IESLE71HREPORT RC 1973-8 **OCTOBER 1973
SUM0 ?HUME LIBRA,
AN 1 4 1974
/- --^- -----^ ---=-- z--------
Grateful appreciation is expressed to the companies
and the people that have supported the research
program at the Ona Agricultural Research Center by
their grants, gifts and assistance. These are listed
alphabetically as follows:
Amchem Products, Ambler, Pennsylvania
Armstrong Ranch, Moore Haven, Florida
Asgrow Florida, Wauchula, Florida
Bruce Blount, Lake Placid, Florida
Dow Chemical Co., Midland, Michigan
Dupont Company, Wilmington, Delaware
Fields Equipment Company, Wauchula, Florida
Florida Fertilizer Company, Wauchula, Florida
Florida Seed and Feed Company, Ocala, Florida
Fulton Cole Seed Company, Alturas, Florida
Haile Dean Seed Company, Orlando, Florida
Hardee County Cattleman's Association
Hardee County Commissioners
Hardee County Sheriff's Office
Johnny Cake Ranch, High Springs, Florida
Kaiser Agricultural Chemicals, Tampa, Florida
Lykes Brothers Ranch, Okeechobee, Florida
Monsanto Company, St. Louis, Missouri
Peace River Electric Coop, Wauchula, Florida
Superior Fertilizer Company, Tampa, Florida
Sun Oil Company, Marcus Hook, Pennsylvania
U. S. Sugar Corporation, Clewiston, Florida
A number of other ranchers and persons have assisted
in forage testing programs and/or field tests of various
types. To them and others who have supported the Ona
Research program, grateful appreciation is acknowledged.
BEEF CATTLE FIELD DAY PROGRAM
ONA AGRICULTURAL RESEARCH CENTER
October 26, 1973
8:30 Welcoming comments.
8:40 Panel: Potential for "In-State" Cattle Feeding.
Growing light weight calves in north Florida.
Growing light weight calves in south and
Finishing cattle in north Florida.
Observations on feeding cattle in Florida.
10:00 Suggestions for increasing the cattle feeding
industry in Florida and summarizing comments.
10:20 Coffee break.
10:40 Current pasture fertilizer recommendations.
11:00 Grass varieties, old and new.
11:20 Winter annual forage production.
11:40 Suggested management practices for beef
12:00 Questions and answers.
12:15 Lunch, served by Hardee County Cattleman's
Association. Dutch treat.
1:15 Field Tours.
C. L. Dantzman
E. M. Hodges
F. M. Peacock
This report was promulgated at an annual cost of $120.77, or 17.2 cents per copy, to inform cattlemen
of recent beef cattle research.
F. S. Baker, Jr.
J. E. Bertrand
H. L. Chapman, Jr.
T. J. Cunha
C. L. Dantzman
E. M. Hodges
D. E. McAteer
F. M. Peacock
Animal Husbandman, Quincy Agricultural
Research and Education Center.
Associate Animal Nutritionist, Jay
Agricultural Research Center.
Center Director, Ona Agricultural
Chairman, Department of Animal Science,
Assistant Soils Chemist, Ona Agricultural
Agronomist, Ona Agricultural Research
Lykes Brothers, Brooksville.
Assistant Agronomist, Ona Agricultural
Associate Animal Scientist, Ona
Agricultural Research Center.
GROWING LIGHTWEIGHT CALVES IN NORTH FLORIDA!/
J. E. Bertrand2/
There is a year-round demand for Florida lightweight calves and
feeder cattle. However, the supply of calves in Florida is largest in the
fall and the price of these calves is normally lowest at that time. The
price for all weights of cattle is normally highest in the spring. This
situation favors the growing of lightweight calves in the state during
the cool season of the year. These calves can then be marketed as
feeders in the spring when the price is highest.
Small grain crops (triticale, wheat, rye, and oats) produce quality
grazing when rotationally grazed by growing calves during the cool season
in north Florida. Beef production with calves grazing small grain crops
varies considerably from year to year, depending largely upon weather
conditions (cold, moisture, sunlight, etc.).
