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25 Subtropical Ag Research Center Field Day -
In This Issue...
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56th Annual Beef Cattle
Please visit http://www.animal.ufl.edu/extension/beef/
BCSC.shtml for more information or to register.
Some Facts & Myths Regarding Higher Corn Prices
Everyone's speculating that higher corn prices will fuel a drive to make cattle bigger on grass, with an end-result
of fewer days on feed. The reasoning is quite simple cost of gain will be significantly cheaper in grazing programs
than in the feedyard.
But the supply of feeder cattle hasn't changed. If one decreases days and accelerates the rate of turnover, then
what already was an overcapacity situation in the feeding industry will increase. The result is there will be a need to
import additional feeder cattle from Canada and Mexico, which will further stoke the whole trade debate.
It also likely means feedyards, which are battling to keep full, will actually add support to the calf and feeder
market. The trend for a number of years has been to move cattle to the yard at lighter weights and then feed them
longer. This trend enabled feedyards to behave as if they were in an expansion environment, despite numbers remaining
constant (more days on feed and bigger outweights).
This year, the number of calves available to be placed is virtually unchanged, but the shift in placement weights
(going higher) will have the effect of making inventories of placeable cattle appear smaller, even while numbers remain
Continued on page 4...
The Institute ofFood andAgrcultural Sciences (IFAS) is an Equal Employment Opportunity Affirmatve 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.
NORTH FLORIDA RESEARCH AND EDUCATION CENTER/SUWANNEE VALLEY
5:00 pm Introductions & welcome
5:05-5:35 pm The Label Is Law...even for forage producers."
Larry Halsey, Jefferson County CED.
CEU's will be available.
* Overview on BMPs as related to forages/fertilization.
Overseeded strips are bermuda, bahia (fertilized/not
fertilized, and poultry litter). Joel Love, SRWMD
* Presentation on ryegrass, oats, triticale, clover and alfalfa
variety comparisons and importance of variety selection.
Dr. Ann Blount, Forage Breeder, UF Agronomy Dept.
* Forage species selection, uses and management. Kevin
Campbell, Madison County Extension and David Nistler,
Clay County Extension
* Forage quality and disease issues. Yoana Newman, UF
Agronomy Department & Elena Toro, Columbia County
* Wildlife Food Plots design and layout. William Sheftall,
Leon County Extension
* Forage for Wildlife Food Plots and management. Scott
Kerr, Suwannee County Extension & Chris Vann,
Lafayette County Extension
Chili dinner after last presentation
I FAS Extension
DATE: APRIL 12, 2007
TIME: 5:00-8:00 PM
LOCATION: North Florida
Research and Education
(See driving directions below)
To RSVP please call
Karen Hancock at
(386)362-1725 ext. 101
before April 9th, 2007
Program Fee: $5.00 includes
light meal & packet
NORTH FLORIDA RESEARCH AND EDUCATION CENTER/SUWANNEE VALLEY
7580 County Road 136
Live Oak, FL 32060
From ja Ja k.,o n ille: T ,I I 1,] \\,. i.. I -; II..l.. I ..-7. .i R....
136; go west on County Road 136 (Exit 439) approximately 6 miles to the
facility. (The Center is on the left at the corer of CR 417 and CR 136).
From Tallahassee: Take 1-10 East to the 2nd Live Oak Exit (#283) (US
Hwy 129); go south on US Hwy 129 to Duval St.; go left (east) on Duval St
(ilq known as CR 136); approximately 6 miles to the facility. (The Cen
ter is on the right at the corer of CR 417 and CR 136).
Goat Field Day
SFlorida A&M University
will hold a Goat Field Day on
Friday, April 13, 2007,
beginning at 9:00 AM. The Goat
Field Day will be held at the FAMU Research and
Extension Center, 4259 Bainbridge Highway, Quincy,
The focus of this year's field day will be on Herd
Health. The field day will include workshops on topics
such as common goat parasites, pregnancy toxemia,
caseous lymphadenitis, and regulatory issues. As part of
the afternoon sessions, two forums chaired by producers
and professionals will take place in orderto identify issues
and challenges facing local producers and to begin the
dialogue for a strategic plan to address these issues.
Lunch will be provided and will include various
value-added goat meat products produced at
University of Florida and FloridaA&M University
to raise awareness about the marketing
opportunities that exist for goat meat.
More information about the Goat Field Day can
be found online at http://www.famu.edu/herds. If you
have additional questions, please call Dr. Ray Mobley
at (850) 599-3546. Pleasej oin us for what is sure to be
an educational, enriching, and enjoyable day.
Additionally, the Master Goat Producer
Certification Course will be taking place soon!!! If you
have any questions or want more information about this
event, please contact Ms. Angela Jakes at (850) 875-
8557 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
While the concept of
horses for food is an
emotional issue, the dark
side of such a policy is on display in Kentucky and other
states, the AssociatedPress reports.
