In This Issue...
Beef Management Calendar ......................... 2
Livestock Summary............................. ..... 2
USDA Announces Plan to Expand Genetic
Testing for the Interstate Movement of
Scrapie-Exposed Sheep ............................. 3
USDA Marks Progress on BSE Prevention
A action Step s................................................ 4
Process Developed by USDA Scientists
Makes Swine Wastewater Environmentally
Friendly .......................... .... .......... 6
USDA Extends Comment Period for Processors
on COOL Proposal ...................................... 7
Is it Best to Raise or Purchase Replacement
H eifers? ....... ............... .................. 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 sor, Extensji
W. Taylor, Coordina or Youth
*. S.H. TenBroeck, Associate Professor,
Extension Youth Specialist
T.A. Thrift, Assistant Professor, Beef Cattle
3 All Breed Bull Sale Lakeland, FL
4-6 ECS Led Training Course Kissimmee,
8 Florida State Fair Horse & Livestock
Judging, Tampa both contests FFA
Preliminary, 4-H Practice
11 Florida Ag Hall of Fame Induction
11 Phosphorus Management Workshop for
South Florida Beef Cattle Operations -
15 Walden's Black & White Sale -
21 SE Youth Fair / Neal McCoy Concert -
21-25 Alachua County Youth Fair & Livestock
11-13 FCA Legislative Quarterly Meeting -
15 State 4-H Hippology Contest Orlando,
25 Florida 4-H Foundation Auction -
29 State 4-H & FFA Horse Judging Contest
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 February 2003
N, Beef Management
0 Market cull cows and bulls.
R Update market information and refine market
strategy for calves.
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 tags.
0 Identify, vaccinate, implant, and work late
0 Put bulls out March 1st for calving season to
start December 9.
0 Remove bulls March 22nd to end calving season
0 Plant warm season annual pastures.
0 Plant corn for silage.
0 Check and fill mineral feeder.
0 Check dust bags or apply treated ear tags.
0 Check for external parasites and treat if
0 Observe cows for repeat breeders.
0 Deworm cows as needed if not done in March.
0 Vaccinate against blackleg and brucellosis after
3 months of age and before 12 months of age.
Prospects for reduced beef
supplies and higher cattle prices in
2003 depend, to a large extent, on
forage and grazing conditions in
spring and summer 2003. "Normal"
conditions would encourage producers to retain
animals for breeding rather than feeding for
The USDA is predicting cow slaughter to drop
sharply in 2003 with improving forage conditions.
The current El Nino weather system will play a
major role in the forage and grazing conditions
Nationally, cattle and calves on feed for
slaughter market in feedlots with capacity of 1,000
or more head totaled 10.7 million head on
November 1, 2000. The inventory was 9 percent
below both November 1, 2001 and November 1,
Placements in feedlots during October totaled
2.39 million, 12 percent below 2001 and 16 percent
below 2000. Net placements were 2.30 million.
During October, placements of cattle and calves
weighing less than 600 pounds were 809,000; 600-
699 pounds were 638,000; 700-799 pounds were
521,000; and 800 pounds and greater were 420,000.
Marketings of fed cattle during October totaled
1.98 million, 4 percent above 2001 and 3 percent
For the seven dominant states with feedlots
having capacity of 1,000 or more cattle on feed
totaled 9.3 million as of cattle on feed November 1,
2002, down 9 percent from both the previous year
and November 1, 2000. Placements in feedlots
during October totaled 2.01 million, 13 percent
below 2001 and 16 percent below 2000.
February 2003 3
Marketings from the seven states during
October totaled 1.71 million, 4 percent above both
2001 and 2000. Beef production in the October to
December quarter was forecast to be about one
percent over a year earlier. Declining fed cattle
numbers should help hold prices.
The mild winter of 2001/02 contributed to
unusually good weight gains, particularly in
comparison to the poor feeding conditions in
2000/01. Slaughter weights and numbers were both
above year-earlier levels in October 2002. Weights
broke in late October as the muddy conditions
affected gains and resulted in some weight loss.
