Prepared by Extension
Specialists in Animal Sciences
*. 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 Pr
*. W. Taylor, Coordinator Youth
*: S.H. TenBroeck, Associate Professor,
Extension Youth Specialist
*: T.A. Thrift, Assistant Professor, Beef Cattle
In This Issue...
Beef M management Calendar ............................ 2
Livestock Summary ............................. ....2...
Seventh Edition of Sheep Production
Handbook Available......................... 4
Australian 'Cool' Cattle Taste Better .............. 4
UF Researchers Control Mosquitoes with
Tiny Crustaceans ....................................... 5
Calving Ease of Angus Heifers Mated to
Angus and Simmental Sires Selected for
Reduced Dystocia.............. ...... ........ 6
Does Creep Feeding Calves Pay?.................... 7
Canada Seeks Changes to Slaughter
R equirem ents .................... ...... ............ 8
.IF UNIVERSITY OF
J Dates to
1 Hines Brothers / Express Ranches Bull Sale -
High Springs, FL
5 West FL REC Extension Farm Field Day Jay,
11-12 FCA Quarterly Meeting Ft. Pierce, FL
13 County 4-H/Open Horse Show Newberry, FL
16-18 Forage and Pasture Management School -
20 Alachua County Youth Fair Market Steer &
Goat Weigh-In Gainesville, FL
22 2003 North FL Fall Classic Youth Prospect Steer
& Heifer Show Starke, FL
27 Florida Santa Gertrudis Annual Sale -Bartow,
30 North FL REC Fall Field Day 2003 Quincy, FL
30 Food Safety and Quality program and
Serv-Safe test Inverness, FL
30 4-H Horse Project Committee Gainesville, FL
2-4 Southern Region 4-H Volunteer Forum -
3 FCA Quality Replacement Heifer Sale Ocala
Livestock Market Ocala, FL
3 The Farm / Brangus Bonanza Sale -
6 Hines Brothers / Express Ranches Bull Sale -
High Springs, FL
6 Mo Brangus & Oak Knoll Ranch Brangus Bull
Sale Arcadia, FL
18 Ankony at Pine Ridge Bull Sale Ocala
Livestock Market Ocala, FL
18 4-H Foundation Sport Clay Shoot Fundraiser -
24 Graham Angus Bull Sale Okeechobee, FL
25 Debtor Hereford Bull Sale Horton, AL
31 Ankony Angus Sale Omega, FL
31 Lemmon Angus Sale Okeechobee, FL
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 September 2003
0 Cut hay.
0 Heavily graze pastures to be interplanted to cool
0 Check mineral feeder.
0 Check for mole crickets, spittlebugs, and
grassloopers, and treat if necessary.
0 Check dust bags.
0 Wean calves and cull cow herd if not already
done. Remove open, unsound, or poor
0 Train cowboys to observe normal and abnormal
behavior and signs of disease.
0 Be sure any replacement purchases are healthy
and have been calfhood vaccinated for
0 September or October is a good time to deworm
the cow herd if internal parasites are a problem.
0 When replacement heifers are weaned, give
them required vaccinations and teach them to
eat then put them on a good nutrition program.
0 Determine bull replacement needs, develop
selection criteria, and start checking availability
of quality animals.
0 Review winter feed supply and feeding plans so
that needed adjustments can be made before
supplies tighten and prices rise.
0 Plant cool season legumes.
0 Plant small grain pastures.
0 Check mineral feeder.
0 Check for external parasites, especially lice, and
treat if needed.
0 Check for spittlebugs and grassloopers and treat,
0 Watch condition of cow herd; maintain adequate
0 Isolate any additions to the herd for 30 to 60
days and observe for signs of disease; retest for
brucellosis and leptospirosis.
0 Be sure you have adequate handling facilities,
and they are in good working order.
0 If you are raising bulls for the commercial
market, October thru December is the main
bull-buying season for cattlemen in south
Florida and now is the time to have your
promotion program fully activated.
0 Have soils tested.
0 Observe cows daily to detect calving difficulty.
0 Use mineral with high level of magnesium if
grass tetany has been a problem in the past.
0 Check for external parasites and treat if needed.
0 Maintain adequate nutrient level for cow herd.
R Calve in well-drained pastures.