Kentucky, the horse capital of the world, is being
overrun with thousands of horses no one wants, as are
other parts of the U.S. With the opposition to horse
slaughter having led to the closure of horse-processing
facilities, auctions are glutted with horses, and many
rescue organizations have run out of room.
An Illinois State Legislature bill that would prohibit
movement of horses into Illinois for purposes of slaughter
for human consumption could be a final nail. Illinois is
the only state where continued horse slaughter isn't
threatened following a Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals
decision in mid January that ruled as valid a 1949 Texas
law banning horse slaughter for human consumption.
That ruling concerned two of the nation's three
horse slaughter plants -Dallas Crown Inc. at Kaufman,
TX, and Beltex Corp. in Fort Worth. Spokesmen for
the Texas plants say options are being weighed, including
an appeal to the U. S. Supreme Court.
The third plant, which is unaffected by that ruling,
is Cavel International, Inc., in DeKalb, IL. The three
plants, which USDA says harvested 100,000 horses last
year, produce horsemeat for the European Union and
Former U.S. Rep. Charlie Stenholm of Texas, now
an agriculture consultant in Washington, D.C., recently
acknowledged the emotionalism of the horse-slaughter
issue to attendees of the Texas Ag Forum. But he says
80% of the horse industry supports the practice, and
denying horse owners the option of taking unwanted
horses to a processing plant restricts property rights.
"The best way to end a horse's life is humanely,
with a veterinarian present," Stenholm said. That's
mandated in processing plants, he says.
"Any horse owner who does not choose to receive
a value for (unwanted) horses don't have to," he said.
"But it's a property rights issue similar to water rights."
Providing coverage for BEEF sister publication
S ilin, eIt Farm Press, Ron Smith says Stenholm
believes that if horse owners prefer to consider their
animals as pets, they would forfeit the tax deductions
they receive for farm animals.
"The Humane Society and People for the Ethical
Treatment ofAnimals have a different opinion. But if they
care about the welfare of horses, what do they
recommend we do with more than 100,000 horses if
we don't maintain a market of last resort?" Stenholm
asks. Many wild horses end up on feedlots, ranches and
care facilities, at taxpayer expense. "Can we afford that?"
He says people don't like to think about what it's
like for an animal to die a natural death in the wild, which
is "often gruesome." Stenholm says it's important to the
horse industry, which counts more than 9 million horses
at a value of more than $9 billion, that the Texas law
(banning processing) be repealed.
"Horse owners have the best interest of their animals
in mind," he said. "We should return the option of selling
to a processing plant. This is an emotional issue."
Ann Swinker, Pennsylvania State University
professor of equine science, says that, according to the
Unwanted Horse Coalition, there are an estimated
120,000 head of unwanted horses in the U. S. today. Of
these unwanted horses:
About 30,000 horses are exported to Canada
annually for processing.
* Nearly 65,000 are processed in U.S. annually.
* Around 4,000 are exported to Mexico for processing.
* 2,000 unadoptable feral horses are in Bureau of Land
Management (BLM)-funded sanctuaries.
* 6,000 feral horses are in BLM adoption pipelines.
* Others are abandoned, neglected or abused.
Meanwhile, it's estimated there are 8,000-10,000
spaces available for unwanted horses at horse rescues
and retirement farms across the U. S.
Release March 23, 2007
Continued from page 1...
And while we're on the
subject of corn prices, let's
address some prevailing
* Higher corn prices means lower cattle weights.
There's some truth to this the incentive to produce
fat will decrease, or there will be more of an economic
incentive to identify that optimal body composition point
where feed efficiency begins to rapidly decline.
However, pounds remain the primary economic driver
in the cow-calf, feeding and packing industries. Fixed
overhead costs need to be spread over as many pounds
as possible. This changes dramatically if the cost of
putting on that pound is less than what the pound is worth.
That said, there's still ample incentive to make cattle bigger
if they're worth $90/cwt. and cost of gain (COG) is at
$70. The winter storm has removed a lot of tonnage
from the system, but the math isn't there to encourage
Certainly as COG approaches price levels, there's more
incentive to market cattle at their proper biological
endpoint, but it's incorrect to assume the incentive for
pounds has changed.
* Higher corn prices benefit beef over poultry
and pork. The logic of this argument is also sound. The
reasoning is beef production only uses grain for half of
its production cycle, while poultry and pork use corn for
a much greater part of the life cycle. But beef production
is at such a disadvantage in feed efficiency and feed
conversion compared to poultry and pork that the relative
changes in costs ofproduction don't dramatically change
the relative competitiveness between the proteins.
* Higher corn prices will drive a shift to grass-
fed beef. Grass-fed beef is potentially a great niche
market. However, the world prefers high-quality corn-
fed beef, and that's where the U.S. beef industry has a
Grass-fed beef from an industry standpoint isn't an
option; it's neither price competitive nor the product of
choice. A shift to a grass-fed program could be great for
individual operations, but a disaster if the entire industry
were to shift in that direction.
Release March 2, 2007