Improved weather conditions and cattle
adjusting to winter feeding conditions will result in
compensatory gains and potentially improved
Florida's cow-calf operators are entering a
period of stronger demand for their calf crop.
Weather, the economy, and other external factors
will influence the intensity, but demand for feeder
animals will drive prices upward.
Florida Thoroughbred Foal Crop Production
Z 1996 1997
19iN 1999 2000
e Florida Agri-Journal
searched by Les Harrison
velopment Rep. I
vision of Marketing
lease January 6, 2003
USDA Announces Plan to
Expand Genetic Testing for the
Interstate Movement of Scrapie
U.S. Red Meat Cash Receipts
U. S. Turkey Production Values
The U.S. Department of Agriculture's Animal
and Plant Health Inspection Service has announced
that it is expanding the use of genetic testing for
determining which scrapie-exposed animals can
move in interstate commerce.
Up to now, reclassifying exposed animals for
2001 movement based upon genotype has been limited to
states that had signed pilot project agreements with
APHIS. Now, all states will be able to use flock
cleanup plans based on genetic testing.
1998 1999 2000 2001
The plans will allow owners to retain or sell
exposed animals from infected or source flocks
without restriction if they have met certain criteria
and if genetic testing confirms that these animals
are scrapie resistant. Genetic resistance is found by
testing an animal's DNA to determine the amino
acid that it codes at two specific locations, codon
136 and codon 171.
4 February 2003
The plan calls for all sexually intact sheep not
being moved directly to slaughter to be genotyped
for scrapie resistance. Genetically susceptible
exposed female animals and in rare cases,
genetically less susceptible exposed female sheep
will be removed under indemnity or permanently
restricted to the premises. More specific
information can be found at
All animals in the flock will be officially
identified and entered in the scrapie national generic
database. Animals that are retained will have their
genotype confirmed and the genetically susceptible
exposed animals and the genetically less susceptible
exposed sheep must be identified with a microchip
electronic identification device.
To comply with conditions of the genetics-
based cleanup, a post exposure management and
monitoring plan will be required.
The monitoring plan requires the following:
o Official identification of sexually intact
animals that are sold or acquired;
** A record of any persons from whom
sexually intact animals are acquired or to
whom they are sold;
** Reporting of any deaths of mature animals
and animals showing clinical signs and;
** Annual inspections.
All female genetically susceptible exposed
animals, all those who test positive and the female
offspring of positive animals must be removed from
the flock. Flocks that remove all susceptible female
animals will not be considered exposed flocks once
they have completed the flock cleanup plan. Flocks
not removing all susceptible female animals will
still be considered exposed. Accordingly, until the
monitoring plan is completed, these flocks will have
restrictions placed on susceptible animals in the
flock and such animals born or brought into the
Note to stakeholders: Stakeholder
announcements and other APHIS information are
available on the Internet. Access the APHIS home
page by pointing your web browser to
http://www.aphis.usda.gov. For additional
information on this topic, contact Madelaine
Fletcher at (301)734-6125 or
National Institute for Animal
Release December 12, 2002
USDA USDA Marks Progress
Son BSE Prevention
Triples Number of Tests for BSE
The U.S. Department of Agriculture more than
tripled the number of cattle it tested for bovine
spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) during the last
fiscal year and has made significant steps on other
prevention measures aimed at keeping the disease
from entering the United States.
"We remain vigilant at strengthening programs
to keep BSE out of this country," said Agriculture
Secretary Ann M. Veneman. "Our surveillance level
far exceeds international testing standards and is
just one component of a multi-faceted regulatory
and compliance system that is keeping the United
States free of BSE."
In fiscal year 2002, USDA tested 19,990 cattle
for BSE using a targeted surveillance approach
designed to test the highest risk animals, including
downer animals (animals that are non-ambulatory at
slaughter), animals that die on the farm, older
animals and animals exhibiting signs of
neurological distress. During FY 2001, USDA
Both figures are significantly higher than the
standards set by the Office International des
Epizooties (OIE), the standard setting organization
for animal health for 162 member nations. Under
the international standard, a BSE-free country like
the United States would be required to test only 433
head of cattle per year. The USDA is now testing 41
times that amount.