0 Survey pastures for poisonous plants.
0 Start summarizing your annual records, both
production and financial-then you will have
time to make adjustments for tax purposes.
0 Re-evaluate winter feeding program and feed
0 Get breeding soundness exams on bull battery
so you have time to find replacements if some
0 Implement bull conditioning program.
0 Review plans and arrangements for the
upcoming breeding season.
0 Check progress of developing replacement
heifers are they going to meet your target
weight by the start of the breeding season?
Total U.S. meat production is
expected to decline by less than 1
percent in both 2003 and 2004. Red
meat production is predicted to drop
nearly 2 percent because of the
shrinking inventories of cattle, hogs,
Beef production, on the contrary, has increased
due to larger-than-expected slaughter in the second
quarter of this year. That along with higher-than-
expected placements in the second quarter and
higher forecast placements in the third quarter
suggests larger beef production in late 2003 and
early 2004 than was previously expected.
September 2003 3
Meat imports are falling below previous
forecasts as a result of the May 20 ban on Canadian
beef and reduced beef sales to Mexico.
The U.S. beef supply remains short with very
strong demand. This trend was helped along by
strong fed cattle prices which pushed the marketing
of feedlot cattle forward to meet the demand.
Cattle price forecasts have been lowered
because of the anticipated larger-than-previously
expected 2003 and 2004 production. Currently
though cattle prices have benefited from the still-
resolved ban on Canadian beef and cattle.
The market is adjusting to the sharply higher
beef prices as shifts toward less expensive cuts and
competing meats are already occurring. Retail beef
prices posted a record high $3.656 per pound in
June but are expected to decline remaining sensitive
to supply changes.
Dairy cow slaughter was up 13 percent, the
highest since 1997, due to abnormal culling and low
milk prices. First-half slaughter statistics strongly
suggest at least one more year before the cattle
industry even begins to move toward herd
expansion. For expansion to be realized, a fairly
large number of replacement heifers will need to
calve and enter the cowherd in order to stabilize it.
Moisture and forage conditions are much
improved in the eastern half of the country although
the unusually wet weather has resulted in very poor
hay making conditions. Drought remains a concern
in much of the western United States, particularly
New Mexico and Arizona with half or more of the
acreage in the very poor-poor range.
Rebuilding forage stocks is still an issue as hot
weather pulls moisture levels down quickly and
many reservoirs remain well below normal as
irrigation demands increase.
Florida's cow/calf operators are in a wait-and-
see mode pending reopening of the Canadian
market and negotiations within the international
beef trading market on resolving the ban.
Florida Calf Production Values
1999 2000 2001 2002
FL Chickens and Eggs Cash Reciepts
1998 1999 2000 2001
Florida Honey Cash Receipts
1999 2000 2001 2002
The Florida Agri-Journal
Researched by Tony Young
Marketing Specialist I
Division of Marketing
Release August 5, 2003
4 September 2003
Seventh Edition of
U.S. sheep industry members as well as
agricultural and animal-science instructors now
have access to a new source of in-depth, peer-
reviewed information -- the seventh edition of the
Sheep Production Handbook.
"The information contained in the handbook
has been authored by experts in their respective
fields and extensively peer-reviewed to assure it is
accurate and up-to-date," said Paul Rodgers, deputy
director of policy for the American Sheep Industry
Published by ASI, the 'handbook,' as it is
referred to in sheep-industry circles, is unique in the
fact that it is the cooperative effort of many
individuals, organizations and agencies, instead of
the work of just one or a few individuals.
The seventh edition contains revised
information on major subjects such as breeding,
forages, handling, health, management, marketing,
nutrition, predator control, reproduction and wool.
New features include an extensive dairy chapter and
a hardbound cover.
"Some chapters have been changed a great deal
from the former edition, while others have received
up-dates," added Rodgers.
Other features include an extensive glossary of
terms; a brief history of the handbook, written by
George A. Allen, who served on the National
Extension Sheep Committee and helped develop the
first handbook edition more than 30 years ago; and
the colors of the first edition -- green and yellow.
The handbook is the primary text used to teach
sheep production in universities around the country
and is used as a reference by veterinarians,
consultants, advisors and producers.
