UNIVERSITY OF '
FLORIDA l Science
IFAS EXTENSION sler
In This Issue... Dates to Remember
Lix stock Suinmma 2
LISDA BSE Announccmcnt December
Industry. Stock Nlarkct React to Inconclusni c BSE 1-3 FCA. IIuanllke\ Nlcclin, Scbrinn FL
Tcst 3-5 Florida Palomino Exhibitors Association Show -
Bronson Announces Biocontrol Prorani to Fi'ht Newb FL
4 -4-H onllh Li\ esioclk E\jli;atlion School Guincs\ ille.
Imported Firc Ants 5 FL
Bronson Seeks Fanning Familics \lio Ha c O\\ lnd 6 Salacoa Valley Farm Bull Sale -Fairmont, GA
Farms For I 11 Years II 4-H FFA Horse JIidgin; School Gaincs\ ill. FL
11 Alachua County 4-H & Open Horse Show Newberry,
Relationship of Teat and lidder Scores \\ itl (o\\ FL
Milk Production and Calf Giroth Traits 7 11 C(tjii.ibuli Schoolmni DicssLa.c Dn\ 1m Nc\\bCn
Dog' Food Fed to Catticl FL
17-19 Rush Hunter Jumper A Rated Show Newberry, FL
211 Ok(eeliobce Slaiiuilier Co\\ Sale (kceclobee. FL
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
o EG. Hembry, Professor
Department Chairman, Gainesville
o 1M.J. Hersom
Extension Beef Cattle Specialist, Gainesville
o: T.A. Houser
Extension Meat Specialist, Gainesville
*o E.L. Johnson, Associate Professor
Extension Equine Specialist, Gainesville
+ T.T. Marshall, Professor
Beef Cattle Management, Gainesville
R.O. Myer, Professor
Animal Nutritionist, Marianna
S* R.S. Sand, Associate Professor
Extension Livestock Specialist, cG.:,.A 1 Y '
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
OcjLi Bull Sak. ()cala FL
Hog & Ham Workshop Gainesville, FL
Caatai.ln l c IIsltilluc & Tiadc Sho\\ KIssmIn11c. FL
I J!PI pys
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 Begin grazing small grain pastures (if ready).
0 Check mineral feeder.
0 Check for external parasites and treat if needed.
0 Deworm cows and heifers prior to winter feeding
0 Observe regularly for calving difficulties.
0 Rotate calving pastures to prevent diseases.
0 Watch for scours in calves.
0 Investigate health of bulls before you buy.
0 Have dead animals posted by a veterinarian or
0 Complete review of management plan and update
for next year. Check replacement heifers to be
sure they will be ready to breed 3 4 weeks prior
to the main cow herd.
0 Apply lime for summer crops.
0 Check for lice and treat if necessary.
0 Control weeds in cool season pastures.
0 Begin grazing winter clover pastures when
approximately 6 inches high. Rye should be 12-
18 inches high.
0 Check mineral feeders.
0 Put bulls out for October calving season.
0 Make up breeding herd lists if using single sire
0 Watch for calf scours.
0 Give bulls extra feed and care so they will be in
condition for breeding season.
0 Make sure cow herd has access to adequate fresh
0 Buy only performance tested bulls with superior
0 Get taxes filed.
0 Discuss herd health with you veterinarian and
outline a program for the year.
0 Review herd health program with your
0 Carry a pocket notebook to record heat, breeding
abnormalities, discharges, abortions, retained
placentas, difficult calvings and other data.
0 Observe cow herd for calving difficulties.
R Watch for grass tetany on winter pastures.
0 Increase magnesium levels in mineral mixes if
grass tetany has been previous problem (if you
are not already using a high magnesium mineral).
0 Examine bulls for breeding soundness and semen
quality prior to the breeding season.
R Vaccinate cows and heifers against vibriosis and
leptospirosis prior to the breeding season.
0 Top dress winter forages, if needed.
0 Check and fill mineral feeders.
0 Put bulls out with breeding herd.
0 Work calves (identify, implant with growth
stimulant, vaccinate, etc.).
0 Make sure lactating cows are receiving an
adequate level of energy.