In addition to surveillance, OIE guidelines also
require a risk analysis and management strategy, an
education and awareness program and compulsory
notification requirements in order for a country to
claim that it is BSE free. The United States exceeds
these criteria in all categories.
In November 2001, Harvard University
published a landmark three-year risk analysis on
BSE, representing the most comprehensive risk
assessment ever done on BSE. The detailed
assessment showed that the occurrence of BSE in
the United States is highly unlikely.
In response to the report, USDA announced a
series of actions it would take, in cooperation with
the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services,
to strengthen BSE prevention programs in an effort
to maintain the government's vigilance against the
disease. The following is an update on those
Peer Review of Harvard Risk Assessment to
ensure Scientific Integrity: Following publishing of
the Harvard risk assessment, USDA identified
several independent scientists to conduct
independent analysis on the report. The group of
scientists expects to complete their work by June
Double the Number of BSE Tests: As stated
above, the USDA has exceeded that goal by
conducting nearly 20,000 tests in FY 2002, more
than tripling the number of tests over the previous
Publish a Policy Options Paper Outlining
Additional Regulatory Actions: In January 2002,
FSIS published a Current Thinking Paper on BSE
policy measures to consider public comments on
future regulatory and policy recommendations. This
February 2003 5
included actions regarding advanced meat recovery
(AMR) systems and prohibiting the use of vertebral
column from certain categories of cattle.
In June 2002, FSIS announced proposed
revisions to existing directives to strengthen AMR
systems. A rule was finalized in December 2002,
instructing inspectors at beef establishments using
vertebral columns as source materials in AMR
systems to take routine regulatory samples to verify
that spinal cord is not present in AMR product. If
spinal cord tissue is present, then the product does
not meet FSIS labeling and inspection requirements
FSIS expects to issue a Notice in the Federal
Register by August 2003 to solicit additional
comments on a proposed rule on meat derived from
AMR systems. FSIS will seek these additional on a
recently completed survey regarding AMR systems
using beef vertebral columns as source material.
The proposed rule will clarify that vertebral column
should not be used as a source material unless the
establishment has effective process control
measures in place to ensure that central nervous
system tissue is not present in meat derived from
AMR systems. A final rule is expected on AMR by
Rule to Prohibit Use of Certain Stunning
Devises: FSIS is working to complete a direct final
rule by March 2003 prohibiting the use of air-
injection stunning devices used to immobilize cattle
during slaughter. In this rulemaking, FSIS will
address the risk posed by stunning devices that may
inadvertently force visible pieces of brain and spinal
cord tissue, known as macro-emboli, into the
circulatory system of stunned cattle.
Publish an Advance Notice of Proposed
Rulemaking (ANPR) to consider regulatory options
for disposal of dead stock on farms and ranches:
FSIS expects to issue a Notice in the Federal
Register in February 2003 directing people who
deal with dead, dying, disease and downer animals
that they are required to register with FSIS. The
Notice is being issued to assist with traceback if
BSE were detected and to assist FDA in enforcing
its feed ban. In February 2003, APHIS also plans to
issue an ANPR to consider additional regulatory
6 February 2003
options for the disposal of dead stock on farms and
ranches. Such cattle are considered an important
potential pathway for the spread of BSE in the
animal feed chain.
"We've exceeded OIE surveillance standards
for the last seven years and have doubled
surveillance every year since 1999," said Veneman.
"We continue to examine our BSE programs and
examine additional measures to ensure strong
regulatory and compliance systems."
Since 1989, the U.S. government has taken a
series of preventive actions to protect against this
animal disease. This includes USDA prohibitions
on the import of live ruminants, such as cattle,
sheep, goats and most ruminant products from
countries that have or are considered to be at risk
for having BSE. In 1997, the Food and Drug
Administration prohibited the use of most
mammalian protein in the manufacture of animal
feed intended for cows and other ruminants to stop
the way the disease is thought to spread.