The book sells for $49.95 each (plus shipping) or
$45.00 per copy (plus shipping) for orders of 10 or
more. To order, call ASI at (303) 771-3500, ext. 32,
between the hours of 7 am and 3 pm Mountain
(303) 771-3500, ext. 30
Release August 8, 2003
beef from "cool
p Australian 'Cool'
Cattle Taste Better
A recent study by
Scientific and Industrial
Research Organization shows
cattle" cost less to produce and
In a prepared statement, the organization said
selectively breeding beef herds from "cool-headed"
cattle not only increase producers' profits but also
produce better-tasting beef and that slower-moving
cattle produced more tender beef, and increased
profitability through a smoother production process.
"Poor temperament lowers cattle profitability
through increased production costs -- for example
(through) mustering, maintaining cattle handling
facilities and the increased risk of injury to the
cattle and their handlers," said project leader
Heather Burrow. "Poor temperament also leads to
decreased productivity due to the relationship (with)
growth rates, fertility, carcass and meat quality."
Burrow told Reuters that over the past year her
team had 12,000 carcasses evaluated using "sheer
force" machines. This involved collecting muscle
samples at slaughter and mechanically measuring
the amount of force necessary to break through the
About half the samples were also taste-tested
in Sydney using groups of untrained beef-eating
consumers in sporting clubs, parent and citizen
associations and similar organizations.
Quiet cows outperformed their faster cousins
not only in paddocks but also in feedlots, where
CSIRO tests show flighty cattle tend to stand back
at feeding time, failing to put on as much weight as
quieter breeds, Burrow said.
The study found flighty cattle also produce less
glycogen, a sugar that helps break down the muscle
Release August 8, 2003
UF Researchers Control
Mosquitoes with Tiny
At a time when the number of West Nile virus
cases is setting new records, University of Florida
researchers are developing an environmentally
friendly way of controlling mosquitoes without
The solution: a rugged little crustacean that
wages war on mosquito larvae with an almost
"We're using a native organism to control
mosquitoes when they breed in standing water,
usually in ponds, tires and other open containers,"
said Jorge Rey, a professor of entomology with the
University of Florida's Institute of Food and
"By adding tiny crustaceans called copepods to
the water, we can kill mosquito larvae before they
become adults that may spread West Nile and other
diseases," he said. "Tests at our Florida Medical
Entomology Laboratory in Vero Beach show that
September 2003 5
the copepods feed on mosquito larvae at an amazing
rate, killing up to 90 percent of the larvae."
Rey said the copepod species he is testing,
Macrocyclops albidus, is very aggressive toward its
prey. In fact, the copepods will kill the mosquito
larvae even when they are not looking for a meal.
"They will attack the larvae and maim it so it's
not going to live and then drop it," he said. "We
don't know why they behave this way -- it might be
a reflex action or they're just being mean."
Rey, who has been testing the copepods for
almost two years in discarded tires and other
containers, said they can survive year-round in any
size body of fresh water. His research shows the
copepods prefer young mosquito larvae, usually
those not older than four days. But they will attack
older larvae when the number of young larvae
He said the copepod is native to Florida and
common throughout the world. It poses no danger
to people, animals or plants. However, they don't
exist in every body of water and therefore would
have to be introduced in order to be effective on a
Jorge Rey, left, a professor of entomology with the University
of Florida's Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, and
Sheila O'Connell, a UF biological scientist, examine tiny
crustaceans called copepods that kill up to 90 percent of
mosquito larvae in standing water. Rey said tests at the Florida
Medical Entomology Laboratory in Vero Beach show that the
microscopic copepods, which are native to Florida and
common throughout the world, can survive year-round in any
size body of fresh water. The copepods could become an
effective new way to control mosquito larvae, he said.
(UF/IFAS photo by Jim Newman)
6 September 2003
"Once the copepods become established, they
reproduce in high numbers for effective natural or
biocontrol of mosquito larvae," Rey said.
"Copepods survive so well because they feed on a
wide range of insect prey in the natural
"Over the years, a variety of other biological
control agents ranging from viruses to fish have
been tried for mosquito control, but nothing seems
to work as effectively as this microscopic natural
predator," Rey said.
