UNIVERSITY OF .
0 FLORIDA j i cen
In This Issue...
Beef Mana-gement Calendar 2
Livestock Sumniari 2
S2 5 Million NIH Grant Boosts lUF IFAS
Research On \est Nile And Other
Nlosquito-Borne D seases 3
Suburban Coyotes On The Rise. lUF
Professor Sa\s 5
Researcher Says Carcass Breaking' Can
Contaminate Beef With E Coli 6
Calf With Three Eves. T\\o NMouths Born
NCBA Executiv\e Committee Opposes
Litigation That Threatens Opening Of
International Markets 8
Prepared by Extension Specialists in
Beef Cattle Management, Ona
*: J.N. Carter
Beef Cattle Extension Specialist, Marianna
*: GR. Hansen
Beef Cattle Production, Marianna
*: EG. Hembry, Professor
Department Chairman, Gainesville
Extension Beef Cattle Specialist, Gainesville
E.L. Johnson, Associate Professor
Extension Equine Specialist, Gainesville
T.T. Marshall, Professor
Beef Cattle Management, Gainesville
: R.O. Myer, Professor
Animal Nutritionist, Marianna
R.S. Sand, Associate Professor
Extension Livestock Specialist, Gaine vile
SW. Taylor, Coordinator
Youth Education/Training, Gainesville
S.H. TenBroeck, Associate Professor
Extension Equine Specialist, Gainesville
T.A. Thrift, Assistant Professor
Beef Cattle Nutrition, Gainesville
I Dates to Remember
4 Sonlhej .I, DHIA Boild NkMeeii Hilion Linis\ iMl\ ol
Flonda ConIei incc Ce i iI. GiiIK\ ille FL
5 41st Annual Florida Dairy Production Conference -
Hilton University of Florida Conference Center;
5-" 5" '1 .lAnnul Bee.l Caltle Shoel Conise CoIfeiene -
Hilion Un' cii Sm of Floinda Confeiciie Cc iii.
G IlIK's ilkl FL
8 Area "C" 4-H Horse Show Bartow Horse Arena,
14-15 Aica B' 4-H Hois.- Slio%\ Cini.biin
Slio\ -'ioliiikS N\\ berin FL
15 FBBA 8th Annual Accent on Quality Sale
16-211 4''" .'Innull Florida Inilriulioin l .A\, bllllinc'S Trade
Slio\ nlld Ihi inalionidl C'Oiullli ICi Oilo L n stock IIn
ilK TIOpliis Kitssiiiiiici FL
19 STARS Forage/Beef Field Day Subtropical
Agricultural Research Station; Brooksville, FL
211 ilth A.uiiul (Ocala Equiine Slionicouii Hilion Ocala.
24-26 IFAS/NRCS Nutrient Management Module 7 Florida
Practicum USDA Service Center; Okeechobee, FL
2" 211114 Coin Sillae Field Da. Plant Science ind
Education Reseichi linnt. Catra. FL
11-13 Hois- C'. lnip En hlils
14 Open Bids for Horse Teaching Unit Sealed Bid Sale -
16-18 FCA Alunull Ciion\ cnioni nd Allied Tijd Shio\\ -
Nlico Iliknd FL
17 FCA Bull Sale Marco Island, FL
IN-21 Hois. Cj'lnip \\ isien Sxped
23 State 4-H Horse Public Speaking, Illustrated
Talks/Demos, Horseman of the Year Interviews, 4-H
Horse Quiz Bowl- Gainesville, FL
25-26 Hoe & Hani Gaimesl ile FL
The Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (IFAS) is an Equal Employment Opportunity Affirmave Acton Employer authorized to provide research, educational information, and other
services only to individuals that function with regard to race, color, sex, age, handicap, or national origin. For information on obtaining other extension pubhcations, contact your county
Cooperative Extension Service office.
0 Remove bulls.
0 Harvest hay from cool season crops.
0 Plant warm season perennial pastures.
0 Fertilize warm season pastures.
0 Check mineral feeder.
0 Check for spittlebugs and treat if necessary.
0 Apply spot-on agents for grub and louse control.
0 Check dust bags.
0 Vaccinate and implant with growth stimulant any
0 Reimplant calves with growth stimulant at 90-
120 days, when you have herd penned.
0 Dispose of dead animals properly.
0 Update market information and refine marketing
0 Remove bulls May 21 to end calving season
0 Last date for planting sorghum.
0 Check mineral feeder, use at least 8% phosphorus
in mineral an not over 2 12 to 1 calcium to
0 Check pastures and hay field for spittlebugs, mole
crickets, and army worms.