0 Watch calves for signs of respiratory diseases.
0 Cull cows that failed to calve while prices are
0 Check for lice and treat if needed.
S Livestock Summary
Cattle sales in Florida this year
to date are currently 55,367 head less
than last year's sales, mostly due to
damages caused by the recent
hurricanes. Power outages and
structural damages have temporarily closed many
auction barns, and the task of clearing debris and
repairing fences kept cattlemen from devoting time
to selling their cattle. Out of forty-two scheduled
auctions in September, only fifteen auctions took
The hurricanes hit just as Florida's cow-calf
producers started shipping their calves to feedlots, a
season that continues through October. Last year
during the month of September 75,655 head were
sold through the livestock markets. This year in
September, due to the hurricanes, 32,337 head were
sold. Approximately sixty-five percent of Florida's
cattle-producing areas have been affected by the
storms, and the livestock industry has lost about $100
Jim Handley, executive vice president of the
Florida Cattlemen's Association, calls the situation
in Florida "Tough. There's a world of water. In places,
you can't even get a truck in to load calves."
Agricultural damage was widespread and new storms
hindered recovery efforts.
"The impact from these storms will be felt for
months," says Jim McAdams, National Cattlemen's
Beef Association (NCBA) president-elect. "Besides
replacing the immediate losses of buildings, crops
and livestock, producers will have to contend with
pasture loss from thirty or more days of rain. That's
going to lower shipping weights, body condition
scores, and that's going to raise feed costs."
One of the first needs is to secure perimeter
fencing to stop cattle from wandering across
highways. The NCBA states in Region II North
Carolina, Georgia, South Carolina, Tennessee,
Alabama and Louisiana sent a load of fencing
material, including 3,000 metal T-posts and 520 rolls
of barbed wire.
Dairy farmers have been forced to dump more
than 300,000 gallons of milk because there were no
tankers available to ship the milk out. Dairy and beef
cattle will continue to be affected by storm-related
problems such as stress.
Florida Agriculture Commissioner Charles H.
Bronson praised the Bush Administration for its
immediate economic response to the widespread
agricultural damage endured in Florida by the
Hurricanes. On September 27th, President Bush
presented a supplemental funding bill that included
$400 million specifically for disaster relief for
agriculture in Florida and Alabama.
Bronson gave particular appreciation to
President George W. Bush, U.S. Department of
Agriculture Secretary Ann Veneman, U.S.
Representative Adam Putnam, and members of
Florida's congressional delegation. Governor Jeb
Bush was also instrumental in securing the federal
assistance, visiting Washington D.C. and lobbying
members of the delegation and the Administration,
Florida Hog Cash Receipts
2000 2001 2002 2003
Florida Milk Cash Receipts
2000 2001 2002 2003
Florida Steer Production Values
1999 2000 2001 2002
The Florida Agri-Journal
Researched by Kurt Shiver
Marketing Specialist I
Division of Marketing
Release October 8, 2004
USDA USDA BSE
Statement by Andrea Morgan Associate
Deputy Administrator Animal and Plant
Health Inspection Service U.S. Department
"Early this morning, we were notified that an
inconclusive BSE test result was received on a rapid
screening test used as part of our enhanced BSE
"The inconclusive result does not mean we have
found another case of BSE in this country.
Inconclusive results are a normal component of
screening tests, which are designed to be extremely
sensitive so they will detect any sample that could
possibly be positive."
"Tissue samples are now being sent to USDA's
National Veterinary Services Laboratories-the
national BSE reference lab-which will run
"Because this test is only an inconclusive test
result, we are not disclosing details specific to this
test at this time."
"APHIS has begun internal steps to begin initial
tracebacks, if further testing were to return a positive
result. However, it is important to note, that this
animal did not enter the food or feed chain."
"Confirmatory results are expected back from
NVSL within the next 4 to 7 days. If the test comes
back positive for BSE, we will provide additional
information about the animal and its origin."
"USDA remains confident in the safety of the
U.S. beef supply. Our ban on specified risk materials
from the human food chain provides the protection
to public health, should another case of BSE ever be
detected in the United States."
"Screening tests are often used in both human
and animal health and inconclusive are not
unexpected. These tests cast a very wide net and many
end up negative during further testing."
