UNIVERSITY OF 0. '
* FLORIDA j ifl cienc
IFAS EXTENSION 7 .Xirsleiier ,. "
In This Issue...
Beef Management Calendar .............................. 2
UF/IFAS Extension Service Responds To Hurricane
Charley .................. .................... ...... 2
NFREC 3' Annual Fall Field Day .......................... 4
Florida Section, Society for Range Managment Fall
T our ..................... ............... ... .......... 4
2004 Tri-State Hay Show .............................. ... 5
Does Preconditioning Feeder Calves Pay the Cow-
Calf Producer? ....... ................................ 5
Bronson Urges Vaccinations to Protect Horses From
Mosquito Borne Diseases .............................. 7
U.S. Agricultural Exports Expected to Reach a
Record $62 Billion in FY 2004 ........................ 8
Prepared by Extension Specialists in
+ J.D. Arthington
Beef Cattle Management, Ona
*: J.N. Carter
Beef Cattle Extension Specialist, Marianna
*: GR. Hansen
Beef Cattle Production, Marianna
EG. Hembry, Professor
Department Chairman, Gainesville
*: M.J. Hersom
Extension Beef Cattle Specialist, Gainesville
*: T.A. Houser
Extension Meat 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, C 1. .,W ,,
W. Taylor, Coordinator
Youth Education/Training, Gainesville
+ S.H. TenBroeck, Associate Professor
Extension Equine Specialist, Gainesville
+ T.A. Thrift, Assistant Professor
Beef Cattle Nutrition, Gainesville
<4 Dates to Remember
4-5 Fall A\ibun F.istn \l iCanticibu Nii\\Lbin FL
15-17 Florida Cattlemen's Fall Quarterly Meeting Crystal
1 211114 FL Eciini Iniiit lll in d Allied Tliadl Slho -
Soilllhacislirn Li'lISoCk Pa\ lion. (OcaLi FL
20-24 The Florida Association of Extension Professionals
Meeting Cocoa Beach, FL
25 Flonida Sinla GCll lidiS Salk Billo\ FL
II lI'' \nnIal FC.A O(i lil RcpLiclIlncill Hi'lii' Sal -
1 The Farm Bull Sale Okeechobee, FL
Nonli Flonii REC 'V'' annuall Fall Fi.ld Di\ -
9 Cow Creek Ranch Bull Sale Aliceville, AL
12 H lid Hcalth Nlaii.'icnlicInt Scininli Hidcic Counll
.ALII-CIN ic Cinici FL
14 Range Cattle REC Field Day Ona, FL
14-I" Floi id (nd)uOiic i Hoi sc Sho%% C(jnci bur Nc \\Lbni
16 Florida Santa Gertrudis Association Auction Bartow,
21 Florida Scction SocK'h 1oi Raiie N1 andeinllcn FAll
Toii Saiaso:l FL
21 Little Creek Farm Bull Sale Kissimmee, FL
21 Ilcidol\ Creck Bull Sai Kisslinnlee FL
21 Callaway Angus Bull Sale Kissimmee, FL
22 Ankoni Ainvil Bull Sale Oc)al FL
22 Graham Angus Bull Sale Okeechobee, FL
23 Dcbicr Hciellord Bull Sale Hollon AL
27 Circle G Bull Sale Hampton, GA
2') LcillinOi Cjillle C (oimpai (OkIcclobci FL
The Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (IFAS) is an Equal Employment Opportunity Affirmative 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 publications, contact your county
Cooperative Extension Service office.
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 producing
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.
R 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
R 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.
0 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
0 Check progress of developing replacement
heifers are they going to meet your target weight
by the start of the breeding season?
Service Responds To
In the wake of the nation's second
most expensive hurricane loss estimates may
exceed $25 billion state and federal agencies are
scrambling to help residents in Hurricane Charley's
southwest-to-northeast swath across Florida.
"With extension offices in all 67 Florida
counties, the University of Florida's Institute of Food
and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) is making the
vast resources of the university available to residents
in hard-hit counties," said Charles Vavrina, extension
district director at the UF/IFAS Southwest Florida
Research and Education Center in Immokalee.