0 Treat if necessary; best month for mole cricket
0 Check dust bags.
0 Watch for evidence of pinkeye and treat.
0 Utilize available veterinary services and
0 Get heifers vaccinated for brucellosis if not
0 Pregnancy check cows.
0 Update market information and plans.
0 Make first cutting of hay.
0 Put bulls out June 1 for calves starting March
0 Reimplant calves at 90 to 120 days with growth
SStrong beef demand and poor
feedlot performance due to poor
feeding conditions are helping to
offset the negative impact of the
export bans on U.S. beef and cattle
since December 23. Additional help
is on the way as the United States, Canada, and
Mexico finalize protocols that will allow beef and
cattle to move within the three NAFTA countries.
Safety certification issues were resolved with
Mexico on March 9 and three U.S. plants were
approved to begin shipping boneless beef from cattle
under 30 months of age to Mexico. The three
countries are also likely to resolve issues regarding
beef processed on a supply line dedicated to cattle
less than 30 months of age.
First quarter beef production is expected to
decline about 6 percent as the supply of market-ready
cattle slows due to poor feedlot performance. A return
to favorable conditions this spring and at least normal
conditions in the grain production areas are expected
to result in female retention and further tightening
of supplies for the next 2 to 3 years.
0 Cut corn silage.
0 Control weeds in summer pastures.
0 Apply nitrogen to warm season pastures, if
0 Check mineral feeder.
0 Check for army worms and mole crickets, and
treat if necessary.
0 Wean calves and cull cow herd.
0 Watch for evidence of footrot and treat.
0 Consider preconditioning calves before sale
including vaccination for shipping fever and IBR
at least 3 weeks before sale.
0 Check dust bags.
0 Update market information and plans.
0 Revaccinate calves at weaning for blackleg.
First quarter slaughter weights will likely be near
10 pounds below last year's low level and about 16
pounds below the 2002 record. Weights seasonally
decline into late April-early May depending on
Fed cattle prices are expected to decline into
the low $70's this summer before rising to the upper
$70's this fall as supplies decline seasonally and
cyclically. Prices averaged near $80 per
hundredweight in January and February and rose to
the mid $80's in March as regular slaughter weights
Cow slaughter will likely remain well below
the large recent levels for the next several years, but
forage conditions remain an important determinant.
Steer and heifer slaughter, while remaining below
year-earlier levels this year, are expected to rise
seasonally through summer.
U.S. beef exports for 2004 are forecast to total
430 million pounds, an increase of 210 million
pounds from the 220 million pounds expected last
month. Exports are expected to be limited because
beef from U.S. cattle over 30 months of age (largely
culled cows) remains banned, while Canada will be
a strong competitor in the market for beef products
from animals under 30 months of age.
U.S. beef exports to Mexico may also be limited
by continued weakness of the Mexican peso and high
relative U.S. prices. With fed cattle prices in the
United States expected to average $74-76 per
hundredweight in 2004, beef prices are likely to
remain relatively high in terms of pesos and limit
Mexico's ability to import U.S. beef, unless the peso
were to strengthen significantly.
IL ~ h-
Florida Honey Yield Per Colony
125 .--- -.. ..---
100 6w;aam -
2000 2001 .2002 2003
The Florida Agri-Journal
Researched by Sherilyn Burris
Information Specialist I
Division of Marketing
Release April 5, 2004
$2.5 Million NIH Grant
Research On West
Nile And Other
Florida Cattle and Calf Marketings
1997 1998 1999 2000
To reduce the spread of West Nile encephalitis
and other mosquito-borne diseases, University of
Florida medical entomologists are ramping up their
research on dangerous insects and viruses with the
help of a $2.5 million grant from the National
Institutes of Health.
"West Nile virus poses a very real risk for the
nation, especially Florida, and a large epidemic with
hundreds or thousands of cases is likely in the
next five years" said Walter Tabachnick, director of
UF's Florida Medical Entomology Laboratory in Vero
"The virus took the lives of six Floridians last
year, and the number of cases reported in the state
during the past two years exceeded 150," he said.
"Nationwide, there were nearly 10,000 cases
Tabachnick said a key objective of the research
will be to identify and track mosquitoes that transmit
encephalitis, malaria and other diseases, and
determine how environmental conditions can
increase the likelihood of an epidemic.