"And some subset of these animals may even
turn out to be positive for BSE. While none of us
wants to see that happen, that is not unexpected either.
Our surveillance program is designed to test as many
animals as we can in the populations that are
considered to be at high risk for BSE."
"Additional measures to strengthen public
health safeguards include the longstanding ban on
imports of live cattle, other ruminants, and most
ruminant products from high-risk countries; FDA's
1997 prohibition on the use of most mammalian
protein in cattle feed; an aggressive surveillance
program that has been in place for more than a
decade; the banning of non-ambulatory cattle from
the human food chain; the process control
requirement for establishments using advanced meat
recovery (AMR) systems; prohibiting the air-
injection stunning of cattle; and, if an animal
presented for slaughter is sampled for BSE, holding
the carcass until the test results have been confirmed
United State Department of
Release November 18, 2004
To learn more about the risks of BSE,
information can found at the following
*Centers for Disease Control Q&A:
EFood and Drug Administration Q&A:
EU.S. Department of Agriculture Q&A:
EBeefIndustry Scientific Panel Information
Industry, Stock Market React to
Inconclusive BSE Test
The National Meat Association and the
American Meat Institute quickly weighed in on the
announcement Thursday that USDA may have
detected a second case of bovine spongiform
Both associations rushed out statements
supporting the statement by Dr. Andrea Morgan,
associate deputy administrator of the Animal and
Plant Health Inspection Service, that results of the
tests are still inconclusive, and that even if further
testing confirms another case of BSE, it will indicate
that American systems for detecting the disease are
The stock market, however, instantly signaled
concern with the report, as restaurant and beef-
supplier stocks dipped across the board. Tyson Foods
fell nearly a percentage point to $16.63, while
McDonald's Corp. dropped 1.5 percent to $29.95.
ConAgra, Hormel, Smithfield and Wendy's were
among the other meat-industry players who lost
ground, although the reaction was more muted than
it was after previous inconclusive test
In a statement, NMA said, "This is the third
inconclusive test since a cluster last summer caused
APHIS to make its screening procedures more
rigorous. Such results show that the enhanced testing
program that the USDA initiated on June 1, 2004, is
J. Patrick Boyle, president of the AMI, said,
"U.S. beef is safe, and consumers needn't worry
about news of a new 'inconclusive' test result for
Boyle added that even if further testing confirms
the presence of BSE, "it must be treated as an animal
health issue, not a public health concern." He noted
that the infective agent, misshapen prions, has never
been detected in beef, but only in parts of the animal
such as the eyes, tonsils and brain that are removed
from the food supply routinely.
SOURCE: Pete Hisey
Release November 19, 2004
Bronson Announces Biocontrol
Program to Fight Imported Fire
Florida Agriculture Commissioner Charles H.
Bronson announced today that a biological control
program to control imported fire ants is being initiated
in Immokalee and Sarasota.
"Imported fire ants can deliver painful bites, and
we're pleased to be part of the team that is addressing
their growing population in Florida," Bronson said.
"The insect that is being reared in our Biological
Control Rearing Facilities is a small fly that packs a
powerful punch to these ants."
The program currently underway in Immokalee
is a cooperative effort. It is being administered by
Professor Phil Stansly of the University ofFlorida's
Southwest Florida Research and Education Center.
The U. S. Department ofAgriculture funds the Florida
Department of Agriculture & Consumer Services'
Division of Plant Industry in Gainesville to produce
and distribute the flies. The Division of Plant
Industry's Bureau of Methods Development and
Biological Control serves a valuable function in
applying biocontrol technology by working out mass
rearing and release techniques. The Division has
environmental specialists stationed throughout the
state to monitor the effectiveness of biocontrol
releases began in
north central Florida
in 1997. By fall
2002, the phorid fly
expanded coast to
coast in northern
Phoridfly hovering around
imported fire ants.
Florida and southern Georgia. While it is likely that
the population of imported fire ants has decreased in
these areas, it will take three to four more years to
accurately measure the impact. As flies become
available through the rearing process, Bronson said
he hopes to continue the release program throughout
Florida including another release tentatively
scheduled for later this month in Sarasota .