Vavrina, who is coordinating extension recovery
efforts in South Florida, said county extension faculty
in Charlotte, DeSoto, Hardee and other counties are
working to get their damaged offices back in
operation. They're also providing residents with
information on various types of aid and other services
available, including information on food and water,
feed for animals, and insurance claims as well as
disposal of rotting food, controlling mosquitoes in
standing water and preventing mold in structures that
are without air conditioning.
Topping the list of extension resources available
to residents is The Disaster Handbook, a
comprehensive document that provides detailed
information on all aspects of hurricane preparedness
Available online at http://disaster.ifas.ufl.edu/,
the handbook was produced by UF/IFAS. The
university also works with the Extension Disaster
Education Network (EDEN), a consortium of
extension disaster experts from 45 states and Puerto
Rico," said Carol Lehtola, an extension safety and
health specialist in Gainesville. She also is
extension's point person for the UF/IFAS Disaster
Information Program and Florida's primary contact
As residents begin to recover from Hurricane
Charley, injuries from chain saws and misuse of other
equipment are common. In fact, three deaths have
occurred from carbon monoxide poisoning when
generators were used indoors, she said. To learn about
avoiding accidents, Lehtola recommends checking
the UF/IFAS Agricultural Safety Web site at
Next week, new public service announcements
(PSAs) for radio stations can be downloaded from
UF's www.radiosource.net Web site, she said.
Vavrina said another online resource is UF/IFAS
extension's Electronic Data Information Source
(EDIS) that provides information and educational
materials in English and Spanish on many topics,
ranging from agriculture and natural resources to food
safety, consumer credit counseling, and child and
family stress. Hurricane disaster information
is available on the EDIS Web site,
http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/, by searching for hurricane
recovery, flood recovery and wind recovery.
In addition, he said the UF/IFAS Broward
County Extension Service maintains a
comprehensive Web site on hurricane preparedness
that's available at http://broward.ifas.ufl.edu/.
In the planning stage is a new State Agricultural
Response Team (SART), an interagency program to
respond to future emergencies and disasters in the
state. SART, which will become operational early
next year, involves experts at the Florida Department
of Agriculture and Consumer Services, Florida
Department of Community Affairs, U.S. Department
of Agriculture and the UF/IFAS Extension Service.
In addition to helping establish response teams
in each county, SART will identify county resources
available for an emergency or disaster, promote
cooperation between state and county agencies, and
train personnel to respond to emergencies or disasters
such as hurricanes.
Charles Vavrina, Professor and
Phone: (239) 658-3400
Carol Lehtola, Associate Professor
Agricultural and Biological
Phone: (352) 392-1864, Ext. 223
Phone: (352) 392-1773, Ext. 281
-. UNIVERSITY OF NFREC 3rd
FLORIDA Annual Fall Field
The North Florida Research and Education
Center (NFREC) of the University of Florida and
the Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences,
located in Quincy, Florida, is hosting their third
annual Fall Field Day on October 7, 2004. This Fall
Field Day will be an information-packed day
designed to provide hands-on educational
experiences and research results to farmers, growers,
and agricultural distributors on the various types of
research and technologies provided by the research
center as well as opportunities to find possible
solutions to crop and garden problems.
Please visit http://nfrec.ifas.ufl.edu/Calendar/
NFRECQFallFieldDay.pdf for a detailed agenda or
For further information, please call
(850) 875-7100, ext 0 or visit our website at
SOURCE: NFREC, UF/IFAS
Phone: (850) 875-7100
F L O R I D A S E C T 1 O N
Society for Range Management
Thursday, October 21, 2004
Longino Ranch, Sarasota, FL
Registration Fee: $15.00 per person for SRM
members (includes lunch)
$20.00 per person for non-
members (includes lunch)
If possible, please register in advance so it is known
how much food to order.
Make checks payable to: Florida Section, Society
for Range Management
Send checks to:
c/o USDA NRCS
324 8t Avenue West
Palmetto, FL 34221
For additional information contact:
Phone: (941) 729-6804
Phone: (941) 907-0011
Registration/coffee from 8:30 to 9:00 a.m.
Tour & Presentations will begin at 9:00 a.m.
Program Presentations: Brush Management
Research, Conservation Easements, Farm Bil
Programs, Quail Management Research
rIC Main Entrance 2
to Myakka River
c: SR7 2 to
S.. 106 Mla..