Leading the research effort will be Cynthia Lord,
an associate professor, who will work with professors
Jonathan Day, George O'Meara and Tabachnick, and
Assistant Professor Roxanne Rutledge. The grant,
for "Modeling and Empirical Studies ofArboviruses
in Florida," will support a five-year research project
on arthropod-borne viruses at the Vero Beach lab,
which is part of UF's Institute of Food and
Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS).
Lord said the research will help build an
information base for the efficient dissemination of
disease pathogen information to health organizations.
County health units and mosquito control districts
use information from the Vero Beach laboratory to
inform and protect the public from mosquito-borne
Tabachnick said the new model will enable
scientists and health officials in each Florida county
to better predict the presence of West Nile, St. Louis
encephalitis, Eastern equine encephalitis, or other
mosquito-borne pathogens in the environment. He
said data gained from the information base will be
vital to Florida public health and mosquito control
agencies in their efforts to target high risk regions
and reduce an outbreak before humans are infected.
"The grant brings needed resources to Florida
for this important work," Tabachnick said.
"Recognized as one the leading research institutions
of its kind in the world, the Florida Medical
Entomology Laboratory is one of the very few
facilities capable of studying these pathogens in
natural situations. Our faculty are recognized for
multidisciplinary research on mosquitoes and
mosquito-borne pathogens, employing state-of-the-
He said the expanded research program will use
theoretical, laboratory and field studies to provide
information on Florida's arboviruses to health
organizations. The program will involve nearly 30
people, including 10 new employees.
"The fact that this NIH grant is being awarded
to a research organization on the Treasure Coast is
yet another example of the growing prominence of
the scientific community in this part of the state,"
Tabachnick said. "In fact, the growing role of research
in our region of the state would not be possible
without the support of the Florida Legislature,
particularly Sen. Ken Pruitt."
Tabachnick thanked Sen. Mike Haridopolos and
Rep. Ralph Poppell for their support of a Community
Budget Issue Request for nearly $800,000 in state
funds for renovations at the laboratory. Tabachnick
said that the new state funds, if budgeted, represent
a needed investment to obtain additional federal
support for research at the Vero Beach laboratory on
arthropod borne diseases to protect Florida and the
He also cited additional support for research at
the Vero Beach laboratory from the Florida
Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services,
which awarded previous grants for research on the
West Nile virus and St. Louis encephalitis.
Tabachnick said the partnership between the
university and state agriculture department helped
make the new NIH grant a reality.
Florida Medical Entomology Lab
Vero Beach, FL
(772) 778-7200, ext. 124
By: Robin Koestoyo
Release April 23, 2004
Suburban Coyotes On The Rise,
UF Professor Says
They've long been a symbol of the wild open
spaces of the American West. Now coyotes are
making themselves at home in Florida's suburbs.
But suburbanites need not fear the predators in
their backyards as long as they use common sense,
says Martin Main, a wildlife ecologist with UF's
Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences.
"Coyotes have a negative image, but on the
whole they're probably good for the ecosystem,"
Main said. "The coyote isjust another poor guy trying
to make a living, and in doing so he's killing smaller
predators that feed on native birds and other wildlife.
Of course, that's small comfort if the smaller predator
happens to be your cat."
Main is one of the lead researchers in the South
Florida Coyote Study, an annual survey that tracks
populations of coyotes as they spread through Florida
- the coyote's final frontier.
Once confined to the western states, the coyote
has spread to virtually all of North America in the
last century. The spread is due partly to human efforts
to exterminate wolves, larger predators that kill
coyotes. But it's also due to the coyote's famously
clever nature: normally solitary predators that avoid
humans and prey on small animals, coyotes can learn
to live off garbage and may venture onto farms to
prey on calves or other small livestock.
Though hunters released a few of them in
Florida as early as the 1920s, coyotes didn't establish
themselves in the Sunshine State until the 1960s,
when populations from Alabama and Georgia moved
into the Panhandle. Since then coyotes have spread
to all but the southern tip of Florida, with researchers
finding evidence of coyotes as far south as
Fakahatchee Strand State Preserve in Collier County.
Until recently, the influx of coyotes has been of
concern only to ranchers, who occasionally lose
calves to the predators. But in the past two or three
years, Main said, researchers have fielded a growing
number of reports about coyotes living and hunting
in the Florida suburbs.