Under USDA regulation, BSE is a notifiable
disease in the United States, meaning if
veterinarians suspect the disease they must
immediately notify the federal or state animal health
authorities of their suspicion. USDA continues to
educate U.S. cattle producers, veterinarians,
industry groups and the general public on BSE
through numerous briefings and press conferences.
Fact sheets, a videotape on BSE and information
packets are distributed widely to veterinarians,
extension offices, universities and industry groups.
USDA also maintains an extensive BSE Web site at
BSE is a chronic, degenerative neurological
disorder of cattle belonging to a family of diseases
known as transmissible spongiform
encephalopathies. BSE has never been detected in
U.S. cattle. Since 1989, USDA has taken a series of
preventive actions to protect against this animal
disease. This includes banning the import of live
ruminants, such as cattle, sheep and goats, and most
ruminant products from the United Kingdom and
other countries having BSE. The ban was extended
to Europe in 1997. To stop the way the disease is
thought to spread, in 1997, FDA prohibited the use
of most mammalian protein in the manufacture of
animal feed intended for cows and other ruminants.
For more information about BSE and the many
efforts being taken to prevent its entry and spread
into the United States, visit http://www.usda.gov/.
Alisa Harrison, (202) 720-4623
Jerry Redding, (202) 720-6959
Release January 15, 2003
Process Developed by
USDA Scientists Makes
Agriculture Secretary Ann M. Veneman
announced that USDA scientists have developed a
process that can remove phosphorus from swine
production wastewater and turn it into a solid,
marketable fertilizer, while converting the leftover
effluent into a liquid crop fertilizer that is more
environmentally friendly than manure.
"This technology is a good example of how
agricultural research can provide benefits to
everyone through environmental protection and
improvement," said Veneman. "This research
provides an opportunity to help farmers better
protect the environment and enhance the soil they
use for planting."
The process was developed by soil scientists
Matias Vanotti, Ariel Szogi and Patrick Hunt at the
Coastal Plains Soil, Water and Plant Research
Center, operated by USDA's Agricultural Research
Service in Florence, S.C. ARS is the chief scientific
research agency of USDA.
The new process has several positive
implications. Removing phosphorus from
February 2003 7
wastewater can cut down on any excess phosphorus
that may run off into streams and rivers. Excess
amounts of phosphorus can lead to oxygen
depletion in water bodies.
During processing, hydrated lime precipitates
most of the phosphorus in the wastewater as a solid
and converts it into a marketable phosphate
fertilizer. This phosphorus could be a boon to the
fertilizer industry, because world reserves of the
nutrient are limited. Another benefit is that the high
pH achieved by the process destroys disease-
causing pathogens present in the leftover liquid.
Meanwhile, the effluent contains a nitrogen-to-
phosphorus ratio greater than 12 to 1-ideal for crop
irrigation, which requires an 8-to-1 ratio. Regular
manure offers a nitrogen-to-phosphorus ratio of 4 to
1. This higher nitrogen-phosphorus ratio translates
into less excess phosphorus on land on which the
treated wastewater is applied.
The scientists had previously succeeded in
separating ammonia nitrogen from wastewater, a
necessary step in completing the new process.
A patent application has been submitted for the
combined nitrogen- and phosphorus-removal
processes, which will be tested through next
summer at a full-scale demonstration facility that
opened earlier this month in Duplin County, N.C.
SOURCE: Alisa Harrison (202) 720-4623
Luis A. Pons (301) 504-1628
Release January 24, 2003
USDA Extends Comment Period
for Processors on COOL
Got an opinion on Country of Origin Labeling?
It's not too late to share it.
That's because the Department of Agriculture
is extending the comment period for its Country of
Origin Labeling proposal from to February 21,
according to a news release.
The notice is a request for approval of
information collection for "Interim Voluntary
Country of Origin Labeling of Beef, Lamb, Pork,
Fish, Perishable Commodities, and Peanuts Under
the Agricultural Marketing Act of 1946." The notice
of the request was published in the November 21,
2002, Federal Register. The comment period has
been extended in response to requests from several
industry trade organizations for additional time in
order to file comments.