The entrance road to Longino Ranch is
approximately 22.5 miles east of 1-75 on SR 72.
The entrance road to Longino Ranch is just past
Sugar Bowl Road on the South side of SR 72.
From SR 72 to the ranch headquarters is
approximately 2 miles.
SOURCE: Florida Section, Society for Range
2004 Tri-State Hay
County Extension Agents
and Forage Specialists from the
Land Grant Universities in Alabama, Florida and
Georgia in conjunction with the Sunbelt Agricultural
Exposition have organized the 2004 Tri-State Hay
Show. For a small fee of $10, hay producers from
have an opportunity to gain information about the
quality of they hay they produce and compete for
recognition as the top hay producer in three states.
The first part of this show will be the forage quality
competition. The second part will be educational
seminars held during the Sunbelt Ag. Expo in
Moultrie, GA on hay and forage quality. Hay entries
will be on display at the Sunbelt Ag. Expo October
The forage quality contest will have eight
categories (ex. Bermudagrass, Alfalfa, Perennial
Peanut, or Grass legume mix) that should cover most
of the forages grown in the southeast United States.
Only dry hay samples will be accepted. Round bale
silage entries will not be accepted due to storage
difficulties. Hay will be judged based on a Relative
Forage Quality (RFQ) index, which takes into
account protein, energy and fiber digestibility. The
contest is open to any hay producer in Alabama,
Florida or Georgia that would like to enter, but the
producer who actually grew the hay must submit the
entry. Hay samples, entry fees ($10 per sample), and
an entry form must be submitted no later than
September 20, 2004. For more information, contact
your local County Extension Agent or on the internet
SOURCE: Doug Mayo
Jackson County Extension
Phone: (850) 482-9620
Does Preconditioning Feeder
Calves Pay the Cow-Calf
Feeder cattle buyers and feedlot managers have
touted the virtues of preconditioned feeder calves for
more than a decade now. However, that does not
mean that they will willingly pay for the value added
from preconditioning feeder calves. In fact, most will
admit they are only going to make one more bid than
the next buyer. Therefore, feeder calf producers must
fully describe their preconditioned feeder calves and
market them in an environment where they will be
compensated for the increased value.
What Does Preconditioning Mean?
Feeder calf preconditioning means different
things to different people. Thus, in order to at least
have an opportunity to get paid for what you do, the
feeder cattle producer needs to represent the product
he is selling by fully describing the preconditioning
program that the feeder calves have received. A
common feeder calf preconditioning program
includes a complete health approach (initial and
booster vaccinations, deworming, castration,
dehorning, etc.). These calves are weaned and taught
to feed out of a trough for a minimum of 45 days.
Producers have been known to vary from this
standard practice, but for what ever method is used,
it is very important for cattle producers to fully
describe their preconditioning program. This way,
buyers will be aware of the enhanced value of these
animals and bid appropriately.
Preconditioning and Shrink
One cannot talk about preconditioning feeder
calves without considering shrink. Many cattle
producers are unaware of the shrink they leave in the
cow pen on sale day. Feeder calves that are sold at
weaning typically incur a larger shrink than those
that have been preconditioned. The primary reason
for this is that preconditioned calves have recovered
the shrink incurred during gathering and sorting. A
conservative estimate by some cattlemen is that
feeder calves will shrink 2 percent from gathering
and 4 percent from sorting. An additional 2 percent
is often incurred during loading. Also, cattle buyers
typically get a 2 percent pencil shrink on the gross
weight of the feeder calves. Summing these four
items will give you a total shrink on the feeder calves,
which in this example amounts to 10 percent.
Depending upon the conditions (weather, time of day,
nearness to working facilities, cattle disposition,
number of cattle to be sorted, etc.) shrink may be
more or less than this estimate.
How to Evaluate the Preconditioning
A comparison of feeder calves sold at
weaning which were not preconditioned with feeder
calves sold after 45 days of preconditioning will help
determine if preconditioning pays the cow-calf
producer. Table 1 provides an evaluation to determine
if preconditioning pays the cow-calf producer.
The feeder calves sold at weaning (non-
preconditioned) alternative is the simplest to evaluate.
