In This Issue...
Beef M management Calendar ............................ 2
Livestock Summary....................................... 2
Cows Fatten up on Potato Chips, Pretzels........ 3
2003 BIF 35th Annual Meeting...................... 5
UF Expert: United States Can't Stop Terrorism
Aimed at Agriculture................. ................
Congress OK's 2003-04 Funds for Food-Safety,
Livestock Marketing Research .................. 7
First Cloned Sheep Euthanized ...................... 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 Pro
W. Taylor, Coordinator Youth
*: S.H. TenBroeck, Associate Professor,
Extension Youth Specialist
: T.A. Thrift, Assistant Professor, Beef Cattle
5-6 West Florida Livestock Show & Sale -
Gadsden County, FL
6-9 Florida 4-H Adult Horsemanship School
Camp Welaka, FL
11-13 FCA Legislative Quarterly Meeting -
15 State 4-H Hippology Contest Orlando,
18 Beef/Forage Field Day Ocala, FL
25 Florida 4-H Foundation Auction -
29 State 4-H & FFA Horse Judging Contest
29 Heldon Dispersal Sale Dunnellon, FL
5 State 4-H Livestock Judging Contest -
19 State 4-H Meat Judging Contest -
22-24 Beef Cattle Repro Management School -
25 Southern Cattle Company Inaugural
Angus Production Sale Marianna, FL
30- 52nd Annual Beef Cattle Short Course,
May 2 University ofFlorida/IFAS -
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 March 2003
N Beef Management
R Fertilize pasture to stimulate early growth and
get fertilizer incorporated in grass roots while
there is still good soil moisture.
R Prepare land for summer crops.
R Begin grazing warm season permanent pastures.
R Check and fill mineral feeder.
R Observe bulls for condition and success. Rotate
and rest if needed.
R Deworm cows as needed.
R Make sure calves are healthy and making good
R Hang forced-use dust bags by April 1st for
external parasite control or use insecticide
impregnated ear tags.
R Identify, vaccinate, implant, and work late
R Put bulls out March 1st for calving season to
start December 9.
R Remove bulls March 22nd to end calving season
R Plant warm season annual pastures.
R Plant corn for silage.
R Check and fill mineral feeder.
R Check dust bags or apply treated ear tags.
R Check for external parasites and treat if
R1 Observe cows for repeat breeders.
R Deworm cows as needed if not done in March.
R Vaccinate against blackleg and brucellosis after
3 months of age and before 12 months of age.
R Market cull cows and bulls.
R Update market information and refine market
strategy for calves.
R Remove bulls.
R Harvest hay from cool season crops.
R Plant warm season perennial pastures.
R Fertilize warm season pastures.
R Check mineral feeder.
R Check for spittlebugs and treat if necessary.
R Apply spot-on agents for grub and louse control.
R Check dust bags.
R Vaccinate and implant with growth stimulant
any later calves.
R Reimplant calves with growth stimulant at 90-
120 days, when you have herd penned.
R Dispose of dead animals properly.
R Update market information and refine marketing
R Remove bulls May 21 to end calving season
The USDA is reporting that the
widespread drought has extended the
liquidation phase of this cattle cycle
for an additional year. Much of the
northern and central plains and the
inter-mountain west remain in severe drought with
record low moisture levels.
Conditions are much improved in the southeast
with the drought breaking in the early autumn.
Some areas of the Florida panhandle had excessive
rain in late December that damaged winter grazing.
Dry conditions expanded into the western corn
belt in the fall 2002. Some locales have experienced
this calamity for four years.
Stocks of all hay nationwide declined six
percent from a year earlier as reported on December
1, 2002. This is the lowest level for hay inventory
for this date since 1997 and the second lowest since
Hay consumption for May/December 2002
was up sharply, a byproduct of dry spring and
summer grazing conditions. Stocks were down in 33
of the 48 reporting States as a result of the weather
induced extension of the hay feeding period in the
northern and central Great Plains, Southeast, and
inter- mountain west.
The consequences are that hay-forage
conditions in the beef sector are very tight despite
the reduced beef cattle inventories and improved
small grain grazing condition. Increased
supplemental feeding because of the season's
severity has increased supply concerns.
U.S. feeder cattle exports to Canada have been
sharply reduced. Drought and a second year of poor
grain crops are the cause. Instead, more Canadian
feeder cattle were shipped to U.S. feedlots for
finishing. Offsetting the Canadian action, Mexican
stocker-feeder cattle imports were curtailed.
Overall, cattle-on-feed inventories remain
down seven to nine percent from a year earlier.
More stocker cattle are on wheat pasture, but
feedlot placement in November rose above the low
levels of a year earlier. On the balance, feedlot
placements were well below the five year average.
The cattle inventory decline began in 1996 and
likely will not show any hint of female retention for
expansion until summer. Even this renewal date
would not begin to expand the inventory until 2005
if cow and heifer slaughter rates holds steady.