Martin Main, a wildlife ecologist with the University of
Florida Institute ofFood andAgricultural Sciences, measures
the teeth ofa coyote to determine its age at the time ofits death
April 9, 2004. Main, part of a team of researchers who
conduct a yearly survey ofcoyote populations in Florida, says
the versatile predators are showing up in suburban areas
around the state. Main said that as long as people stay away
from coyotes and do not feed them, they have little tofearfrom
the animals. (AP photo by Marisol Amador/UF/IFAS)
Among other examples, Main cites increasing
sightings of the predators at Panhandle airports, as
well as a 2002 incident in which firefighters rescued
a coyote from a canal in a Collier County subdivision
under construction. But so far, suburban coyotes have
created the biggest stir in Pinellas County, where
residents blamed the wily predators for the
disappearance of several housecats in 2003.
"We know we have coyotes because we've seen
them," said Jeanne Murphy, park naturalist for UF's
Pinellas County Extension Service at Florida
Botanical Gardens in Largo. Murphy said the park is
home to a group of at least three to five coyotes which
are spotted almost nightly by park rangers.
Those sightings are just a sign of things to come,
Main said. In the five years since the coyote study
began, researchers have found populations of coyotes
steadily increasing. Though the survey currently
counts coyotes only in wildlife preserves, Main said,
higher populations will mean more coyotes venture
into the suburbs in search of new places to hunt. And
development is bringing humans into territory already
claimed by coyotes, Main said.
"I think of the coyote as a case study for the
future," he said. "As development takes up more and
more habitat, we're going to see more and more
encounters with urban wildlife of this sort."
While the presence of coyotes in a suburban
neighborhood can make people anxious, Main says,
coyotes are not likely to cause problems as long as
people exercise common sense. A small animal -
the largest coyote collected by Main in Florida
weighed just 39 pounds coyotes have typically
shied away from humans in the past.
In recent years, suburban residents in Western
states have occasionally reported coyotes
approaching or attacking small children or harassing
people as they walk their pets. But Main says these
attacks are rare and are probably due to coyotes losing
their fear of humans something that often happens
when people feed coyotes.
"People may think it's cute or an act of kindness
to feed coyotes -until someone gets bitten," he said.
"Then everybody changes their tune and starts saying
we should kill them all. We need to show all wild
animals respect and recognize that if you really want
to do these animals a favor, you'll just stay away
from them and let them go about their business in
The predators do pose a danger to housecats and
small dogs, Main said, though people can lessen the
risk by bringing in their pets at night. And Main
believes coyotes could play an important role in the
state's ecosystem by controlling populations of feral
"Anybody who has lived in Florida knows that
the state hosts a wide variety of migrating birds,"
Main said. "Both feral and domestic cats predators
we've introduced to the state kill those birds,
including species that are endangered."
Coyotes may also provide an ecological benefit
by controlling populations of small predators, such
as raccoons, that raid nests and eat eggs, he said.
Once they're established in an area, Main said,
coyotes are there to stay. He notes that farmers across
the country have tried to wipe out coyotes using a
number of methods, including shooting, trapping and
even poisoning, but coyote populations have
recovered and even grown despite those measures.
"You'll never permanently exterminate the
coyote by any means that has been tried yet," Main
said. "If you could, there wouldn't be a single coyote
in the entire state of Texas. Out west, they've tried
every trick in the book."
Southwest Florida Research and
Pinellas County Extension Service
By: Tim Lockette
Release April 9, 2004
Researcher Says Carcass
Breaking Can Contaminate Beef
With E. Coli
New research suggests that the beef carcass
breaking process not the carcass dressing process
- is a major source of disease-causing bacteria,
according to the Canada Alberta Beef Industry
Development Fund, which helped fund the research.
The study conducted by Colin Gill, a meat research
scientist at Agri-Food Canada's Lacombe Research
Center, may indicate that redesigning carcass
breaking equipment could significantly reduce the
levels of E. coli 0157:H7 contamination.
The carcass dressing stage is normally the target
for E. coli intervention.
According to Gill, because beef is pasteurized
after the carcass dressing process, very few E. coli-
infected carcasses enter the breaking facilities, but
the pathogen resurfaces during the breaking phase.
Gill studied two beef packing plants. At the first
plant, where about 120 carcasses are broken per hour,
samples were taken after carcass breaking to
determine total aerobic counts, coliforms and E. coli,
according to his research. For each group of bacteria,
numbers were higher on trimmings than on carcasses
entering the breaking process, Gill said.