Let's assume an initial weight of 640 pounds, 2
percent gathering shrink, 4 percent sorting shrink, 2
percent loading shrink, and 2 percent pencil shrink.
Thus, a 10 percent total shrink on 640 pounds per
head will result in a total shrink of 64 pounds per
head. The net pay weight would be 576 pounds per
head (6401bs-641bs). Assuming a sale price of $117
per hundredweight for the 576 pound feeder calf
would result in gross receipts of $673.92 per head.
Since no preconditioning costs were incurred with
this alternative, the net receipts would also be
$673.92 per head.
The feeder calves sold after 45 days of
preconditioning alternative requires a little more
effort to evaluate. The feeder calves will receive a
complete health program (initial and booster
vaccinations, deworming, castration, dehorning, etc.).
The preconditioned feeder calves are weaned from
the cow, sorted by sex, weight, and quality, and bunk
broke (eat/drink from a trough) for an additional 45
days longer than the non-preconditioned feeder
calves. Let's assume the preconditioning cost is $1.34
per head per day. Thus, the total preconditioning cost
would be $60.22 per head ($1.34/Hd/Day 45 days).
Let's also assume the feeder calves will realize an
average daily gain of 2.25 pounds per head per day
during the 45 day preconditioning period. Thus, the
gross pay weight would be 741 pounds per head (640
+ 45*2.25). The shrink for the preconditioned feeder
calves is estimated to be 5 percent (3 percent loading
shrink and 2 percent pencil shrink). The net pay
weight is approximately 704 pounds per head (741 -
37). Assuming a sale price of $110 per hundredweight
for the 704 pound feeder calf, gross receipts result in
a total of $774.61 per head. Net receipts for
preconditioning feeder calves for 45 days is $714.38
per head ($774.61 $60.22). The difference in net
receipts between the preconditioned and non-
preconditioned feeder calves is an additional $40.46
for the preconditioned calves.
Table 1. An Evaluation To Deterine If Preconditioning Pays The Cow-Calf Prducr'.
Feeder Calves Feeder Calves
Sold At laniling Sold After 45 Dys
Itei Non-Preconditioned Preconditioning'
Initial Weight, Lbs.
Days Of Preconditioning
Precondtioning Cost! Hd.fDay
Average Daily Gain, Lbs/Hd/Day
Gross Pay Weight, Lbs.
Gathering Shnnk, %
Sorting Shrink, %
Loading Shrink, %
Pencil Shrink, %
Total Shrink %
Total Shrink Lbs
Net Pay Weight, Lbs
Sale Price, $ICwt.
Gross Receipts, $/Hd.
Preconditioning Cost, $/Hd.
Net Receipts, $IHd.
Difference in Net Receipts (Col 2- Col 1), $IHd
'Feeder calves are assumedto be of comparable breed, lot size, quality, uniformity, etc.
2Feeder calf preconditioning includes a complete health program (initial and booster vaccinations.
deworming, castration, dehorning, etc.). The preconditioned feeder calveswere "weaned fromthe cow,"
sorted by sex, weight, and quality, and bunk broke (eatldrink from a trough) for an additional 45 days longer
thanthe non-preconditioned feeder calves
Is Preconditioning Feeder Calves for Me?
In order for preconditioning to be
beneficial to the producer, the producer must:
Fully describe the preconditioning
program to potential buyers.
Have adequate working facilities to
perform preconditioning management
Have enough cattle to achieve truck load
Be able to meet nutritional requirements
and attain reasonable weight gain during
the preconditioning period.
Identify market channels that will reward
them for the added value.
With today's high feeder calf prices,
preconditioning and weaning feeder calves is
beneficial to buyers as well as the beef industry.
Preconditioning (weaning, recommended
vaccinations, health procedures, bunk broke, etc.)
reduces the amount of sickness, weight loss, and
death loss associated with the feeder cattle industry.
Managing this important transition period for the
feeder calf (pasture to feedlot) adds more dollars to
everybody's bottom line.