A mixture composed of a small grain crop, ryegrass, and crimson
clover for rotational grazing by growing calves offers a longer period
than a pure stand of a small grain crop and a good potential for beef
production in north Florida. The small grain crop, if planted early
enough in the fall, should be ready for grazing in November, while the
ryegrass and crimson clover should extend the grazing period into late
spring or early summer.
Grain crop silage (corn and sorghum) is a feed that has a good potential
for growing calves in north Florida. When grain crop silage is supple-
mented with a concentrate mixture, containing protein (the major portion
1/ Presented at the Beef Cattle Field Day, Agricultural Research Center,
Ona, Florida, October 26, 1973.
2/ Associate Animal Scientist, Agricultural Research Center, Jay, Florida.
as natural protein), vitamin A, minerals, salt, and a low-level
antibiotic, good gains with growing calves can be obtained. Even
though good grain crop silage is a good source of energy, the
addition of grain will substantially increase gain. Corn silage
has a higher nutritional value for growing calves than forage or
grain sorghum silage.
Small Grain Crops, Alone and in Mixtures with Ryegrass
and Crimson Clover, for Growing Beef Calves ARC, Jay
The over-all performance of growing beef calves grazing pure
stands of triticale and wheat was better than that of calves grazing
a pure stand of rye (Table 1). The average daily gain per head daily
for calves grazing triticale was 1.85 lb. compared to 1.70 and 1.50 lb.
for calves grazing wheat and rye, respectively. However, due to a
higher stocking rate, calves grazing wheat produced more gain per
acre than calves grazing triticale (392 and 382 lb., respectively).
Calves grazing rye had a high stocking rate, but due to a short
grazing period and a low daily gain they produced the lowest gain per
acre (260 lb.).
Growing beef calves grazing a mixture of triticale, ryegrass, and
crimson clover gained faster than similar calves grazing a mixture of
rye, ryegrass, and crimson clover (1.90 vs. 1.72 lb./head/day) (Table 1).
Calves grazing the mixture containing triticale also produced more gain per
acre (554 and 469 lbs.).
The addition of ryegrass and crimson clover in a mixture with a
small grain crop (triticale or rye) for grazing by growing beef calves
produced a longer grazing period, increased the average daily gain and
beef gain per acre, increased the stocking rate, reduced the cost of
gain, and increased the net return per acre over that obtained with a
pure stand of triticale or rye.
Unrolled and Rolled Corn and Forage Sorghum
Silage Rations Formulated for Maximum Gain
with Growing Beef Calves by the Addition of
Ground Corn and a Concentrate Supplement -
ARC, Jay (1972-73)
Growing beef calves fed forage sorghum silage rations formulated
for maximum gain by the addition of ground corn and a concentrate
supplement (protein, minerals, and vitamins) gained significantly
(P<0.05) more than calves fed corn silage rations (2.08 vs. 1.89
lb./head/day) (Table 2). The gain of calves fed both the corn and
forage sorghum silage rations exceeded the gain predicted for such
rations in the NRC (National Research Council) publication (Nutrient
Requirements of Beef Cattle, No. 4, Fourth Revised Edition, 1970).
Larger amounts of ground corn and concentrate supplement were used
to formulate the forage sorghum silage rations than the corn silage
rations. This was done in order that each ration would have the
same nutrient composition using the values listed for each feed
ingredient. The cost of gain was lower and the net return per head
was higher for calves receiving the corn silage rations.
Calves fed rolled corn and forage sorghum silage rations gained
slightly faster than those fed unrolled corn and forage sorghum silage
rations (2.01 vs. 1.97 lb./head/day) (Table 3). The feed required per
unit of gain and the cost of gain were lower for calves receiving the
rolled silage rations. Therefore, calves receiving the rolled silage
rations had a higher net return per head.