Gill also sampled pooled water on cleaned
carcass breaking equipment and steel mesh gloves
used during carcass breaking. E. coli comprised less
than 10 percent of the coliforms recovered from any
glove or sample, but it was dominant in the coliforms
recovered from meat. That meant the breaking
process "may be sporadically contaminated at
localized sites with E. coli, which are distributed over
the carcass during the breaking process, in addition
to the product being contaminated de novo from
improperly cleaned equipment," Gill said in a news
At the second plant, where 240 carcasses were
broken per hour, samples taken during the breaking
stage generally did not show an increased number of
But samples taken from cotton gloves worn by
workers involved in the breaking of hanging
carcasses showed a significant E. coli presence, Gill
"For the glove samples, E. coli was recovered
in rather large numbers from the water in which
gloves were rinsed and in small numbers from swabs
of those same gloves," Gill said in the release. "This
leads us to believe that the gloves must become
contaminated with E. coli from surfaces within the
breaking facility, as the numbers are too high to be
derived from the carcasses."
Samples taken from a table where part of a side
of beef is placed and the belt used for conveying
chucks had comparable counts with the sides and
cuts, suggesting that the coliforms and E. coli
recovered from the cuts didn't come from the carcass
sides, but instead originated from the cut conveying
equipment, Gill said.
Gill said he believes carcass breaking equipment
should be redesigned so that it can be completely
cleaned during the work day and that in the future
microbiological sampling should be used on
equipment to determine if it is clean.
Release April 23, 2004
Calf With Three Eyes, Two
Mouths Born In Texas
A newborn calf in Grand Saline, Texas, is doing
well despite having three eyes and two mouths.
The 57-pound calf named "Unique"
born April 12 about 60 miles east of Dallas.
A local veterinarian said the animal is perfectly
healthy, and each of its extra body parts functions
S '- .
According to owner Virginia Hale, the light red
female calf is friendly, likes to drink milk from its
mother and enjoys lapping up water using both
SOURCE: Brendan O'Neill
Release April 22, 2004
E NCBA Executive
USA" Opposes Litigation
Opening Of International
R-Calf TacticlgnoresScience, OverallIndustryGoals
Efforts to build a global market for U.S. beef
based on science would be harmed by frivolous
litigation against the U.S. Department of Agriculture
to close the U.S. border to Canadian beef and cattle,
according to the officers and executive committee
of the National Cattlemen's Beef Association
(NCBA). R-Calf/United Stockgrowers of America
has threatened to sue the USDA to keep the border
closed until Canada is recognized internationally as
Passed in an NCBA Executive Committee
teleconference last Friday was the following
statement: "The NCBA Executive Committee,
comprised of cattlemen from across the country,
opposes this type of lawsuit that restricts the
opportunity to reopen international markets that
benefit U.S. cattle producers."
According to NCBA President Jan Lyons, a
cattle and beef producer from Manhattan, Kan.,
efforts to recapture the $13-15 per hundredweight
lost to beef exports following the Dec. 23 incident in
Washington state would suffer as a result ofR-Calf's
"We really can't expect our export partners to
base their decisions on science if we're not willing
to do the same thing with those who export products
to us," Lyons says. "When it comes to Canada, we
expect that border to be opened in such a way that it
would not harm our domestic market, that Canadian
heifers be permanently identified and not allowed to
enter the U.S. breeding herd through feedlots, and
that Canada abide by equivalency principles on cattle
and beef so that we have unrestricted movement of
cattle and beef to Canada.
"At the same time, we want to assure that Japan
and other importing countries abide by internationally
accepted science in their trade with the United States.
We firmly believe the science provides assurances
to all beef consumers, both here and abroad, that U.S.
beef is safe. We simply cannot address international
trade one country at a time."
Lyons says the best way to recapture losses due
to trade sanctions against the U.S. is to show the
world how to conduct trade based on science, not to
work overtime to create new trade sanctions against
"This lawsuit threat is consistent with other R-
Calf isolationist actions that would ultimately prove
detrimental to cattlemen," according to Lyons. "It
appears to be a membership-generating effort that
ignores the value of U.S. beef exports to cattlemen.
It also ignores science that shows the border can be
reopened safely, and done without harm to U.S.
cattlemen if done properly.
"If we applied the R-Calf criteria of 'prohibiting
imports of live cattle or beef from countries with BSE
in their herds,' then other countries, like Japan, would
apply the same standard to us regardless of the
animal's origin," Lyons says.
Release April 19, 2004