SOURCE: Dr. Walt Prevatt
Phone: (334) 844-5608
Dr. Darrell Rankins
Phone: (334) 844-1546
S] From Mosquito
With the rain and standing water from Hurricane
Charley triggering exploding mosquito populations,
Florida Agriculture and Consumer Services
Commissioner Charles H. Bronson today urged horse
owners in the state to make sure that their horses are
vaccinated against West Nile Virus (WNV) and
Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE).
Bronson encouraged Florida horse owners to
check with their veterinarians to verify that their
animals have been vaccinated against the mosquito-
borne diseases and to make sure that the shots are up
"Our mosquito populations are increasing
dramatically, especially in areas hit by the hurricane,
and horses are at risk of contracting these diseases if
they have not received their shots and boosters,"
To minimize the threat of mosquitoes, which
can transmit not only WNV and EEE, but St. Louis
Encephalitis and malaria as well, Bronson's
department has established a response team in Lee
County to coordinate efforts with federal, state and
local officials to monitor mosquito populations and
provide both aerial and ground treatments to reduce
mosquito populations in Southwest Florida.
The Commissioner cautioned, however, that no
amount of mosquito control can eliminate all
mosquitoes and recommends that individuals take
precautions to minimize their exposure. They include
getting rid of standing water on property, wearing
long sleeves and pants and using a mosquito repellent
For more information on mosquito borne
diseases and prevention, Floridians are encouraged
to call the department's toll-free hotline -
1-800-HELP-FLA (435-7352) or visit the
department's web site at http://www.doacs.state.fl.us.
SOURCE: Terence McElroy
Phone: (850) 488-3022
Florida Department of Agriculture
and Consumer Services
Release August 24, 2004
Exports Expected to
Reach a Record
$62 Billion in FY 2004
The United States Department of Agriculture's
final export forecast for fiscal year 2004 indicates
sales are expected to reach $62 billion, $5.8 billion
more than last year. This represents the highest sales
ever, eclipsing the old record of $59.8 billion set in
fiscal year 1996. This forecast is up $500 million
from May's estimate largely due to stronger-than-
expected cotton, beef and pork exports.
"The export performance for this year
confirms that our efforts to expand economic
opportunities for our nation's ranchers and farmers
are working," said Agriculture Secretary Ann M.
Veneman. "Moreover, U.S. agricultural trade
supports close to a million American jobs, so this
record benefits the entire American economy. Our
goal in the months ahead will be to expand trade
possibilities even more through the World Trade
Organization and other negotiations."
Canada remains the No. 1 market for U.S.
agricultural products with exports estimated at $9.6
billion, followed by Japan at $8.9 billion and Mexico
at $8.6 billion.
In fiscal year 2004, Asia is projected to be the
United States' largest regional market, with sales
there expected to reach $24.5 billion. This compares
to $23.3 billion forecast to be shipped to markets in
the Western Hemisphere. Exports to China are
expected to reach $6 billion, up from $3.5 billion
last year. China now is the leading importer of U.S.
cotton and soybeans, and also imports large quantities
of U.S. wheat and hides and skins.
USDA also released its initial forecast for fiscal
year 2005, placing sales for next year at $57.5 billion.
The decline in value from this year is mainly due to
increased competition and lower prices expected for
cotton, wheat and soybeans. The export volume of
major bulk commodities actually is forecast to rise
2.1 million tons to 118.7 million tons, with increases
for corn and soybeans more than offsetting decreases
for wheat and cotton. Horticultural product sales are
expected to reach a record $13.8 billion in 2005, with
key markets being Canada, Mexico, several Asian
countries and Europe.
For 2005, imports are forecast to increase 5
percent, reaching $55.0 billion another new record
and up $9.3 billion since 2003. The accelerated
import growth that occurred between 2002 and 2004
is largely due to higher processed product prices that
resulted in part from a weaker dollar. These price
gains are expected to slow in 2005.
USDA's Economic Research Service, Foreign
Agricultural Service and World Agricultural Outlook
Board release agricultural trade forecasts quarterly.
The summary and full report of USDA's "Outlook
for U.S. Agricultural Exports" may be accessed from
the ERS Web site at http://www.ers.usda.gov or the
FAS Web site at http://www.fas.usda.gov. The next
quarterly report will be issued in November 2004.
Phone: (202) 720-4623
Phone: (202) 720-0328
United States Department of
Release August 26, 2004