The program, based on research by Sanford
Porter, an entomologist with the U.S. Department of
Agriculture, introduces South American phorid flies,
a natural enemy of the imported fire ant, to the United
States The flies inject their eggs into the fire ants.
When an egg hatches, the maggot finds its way into
the ant's head, where it grows for two to three weeks
before secreting a chemical which causes the ant's
head to fall off. The maggot eats everything in the
head capsule, then uses it as a pupae case. The phorid
flies eventually emerge from the decapitated ant
heads to seek out their host species, the imported
The phorid fly presents no threat to people,
animals or plants.
The Immokalee program will last for
approximately ten days with the flies being released
daily over excavated ant mounds. In that time, a
sufficient number of ants should be parasitized
(meaning the flies' eggs have been deposited in the
ants), so that establishment of the fly population is
Imported fire ants, which differ from a less
common native species of fire ant, were accidentally
introduced into the United States from South America
70 years ago and have had a major impact. The ants
are capable of multiple stings which inject venom
that raise white pustules on skin. The ants also cause
crop and equipment damage, livestock losses and soil
erosion problems, and are particularly dangerous on
playgrounds, lawns, golf courses and pastures.
Efforts to eradicate these ants have been ongoing
for more than 50 years. However, their range
continues to expand and they have spread to most
southern states. There are poisons available that kill
them on contact or by ingestion, but these poisons
also kill many non-target ants and other beneficial
insects. Unlike poison, using the phorid fly is safe
for people, animals and crops.
It will take a multi-pronged approach using
biological control practices along with other tools
and techniques to control the imported fire ant.
Fortunately, there are twenty species of the phorid
fly. The upcoming Sarasota release will involve
another species of phorid fly that attacks smaller-
size workers of the imported fire ants. The goal of
the program is to get several more species of phorid
flies approved for release so that an arsenal ofphorid
flies will attack all size workers of the imported fire
ant population. Several additional species are
currently being evaluated for future use.
"This is a program that appeals to everyone,"
Commissioner Bronson added, "environmentalists,
the agricultural industry and the backyard gardener."
For more information visit the Florida
Department of Agriculture & Consumer Services
Web site at http://www.doacs.state.fl.us/pi/methods/
methods.html or call the toll-free helpline at
Phone: (352) 372-3505, Ext. 102
Florida Department of Agriculture
and Consumer Services
Release November 15, 2004
Bronson Seeks Farming
Families Who Have
Owned Farms For 100 Years
Century Pioneer Family Farm
program honors contributions to
With less than 2 percent of Americans now
living on farms, not many can trace their agricultural
heritage back 100 years. Florida Agriculture
Commissioner Charles H. Bronson wants to honor
Floridians who have maintained at least 100 years
of continuous family farm ownership by certifying
them as Century Pioneer Family Farms.
"These families are the true pioneers of Florida's
proud agricultural tradition," Bronson said. "They
have seen firsthand the developments in farming over
the past century. They have been through good times
and trying times; experienced freezes, droughts,
deluges and pest invasions. They know about hard
work and the satisfaction it brings."
Florida has 176 certified Century Pioneer
Family Farms in the program, which was initiated in
1985 by the Florida Department of Agriculture and
Consumer Services and is now administered by the
department's Florida Agricultural Museum.
Bronson is asking families that have
continuously owned a farm or ranch since 1905 to
contact the department and request an application
form. All families previously designated as Florida
Century Pioneer Farm Families are also asked to
contact the department to update their information.
"The Florida Century Pioneer Family Farm
program honors those families who struggled and
worked for generations to build their farms, better
themselves, and develop Florida's modern
agricultural industry," Bronson said. "The program
venerates their perseverance and helps preserve an
important part of our state's history for future
Family members do not have to live in the state
or on the property continuously, but title to at least
part of the property must have remained in the family
throughout the period for the family to be eligible
for recognition. An abstract of title is the best
evidence of continuous family ownership. The
current title to the property must reside with a blood
relative of the original owner or a legally adopted
child of a descendant. In addition to receiving a
certificate, Century Pioneer Family Farms also
receive a sign that can be posted on the property
denoting its significance. Only one certificate will
be issued for each property, so relatives of families
who have already been honored are not eligible for
recognition for the same property.