Table 1. Performance of Growing Beef Calves Grazing Small
Alone and in Mixtures with Ryegrass and Clover -
ARC, Jay (1972-73)
Triticale Wheat Rye Triticale Rye
Item alone(a) alone(b) alone(c) mixture(d) mixture(e)
Initial no. of calves 12(f) 12(f) 12(f) 12(f) 12 )
Avg length of grazing, days 130 125 99 147 145
Avg initial wt, lb. 377 380 378 382 377
Gain/acre, lb. 382 392 260 554 469
Animal days/acre 207 231 173 292 272
Avg daily gain, lb. 1.85a** 1.70a,b 1.50b 1.90a 1.72a,b
Stocking rate/acre (g) 1.60 1.85 1.75 1.99 1.88
Gain/acre/day, lb. 2.96 3.15 2.63 3.78 3.23
Pasture cost/cwt gain(h) $ 16.02 $ 13.86 $22.65 $ 11.08 $ 12.22
Calf cost/acre(i) $322.71 $376.11 $353.90 $406.70 $379.19
Pasture cost/acre(h) $ 61.20 $ 54.32 $ 58.93 $ 61.39 $ 57.36
Total cost/acre (j) $383.91 $430.43 $412.83 $468.09 $436.55
Final animal value/acre(k) $485.21 $539.29 $453.84 $647.23 $580.05
Net return/acre(j) +$101.30 +$108.86 +$ 41.01 +$179.14 +$143.50
(a) Rotational grazing of a pure stand of triticale (South Blend).
(b) Rotational grazing of a pure stand of wheat (Wakeland).
(c) Rotational grazing of a pure stand of rye (Wren's abruzzi).
(d) Rotational grazing of a triticale (South Blend), ryegrass (Gulf), and
crimson clover (Dixie) mixture.
(e) Rotational grazing of a rye (Wren's abruzzi), ryegrass (Gulf), and
crimson clover (Dixie) mixture.
(f) Two groups of six steer calves each. Three 1.25 acre plots (3.75 acres)
of the respective pastures for each group initially containing six calves.
(g) Additional grazer animals were added and removed as needed to keep the
forage uniformly grazed.
(h) Pasture cost = $61.20/acre for triticale; $54.32/acre for wheat; $58.93/acre
for rye; $61.39/acre for the triticale, ryegrass, and crimson clover
mixture; and $57.36/acre for the rye, ryegrass, and crimson clover mixture.
(i) Calf cost = $53.50/cwt (includes cost of calves, hauling, veterinary costs,
(j) Does not include labor involved in caring for the calves.
(k) Based on an animal value of $49.25/cwt at the end of the trial.
** Denotes statistical significance at the 1% level. Means followed by
letter "a" are significantly different from those means not having "a"
and those followed by "b" are significantly different from those having "b".
Table 2. Corn and Forage Sorghum Silage Rations
Gain by Growing Beef Calves ARC, Jay
Formulated for Maximum
Corn silage Forage sorghum
Item ration(a) silage ration(b)
No. of calves 27(c)(d) 32(c)
Length of trial, days 146 146
Avg initial wt, lb. 330 329
Avg final wt, lb. 606 633
Avg gain/calf, lb. 276 304
Avg daily gain, lb. 1.89 2.08*
Feed/cwt gain 1501 1282
Silage 1286 856
Ground corn 144 344
Concentrate supplement 71 82
Feed/calf/day, lb. 28.4 26.8
Silage 24.3 17.9
Ground corn 2.7 7.2
Concentrate supplement 1.4 1.7
Feed cost/cwt gain
Silage(e) $ 8.52 $ 5.24
Ground corn(f) $ 5.04 $ 12.04
Concentrate supplement(g) $ 7.51 $ 8.67
Total $ 21.07 $ 25.95
Avg cost/head(h) $176.55 $176.02
Avg feed cost/head $ 58.15 $ 78.89
Total cost/head(i) $234.70 $254.91
Final animal value/head(j) $298.46 $311.75
Net return/head(i) +$ 63.76 +$ 56.84
(a) As-fed basis---85.7% corn silage, 9.6% ground corn, and 4.7% concentrate
supplement (protein, minerals, and vitamins).
(b) As-fed basis---66.8% forage sorghum silage, 26.8% ground corn, and 6.4%
concentrate supplement (protein, minerals, and vitamins).
(c) Four groups of eight calves each.
(d) Five calves had to be removed during the course of the trial due to sick-
ness; the data for these animals were disregarded.
(e) Corn silage cost = $13.00/ton unrolled and $13.50/ton rolled; forage
sorghum silage cost = $12.00/ton unrolled and $12.50/ton rolled.
(f) Ground corn cost = $70.00/ton.