Current restrictions on pesticides, along with
the growing problem of insect resistance to many
chemicals, make biocontrols such as the copepod
increasingly attractive, Rey said.
His research shows that the copepods are easy
and inexpensive to raise and deliver to target areas.
Large numbers of copepods can be reared in small
plastic pools, plastic garbage cans and other
inexpensive containers. The cultures do not need a
lot of attention and are inexpensive to maintain.
Copepods thrive in warm climates but can survive
freezing temperatures for short periods. Pesticides
commonly used for mosquito control do not kill the
Organisms to start the cultures can be collected
in ponds and ditches and introduced into the
containers with chlorine-free water. Wheat grains
and Paramecium (naturally occurring
microorganisms) can be used for food.
An instruction sheet for growing copepods is
should be available from UF within a month.
Information also can be obtained from local
mosquito control offices.
He said more research is needed on ways to
distribute the copepods in the environment for
effective mosquito larvae control.
"Standard spray equipment can be easily
modified to dispense copepods," Rey said. "Since
they can withstand almost dry conditions, storage
and transportation will not require large quantities
He said biocontrol techniques, such as using
copepods for controlling mosquito larvae, are
attractive for developing countries where human
resources usually are more available than money for
expensive control alternatives.
Dr. Jorge Rey
Florida Medical Entomology
Lab, Vero Beach, Florida
(772) 778-7200, Ext. 136
By: Chuck Woods
ICS, University of Florida,
(352) 392-1773, Ext. 281
Calving Ease of Angus
Heifers Mated to Angus
and Simmental Sires
Selected for Reduced
As a means of minimizing dystocia, it has been
generally recommended that British yearling heifers
not be mated to Continental bulls. However, in
recent years, seedstock breeders in the Continental
breeds have been putting increased selection
pressure on improving calving ease. This has been
especially true within the Simmental breed. In this
two-year study, Montana State University
researchers artificially inseminated commercial
Angus yearling heifers on four Montana ranches
using semen from 20 high calving ease Simmental
and 27 low birth weight Angus sires. Simmental
sires were in the top 10% of their breed for calving
ease EPD and Angus sires were in the top 10% of
their breed for low birth weight EPD. The dataset
consisted of a total of 1,038 calvings in the year
2000 and 2001. Simmental sired calves were 2.9
days longer in gestation length and 4.7 pounds
heavier at birth than Angus sired calves. Percent of
assisted births was significantly higher for
Simmental sired calves but the difference was not as
great as one might expect (41% versus 29%). The
authors concluded that Simmental sires with calving
ease EPDs in the top 10% of the breed can be mated
to Angus heifers, of Montana origin, with only 10 to
15% increase in assistance rate over that of Angus
sires in the top 10% for low birth weight EPD.
Furthermore, as a result of both heterosis and breed
complementarity, the crossbred calves would be
expected to have heavier weaning weights and
greater post-weaning rates of gain. As sexed semen
technology advances, yearling heifers could be bred
to female sperm, which would further reduce the
incidence of dystocia. (Van Wagoner et al. 2003.
Proc. Western Section ASAS, 54:159).
SOURCE: Harlan Ritchie, Steven Rust, and
Beef Cattle Research Update,
Michigan State University
Does Creep Feeding Calves
Creep feeding calves is a way to put additional
weight on calves prior to weaning. However, the
performance of calves and the economics of creep
feeding is not a sure thing.
A three year creep feeding study conducted in
Alabama by Auburn University showed that calves
fed creep feed for 182 days prior to weaning gained
an additional 36 pounds. Calves consumed 507
pounds of creep feed. Today, the additional gain is
worth about $30 per calf (avg. heifers and steers).
However, the cost of creep feed (at $200 per ton)
was $50 per calf. Obviously, with these costs and
returns creep feeding is not economical.
In a three year study in Oklahoma, heifer and
steer calves fed creep feed for 159 days prior to
weaning were 30 pounds heavier than non creep-fed
calves. Creep-fed calves ate 363 pounds of feed.
Today, the additional gain is worth approximately
September 2003 7
$25 per calf and the cost of creep feed is about $37
per calf. Again, with these cost and return values
creep feeding is not profitable.