Comments should be mailed to:
Country of Origin Labeling Program
Agricultural Marketing Service
USDA STOP 0249
1400 Independence Ave. SW
Washington DC 20250-0249
Alternatively, comments may be faxed to (202)
720-3499 or sent by e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Details of the change in comment period
appeared in the January 22 Federal Register. All
comments will become a matter of public record.
Comments will be available for inspection
from USDA's Agricultural Marketing Service Web
site at http://www.ams.usda.gov/.
Release January 27, 2003
8 February 2003
Is It Best to Raise or Purchase
One of the most difficult practices in cow-calf
production is raising replacement heifers.
This is particularly true for cattlemen with
small herds and limited resources. They must
purchase feed, a primary cost, in bags, blocks, or
small lots of liquid supplement delivered to a lick
tank. It is also difficult to maintain heifers in
separate herds, essential for any heifer
breeding/raising program. In contrast, large cow-
calf operations can purchase feed and other supplies
in bulk lots at sizable cost savings. Large land
holdings also allow the management of heifers and
young cows in separate herds with minimal
The primary question is cost. Using bagged
feed it will cost about $300 in feed, pasture,
veterinary, breeding, interest, and miscellaneous
supplies to raise a heifer calf from weaning to a
bred heifer at 20 months of age. Thus, a heifer calf
valued at $400 to $500 at weaning is worth $700 to
$800 as a 20 month old bred heifer.
Most Florida heifers are bred at two years of
age to calve at three. The cost of raising a heifer
from weaning to breeding at two years of age is
similar to that of yearlings because she is grown
slower on less expensive pasture forage and not fed
expensive supplements. The problem is that two-
year-old heifers are maintained an additional year
before calving with an interest cost of $50. Also,
she is grazing pasture that could be used by
producing brood cows.
Another important consideration on raising or
purchasing replacement heifers is genetics.
Cattlemen with small herds do not or can not
purchase bulls with superior genetics due to cost.
The quickest and often the best way to obtain good
genetics is to purchase good replacement heifers.
The $300 cost of raising your own replacement
heifer would go a long way toward paying the
premium required to purchase genetically superior
Commercial cattlemen have long recognized
the superiority of F-1 females. She will produce a
50 to 100 lb heavier calf at weaning and produce 2
to 3 more calves in her life time. These females are
difficult to produce, but at times can be found on
Another advantage of purchasing replacement
heifers is that a terminal cross breeding program (all
heifers calves sold as feeders) can be used with the
brood cow herd. Some feedlots are paying
premiums for feeder calves with the ability to make
fast and efficient gains. Many Florida cattlemen are
presently using Charolais bulls to produce this kind
In general, commercial cattlemen with small
herds (100 brood cows or less) should strongly
consider the opportunity to purchase replacement
heifers. The Florida Cattlemen's Association and the
South Florida Beef/Forage Program jointly sponsor
a replacement heifer sale every October.
Combinations of open, bred, yearlings, and two-
year-old heifers are offered.
Heifers in the above sale are bringing
premiums, but they are well worth the cost in terms
of future production. Replacement heifer sales are a
win-win situation for Florida cattlemen. Sellers can
develop programs to specifically raise replacement
heifers or have an opportunity to sell heifers
normally slated for the feedlot. Buyers have the
opportunity to purchase good heifers with the
genetics to produce calves that are in demand by
feeders and packers.
SOURCE: Findlay Pate
Professor, Beef Cattle Nutrition
Range Cattle REC, Ona
Published in The Peace River Farmer
Release January 2003
1Colorado State University offers a detailed but easy to use spreadsheet for
calculating and comparing production costs and breakeven prices for
purchased versus raised heifers. The user can modify various figures within
the spreadsheet to reflect their own goals, operating procedures, input costs,
and cattle prices. The spreadsheet is available on line at
http://ansci.colostate.edu. Under "Beef Cattle," click on "Software and