selectively improve the quality of beef herds in
Australia as well as in the Americas and South
Africa," Genetic Solutions' Scientific Director, Dr. Jay
The new test, known as GeneSTAR Tenderness,
will complement GeneSTAR Marbling the world's
first commercial DNA test for identifying animals
with the desirable trait of fat distributed through the
Dr. Hetzel said beef consumers had clearly
identified inconsistency in tenderness as a major
deficiency. Research had shown that tenderness was
more important than juiciness and flavor factors to
their eating experience.
"A major scientific effort has now delivered beef
producers a simple live animal test that will help them
meet customer expectations."
Both GeneSTAR tests use laboratory analysis of
an animal's DNA, which can be extracted from tail
"The tenderness link to the naturally occurring
enzyme, calpastatin, was identified in a major study
led by Dr. Bill Barendse and a team from the Beef
Quality CRC using more than 5,000 beef carcases
from seven breeds," said CSIRO Livestock Industries
Chief, Mr. Shaun Coffey.
8 January 2002
Cattle and Beef Quality CRC Chief Executive
Officer, Professor Bemie Bindon, said the GeneSTAR
Tenderness test was made possible by the investment
of more than $32 million of Commonwealth CRC
funds, producer levies and CSIRO project funding.
"Genetic improvement of tenderness has proved
very difficult because the trait is hard to measure and
is influenced by many pre and post-slaughter
environmental factors. While the GeneSTAR test
accounts for only a part of the variation in tenderness,
the effects are permanent and cumulative."
He said the test is simple and can be performed
at any stage on the live animal.
"GeneSTAR Tenderness should have long-term
benefits for the beef quality of Australian herds,"
Professor Bindon said.
Researchers discovered two variants of the
calpastatin gene one associated with increased
tenderness and another with increased toughness. Cattle
are given a rating 2-STAR, 1-STAR or 0-STAR -
indicating how many copies they have of the tender form
of the gene.
Dr. Hetzel said a bull and cow, both with 2-STAR
ratings, would pass on the desirable traits to 100 per cent
of their progeny.
"The 2-STAR animals are genetically programmed
to be more tender. The improvement made possible by
using this technology is predicted to more than halve the
number of carcases rated unacceptably tough by
Dr. Hetzel said selective breeding with 2-STAR
bulls would eventually eliminate 0-STAR animals from
a herd. Breeders unknowingly using 0-STAR or 1-STAR
bulls could be putting future herd tenderness at risk.
The presence of the tender form of the gene varies
across breeds with British-type breeds recording the
highest frequency and the Brahman breed the lowest.
Meat and Livestock Australia Research Program
Manager, Dr. Hutton Oddy, said the tenderness
technology presented a great opportunity to do
something for beef consumers.
"An enormous amount of work has been done on
this project and it is good to see the results being
commercialised in Australia," he said.
"In particular, this test presents a fantastic
opportunity for the northern beef industry to genetically
improve cattle for tenderness while retaining the
desirable traits of tick resistance and heat tolerance," Dr
Dr. Jay Hetzel, Genetic Solutions, 07 3633 35550,
mobile: 0413 045 478.
Dr. Bill Barendse, CSIRO Livestock Industries, 07
Professor Bernard Bindon, Cattle and Beef Quality
CRC, 02 6773 3513
Ms. Catherine Young, CSIRO Livestock Industries,
07 3214 2927
Mr. Gordon Collie, Agri-Prose Ltd, mobile: 0409
SOURCE: FASS Track
Federation of Animal Science Societies