European agriculture began in Florida with the
founding of St. Augustine in 1565, 44 years before
Jamestown was founded. The oldest farms and the
oldest farm families in the United States are
Floridians. Florida was first in agriculture but
frequently overlooked in American history because
it was a Spanish colony and not one of the 13 British
For information about the Century Pioneer
Family Farm program or to request an application
form, email famuseum(ipcfl.net, or write to:
Charles H. Bronson
Commissioner of Agriculture
1850 Princess Place Road
Palm Coast, Florida 32137
Phone: (850) 488-3022
Florida Department of Agriculture
and Consumer Services
Release November 10, 2004
Relationship of Teat and Udder
Scores with Cow Milk
Production and Calf Growth
Some beef breed associations provide a scoring
system for the evaluation of teat size and udder
suspension in cows. However, the relationship of teat
and udder scores with milk production and calf
growth is not clear. In this University of Georgia
study, teat and udder data from 9,418 first-calf
Gelbvieh cows and growth records on 19,119 calves
born in their first three calf crops were used to
determine the relationship of teat and udder scores
with calf growth traits and maternal genetic growth
effects. Teat size score (T) ranged from 0 (very large)
to 50 (very small) and udder suspensory score (S)
ranged from 0 (very pendulous) to 50 (very tight).
Birth weights (BW), weaning weights, and yearling
weights of the calves were used to calculate
preweaning gain (WG) and postweaning gain (YG).
Heritability estimates ofT and S were moderate
(0.27 and 0.22, respectively). The genetic correlation
between teat and suspensory score was 0.95,
suggesting that the same genes may control both
traits. The genetic correlations ofT and S with direct
BW, WG and YG and with maternal BW and WG
suggested that cows with smaller teats and tighter
udders produced less milk and raised calves that had
higher genetic growth potential for preweaning gain.
The data also indicated that cows with extremely
large teats or pendulous udders may produce more
milk, but that the calf may have trouble accessing it,
resulting in reduced preweaning gain. Conversely,
with extremely small teats or tight udders, lower
amounts of milk would be produced and there may
be a problem producing enough milk to meet the
calf's genetic potential for preweaning gain.
Consequently, the authors concluded that to obtain a
balance between increased milk production and
accessibility of the milk to the nursing calf to
maximize his growth performance, it may be more
beneficial for producers to select animals that have
intermediate breeding values for teat and suspensory
score (Sapp et al. 2004. J. Anim. Sci. 82:2277).
food in many instances contains meat and bone meal,
beef and bone meal, lamb meal, meat products, or
meat by-products. Feed ingredients that contain these
products from ruminants (cattle, sheep, goat, deer,
etc.) are illegal to feed to cattle regardless of the form
that they are fed in (i.e. dog food, pelleted feeds).
Dog food labels indicate that the food is for dogs
only; feeding the food to cattle is off-label use of the
product. Ultimately all show cattle will enter the
human food chain. By providing cattle illegal feed
ingredients our food safety, health, and cattle industry
can be put in danger. Better, cheaper, and safer
sources of protein and fat are available for show cattle
rations. Anyone that owns cattle that will enter the
human food chain has a responsibility to ensure the
safety and wholesomeness of the product. One
question to ask FFA/4-H advisors, leaders, or
exhibitors, would you be willing to eat the products
from your show calf knowing what you have fed or
done? If not, why should anyone else?
Beef Cattle Research Update
Harlan Ritchie, Steven Rust, and
Beef Cattle Specialists
Michigan State University
East Lansing, MI
Release Fall 2004
Matt Hersom, Assistant Professor
Phone: (352) 392-2390
Tim Marshall, Professor
Phone: (352) 392-1917
UF/IFAS, Department of Animal
Dog Food Fed to Cattle
Recently concern has been expressed about the
practice of feeding dog food to show cattle to increase
the "shine or bloom" prior to showing. This practice
is highly discouraged and likely illegal because of
concerns surrounding transmission ofB SE. Pet food
of any sort can contain ingredients that have been
banned by the USDA as feedstuffs for cattle. Dog