If the late January 2003 freeze is the last for
region this season and if the western drought eases
Florida's cow-calf operators will see better prospect
for higher prices and better demand.
U. S. Cattle and Calves Price Averaaes
1998 1999 2000 2001
.Hog Production Values
March 2003 3
Florida Thoroughbred Industry
Breeding Training Racing
Source: The Florida Agri-Journal
Researched by Les Harrison
Development Rep. I, Div. of Marketing
Release February 5, 2003
Cows Fatten up
S If the black cattle at
the Herr family farm
seem eager at the trough, they have good reason. No
mundane meal of corn and hay here. This feed is
spiced with a snack food-lover's smorgasbord:
potato chips, cheese curls and pretzels.
Blessed bovine elsewhere in Pennsylvania get
even sweeter treats: chocolate balls and Frosted
While cattle have been eating human food
byproducts for years, more farmers this winter are
filling the trough with snack food goodies, a
money-saving solution to high corn prices caused
by last summer's drought.
Industry experts say that because feeding
livestock discarded human food saves money and
helps the environment, Bessie will be munching on
potato chips more often in the future.
"It's a win-win situation," said Harold
Harpster, a professor of animal science at Penn
State University. "It takes this food product out of
the landfills and puts it into use feeding these
4 March 2003
In Hawaii some cattle get the leftovers from a
pineapple processing plant. Kansas cattle feast on
sunflower seed hulls. In Nebraska and California
they eat sugar beet pulp.
In Pennsylvania, cattle food is sometimes even
more like people food. The Hershey's plant provides
chocolate, a Kellogg's plant provides cereal and the
Herr's snack food plant provides the chips.
The discarded foods are fine nutritionally,
farmers are quick to point out. Potatoes are the main
ingredient for chips, wheat for pretzels. The reasons
they're discarded vary: the chips are overcooked or
the cereal too old. Often the cattle snacks are swept
off the factory floor.
Jim Herr bought his cattle farm 18 years ago
primarily to have a place to discard snack food plant
leftovers from his family's business. The thousands
of gallons of water used to wash potatoes now
hydrate the hay crop, for instance.
The daily diet for his 650 cattle is heavily
supplemented by the nearby snack food plant. The
cattle eat 15 pounds of potato peelings, 15 pounds
of corn, eight pounds of hay and four pounds of
"steer party mix" chips, popcorn, pretzels and
cheese curls. It's all mixed together in a blender the
size of a large van.
That mixture is nutritionally analyzed by a lab
several times a year. Farm manager Dennis Byrne
says he can tell how much his steer like it by how
fast they get to the trough.
"There's a lot of science to how the cattle are
going to be fed, but there's also an art. You have to
create a blend the cattle will go after," Byrne said.
"They eat better than we do because we control
their diet. They eat what they should eat."
Most farm animals eat human food at some
point in their lives, farmers say, although the
practice is most common with cattle because of
their tough digestive systems.
Harpster and the farmers say the quality of the
beef or milk isn't affected. Byrne notes the Herr
cattle grade out in the top 8 percent of all beef as
Certified Angus Beef.
Livestock eating human food is most common
in the east, where more food processing plants are
located, Harpster said. He expects the practice to
widen as food processors face increasing
environmental pressures and farmers face
increasing economic ones.
Shelia Stannard, a spokeswoman for the
American Angus Association, agrees.
"I'd say it's going to continue the upward
trend," Stannard said. "The cattle might as well eat
something that we're not going to eat."
Dwight Hess, a farmer near Marietta, feeds his
cattle cereals from a local Kellogg's plant, and even
chocolate and peanut butter sources of needed fats
"It's senseless, putting a very high quality
human grade food product into a landfill," he said.
"We're producing a premium product and I'm proud
of what we do."
The Herr cattle get the steer party mix no
matter what the corn prices are, but Byrne said
during a year of high prices corn now costs about
twice as much as in other years his farm enjoys a
marketplace advantage. His competitors know it.
Bryne said he's gotten a lot of calls this winter from
other farmers wanting to buy excess party mix.
They're calling at the right time his stocks are up
from increased Super Bowl production. The party
mix now sits in a pile 6 feet high and 30 feet deep in
his barn. Stannard notes that farmers have always
been good recyclers. She says using human food for
livestock is just another way to conserve.
"This year's been especially tough on cattle
farmers, so anything they can do to find a cheaper
feed source, they're going to do," she said.