Another Oklahoma study involved creep
feeding calves nursing two-year-old first-calf
heifers. Calves creep fed 135 days were 108 pounds
heavier at weaning than calves not creep fed. With
the higher price per pound market value for the
smaller non-creep fed calves, the advantage is only
about $50.00 per calf fed creep feed. Calves ate 740
pounds of creep feed which would cost about $74.
With these cost and returns, creep feeding is not
profitable even for calves nursing two-year-old
In a four year creep feeding study at
Brooksville, Florida, calves received creep feed for
60 days prior to weaning. The average increase in
gain from creep feeding was 27 pounds per calf. It
is interesting that the average gain response to creep
feeding varied from 6 pounds per calf in the poorest
year to 50 pounds per calf in the best year. A breed
response to creep feeding also occurred, with a 52
pound increase for Hereford calves, a 34 pound
increase for Brangus-type calves, and only an 8
pound increase for Brahman calves. Over all, calves
consumed about 600 pounds of creep feed. With a
feed cost of about $60 per calf, creep feeding would
be far from being profitable.
Creep feeding calves is not an economical
practice in most situations. Gain responses might
offset feed costs during a drought or for calves
nursing first-calf heifers. Also, the $200 per ton cost
for creep feed is for that delivered in 50 pound bags.
Creep feed purchased in bulk quantities would cost
much less which would help return a profit. But
even with discounted feed prices, profits from creep
feeding nursing calves are questionable. Also, the
above economic analysis does not include the cost
of creep feeding equipment nor labor. ).
Range Cattle REC, Ona, Florida
Published in "The Peace River
Farmer and Rancher" June 2003
8 September 2003
Canada Seeks Changes to
But the pitch is getting a cold reception. The
Canadian request, which came during talks to lift
restrictions on beef, was that the U.S. show
flexibility on the demand that cattle under 30
months be slaughtered in a facility that does not
process older cows. The two are currently
slaughtered in the same plant in Canada.
"Certainly they made the request, we heard the
request but I'm not aware that we're changing
anything," said Ed Curlett, a spokesman for the U.S.
Agriculture Department's animal health inspection
"These mitigations are what we believe is
necessary to allow the importation of these
products," Curlett said Tuesday from Washington.
"This is what the science is telling us is the
thing to do in this case, to prevent cross-
Experts believe cattle under 30 months are safe
from bovine spongiform encephalopathy, known as
mad cow disease.
It has been 90 days since the infection was
discovered in a lone Alberta breeder cow and
international borders slammed shut on Canadian
beef, sending the industry into a tailspin with job
losses in the hundreds and financial losses around
Earlier this month, the U.S. and Mexico,
Canada's largest beef market, announced they
would partially lift bans on some Canadian meat
products other than live animals.
Discussions are continuing on the
slaughterhouse issue, which has major financial
implications for an industry already reeling from
three months without access to international
Canada has suggested that packing plants
could dedicate certain days or slaughtering lines for
export cattle to assure the animals are under 30
months of age, which most experts deem as safe.
A federal official in Ottawa said talks were at a
"delicate state" and did not want to comment.
The beef industry is aware that changes are
coming if the Canadian Food Inspection Agency
cannot negotiate a change in segregation rules.
"It means we're going to see a specialization or
shifting of processing capacity," said Ted Haney of
the Canada Beef Export Federation.
About 15 per cent of cattle slaughtered are
older animals, including breeder and dairy cattle,
which are often processed into hamburger.
XL Foods, which kills 450,000 cattle a year, is
considering having its Calgary facility slaughter
cattle under 30 months while its plant in Moose
Jaw, Sask., would handle older cows.
"The border is opening September 1st -
supposedly," said Lee Nilsson, co-owner of the
Calgary-based company. "When we see the border
is opening and all the hoops that do come with it,
then we will make a decision of what we're doing."
The partial border opening allows some cuts of
boneless meat from young animals to be shipped
south an estimated 40 per cent of what Canadian
producers were sending in early May.
Nilsson is watching the U.S.-Canada talks with
hope, but said Canada is not in a strong bargaining
"At this point, what we want and what they say
we can have are not necessarily the same thing," he
Release August 19, 2003