SOURCE: FASS Track
Release February 5, 2003
March 2003 5
f 2003 BIF 35th
May 28-31, 2003
The 2003 Beef Improvement Federation (BIF)
Annual Meeting and Convention is scheduled for
May 28-31, 2003, at the Hyatt Downtown in
Lexington, KY. It is being sponsored by the
University of Kentucky, the Kentucky Cattlemen's
Association, and the Kentucky Department of
Rooms at the Hyatt Downtown are available
under the BIF room block. Call (859) 253-1234 for
To obtain registration materials, contact the
Kentucky Cattlemen's Association, 176 Pasadena
Drive, Lexington, KY 40503; or Darrh Bullock,
University of Kentucky, 804 WP Garrigus Bldg.,
Lexington, KY 40506-0215 or (859) 257-7514.
Registration materials will be available
online at http://www.beefimprovement.org and
For more information, contact Jim Akers at the
Kentucky Cattlemen's Association at (859) 278-
The tentative schedule includes:
Wednesday, May 28
5:00 pm Welcome Reception
7:30 pm NAABA Symposium
Thursday, May 29
8:00 am Welcome
8:15 am Surviving Environmental Challenges
Moderator: Dr. Tom Jenkins, USDA-MARC
Beef Production in Adverse
Environments Dr. Carl Huvland,
University of Georgia
Clinical Mode of Action and
Genomic Potential in Fescue Dr.
9:45 am Break
Management of Beef Production in
an Adverse Environment
Questions and Summation
Noon BIF Recognition Luncheon
2:00 pm Round Table Discussion
Cow Herd Efficiency
Evening Kentucky Night Out
Friday, May 30
8:00 am Traits to Dollars
Moderator: Mr. Craig Huffines, American Hereford
Panel Discussion: What will the
Rick Carlson, PM Beef Group
Glenn Dolezal, Excel
John Tobe, Laura's Lean Beef
Joe Bill Meng, Creekstone Farms
9:00 am Questions and Discussion
9:30 am Break
Available Tools for Making Genetic
Change Dr. Tom Fields, Colorado
How Best to Achieve Genetic
Change Dr. Dorian Garrick,
Colorado State University
11:30 am Questions and Summation
Noon BIF Awards Luncheon
2:00 pm Round Table Discussion
Live Animal, Carcass, and Endpoint
Evening Night on the Town, Dinner on your own
Saturday, May 31
Kentucky Tours- An option of tours will be
available that will showcase Kentucky*s beef
industry and heritage.
SOURCE: Beef Improvement Federation
6 March 2003
UF Expert: United States Can't
Stop Terrorism Aimed at
The United States can't stop terrorists from
using biological weapons to target its farms, crops
or cattle, according to a University of Florida
expert. Marjorie Hoy, a UF professor who
participated in a study on bioterrorism funded by
the U.S. Department of Agriculture, said the study
concluded U.S. borders are too leaky to prevent a
biological attack against agricultural targets.
"Nationally, less than two percent of all
incoming goods are inspected, and new invasive
pests are accidentally introduced every year," she
said. "Compared to nuclear weapons, biological
weapons are relatively cheap and easy, and it's
likely someone who really wanted to use them
could do it and we couldn't prevent it."
Hoy, an entomologist with UF's Institute of
Food and Agricultural Sciences, said even a small
attack could cause significant disruption.
"If this were a perfect world, and we
immediately detected, responded to and eradicated
an attack, there would still be severe psychological
and economic impacts a ripple effect like we saw
after September 11," she said. "It could cause
people to be very concerned about their food
supply, and it could cause a great deal of economic
damage by affecting international trade as well as
trade between states."
Even if there is no evidence hostile foreign
agents have previously deployed pests or diseases
against U.S. agricultural targets, the threat of such
an attack is very real, Hoy said.
"The former Soviet Union had a whole array of
animal and plant diseases that were manufactured,
stockpiled and genetically engineered to be more
virulent, and Iraq is thought to have a number of
threat agents that could be directed against
agriculture," she said. "And bioterrorism is not
limited to foreign nationals people in this country
could do it too."
Marjore Hoy, a University or I-onaa professor wno
participated in a U.S. Department of Agriculture
bioterrorism study last year, says the United States can't
stop terrorists from using biological weapons to target its
farms, crops or cattle. Hoy, an entomologist with UF's
Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, said the
study recommends government agencies establish an
effective communications system to enhance responses
and inform the public in the event of an attack. She also
said farmers, home gardeners and other citizens should
report unusual pests, animal diseases or plant diseases
to proper authorities.
Because preventing an attack would be
difficult, it is very important government agencies
quickly detect and respond to bioterrorism, Hoy
"Time is of the essence in discovering the
pest," she said. "Having a plan in place and the
resources to carry out an eradication program is
The study, which was written by a committee
of experts assembled by the National Academies'
National Research Council in the spring of 2001,
March 2003 7
also recommended establishing an effective
"Currently there are problems with
communication between multiple local, state and
federal agencies," she said. "We need secure
communications between agencies and the ability to
transmit a message coherently, clearly and
A clear, authoritative message is key to
reducing fear and panic in the event of a bioterrorist
attack, Hoy said.
"Our committee concluded it was very
important a single agency be given responsibility
for transmitting complete, believable information to
the public in a variety of media," she said. "We
don't need 42 different people saying 42 different
things or people that don't really know what they're
talking about answering questions."
Manuscripts of the committee's report,
Countering Agricultural Bioterrorism, became
available from the National Academies Press Sept.
2002. The USDA has withheld full publication of
the report while it reviews security issues, Hoy said.
One of Hoy's personal conclusions is that
farmers, home gardeners and other U.S. citizens
need to be alert to a bioterrorist attack. They need to
report unusual pests or diseases to proper
authorities, she said.
"The appropriate agency will vary from
location to location," Hoy said. "In the case of
animal diseases, it could be a veterinarian. In the
case of insects or plant diseases, local agricultural
extension agents, a local college or the state
agriculture department should be contacted."
The public should also know there are two
options for responding to an attack: eradicate the
pest if possible, or, as in the case of the West Nile
virus, learn to live with it, she said.
"Eradication might involve culling a herd of
animals, or cutting and burning crops. There would
be a call for quarantines to prevent the pests from
moving into new areas," Hoy said. "If people don't
help by complying, the pest can
permanently established, causing the loss
and long-term economic damage to our
And then it costs everybody."
Dr. Marjorie Hoy
Entomology & Nematology
University of Florida
(352) 392-1901, ext. 153
By : Patrick Hughes
ICS, University of Florida,
Release January 21, 2003
Congress OK's 2003-04
Funds for Food-Safety,
A $500,000 increase in funding
for listeria and E. coli 0157:H7
research was approved last week with
the Congressional passage of the
fiscal 2003 Omnibus Appropriations
bill, according to a news release.
Congress also agreed to fund a comprehensive
study on the impact of restricting livestock
procurement practices, as well as maintain funding
for the Market Access Program, hide-skin and
leather research and the Partnership for Food
The following projects were included:
SUSDA's Agricultural Research Service will
receive a $350,000 increase in annual funding
for research to control listeria in ready-to-eat
meat and poultry products and E. coli 0157:H7
in raw products; the total annual ARS
appropriation is $2.34 million. Rep. Jim Walsh
(R-N.Y.) requested the additional funding, with
8 March 2003
approval from Rep. Henry Bonilla
(R-Texas), House Agriculture Appropriations
USDA's Cooperative State Research,
Education and Extension Service will receive a
$100,000 increase in annual funding for
research projects to control and prevent these
pathogens in raw and ready-to-eat meat
products; the total annual appropriation for
CSREES is $900,000.
Agricultural Research Service's Eastern
Regional Research Center in Wyndmor, Pa.,
will receive $800,000 in funding for hide-skin
and leather research.
USDA's Grain, Packers and Stockyards
Administration will receive $4.5 million to
conduct "a study of the issues surrounding a ban
on Packer Ownership, particularly as to the
economic impacts on the United States as a
whole, and on individual states."
USDA's Market Access Program will receive
$110 million in funding to promote U.S. exports
of agricultural products, including the U.S. Meat
Export Federation and the USA Poultry and Egg
The Partnership for Food Safety will receive
$500,000 in funding to educate consumers about
food-safety and food-security matters.
SOURCE: Dan Murphy
Release February 21, 2003
First Cloned Sheep
Dolly the sheep, who
gained world notoriety six
years ago as the first mammal
cloned from an adult cell, was
euthanized after being diagnosed with lung cancer.
The Rosilyn Institute, the Scottish research
center that created her, announced her death Friday
(Feb. 14). Dr. Harry Griffin said a post-mortem had
yet to be performed, and that the decision to kill the
sheep was made after a veterinary examination
found the progressive lung disease.
"Sheep can live to 11 or 12 years of age and
lung infections are common in older sheep,
particularly those housed inside," Griffin said in a
written statement. "A full post-mortem is being
conducted and we will report any significant
Dolly was a sheep created totally by design -
even her name was picked specifically to be
appealing. It came about during the latter stages of
labor when Dolly was born. Stockmen involved in
the delivery thought of the fact that the cell used
came from a mammary gland and arrived at Dolly
Parton, the country and western singer.
Dolly's birth prompted a long-running
argument over the ethics of cloning, reaching
further levels with the latest allegations of human
cloning. Researchers had previously cloned sheep
from fetal and embryonic cells, but until Dolly it
was unknown whether an adult cell could
reprogram itself to develop into a new being.
The Dolly breakthrough heightened
speculation that human cloning inevitably would
Dolly mated on two occasions with a Welsh
mountain ram called David. She first gave birth to
Bonnie in April 1998 and then to three more lambs
But in January last year her condition caused
concern when she was diagnosed with a form of
SOURCE: Daniel Yovich
Release February 17, 2003