(g) Concentrate supplement (protein, minerals, and vitamins) cost = $211.41/ton.
(h) Calf cost = $53.50/cwt (includes cost of calves, hauling, veterinary costs,
(i) Does not include labor involved in feeding and caring for the calves.
(j) Based on an animal value of $49.25/cwt at the end of the trial.
Significant at the 5% level.
Table 3. Evaluation of Rolled Corn and Forage Sorghum Silages for Growing
Beef Calves ARC, Jay. (1972-73).
Item Unrolled Rolled(a)
No. of calves 30(b)(c) 29(b)(d)
Length of trial, days 146 146
Avg initial wt, lb. 328 331
Avg final wt, lb. 618 624
Avg gain/calf, Ib 290 293
Avg daily gain, lb 1.97 2.01
Feed/cwt gain 1403 1350
Silage 1069 1028
Ground corn 255 246
Concentrate supplement 79 76
Feed/calf/day, lb. 27.9 27.2
Silage 21.2 20.7
Ground corn 5.1 5.0
Concentrate supplement 1.6 1.5
Feed cost/cwt gain
Silage (e) $ 6.68 $ 6.68
Ground corn(f) $ 8.93 $ 8.61
Concentrate supplement(g) $ 8.35 $ 8.03
Total $ 23.96 $ 23.32
Avg cost/head(h) $ 175.48 $ 177.09
Avg feed cost/head $ 69.48 $ 68.33
Total cost/head(i) $ 244.96 $ 245.42
Final animal value/head(j) $ 304.37 $ 307.32
Net return/head(i) +$ 59.41 +$ 61.90
(a) The silages were rolled in order to crimp (crush) the kernels of grain.
(b) Four groups of eight calves each.
(c) Two calves had to be removed during the course of the trial due to sickness;
the data for these animals were disregarded.
(d) Three calves had to be removed during the course of the trial due to sicknes
the data for these animals were disregarded.
(e) Corn silage cost = $13.00/ton unrolled and $13.50/ton rolled; forage sorghum
silage cost = $12.00/ton unrolled and $12.50/ton rolled.
(f) Ground corn cost = $70.00/ton.
(g) Concentrate supplement (protein, minerals, and vitamins) cost = $211.41/ton.
(h) Calf cost = $53.50/cwt (includes cost of calves, hauling, veterinary costs,
(i) Does not include labor involved in feeding and caring for the calves.
(j) Based on an animal value of $49.25/cwt at the end of the trial.
GROWING LIGHTWEIGHT CALVES IN SOUTH AND CENTRAL FLORIDA
H. L. Chapman, Jr.
Over 700,000 calves were shipped out of state during 1973. Since
60% of Florida cattle are located :in the southern 25 counties of the
state- it is estimated that over 400,000 of these calves originated
in the southern portion of the state. The cattle industry in this
area of the state is comprised predominantly of cow-calf herds. These
cattlemen are continually faced width having to make decisions about the
best time to market their calves. Should they market a light weight
calf that will bring a high price per pound, but a relatively low
total income? Should they wean early and manage their calves so they
can be slaughtered as fat calves, or should they carry them through and
develop them for feeders? Should they wean a heavy calf to go directly
into the feedlot? It is obvious that no one answer will be the same for
everyone. Also, the different programs are not necessarily compatible.
For example, calves that are fed to be slaughtered as 450 to 500 pound
fat calves may have too much finish at that weight to allow them to be
economically carried on into the feedlot to be finished at 950-1050
pounds. Calves that are grown out to fatten at the heavier weights may
not have the finish desired in the slaughter calf. Decisions must be
made concerning how to market calves to realize the greatest return.
The cost of gain for calves from weaning to 650-700 pounds is
cheaper than those made by larger animals. If the calves that are
being shipped out of state could be economically grown out in Florida
to feeder size it would provide additional income for the Florida
cattlemen. If many of the calves 'rom the southern part of the state
1/ Florida Department of Agricultural Livestock Statistics.
could be economically developed to feedlot size and fattened in the
feedlots of north Florida it would offer still further potential income
to the Florida cattle industry.
Calves can be managed in a.number of ways. In southwestern United
States calves go directly into the feedlot with as much as 80% alfalfa
in their rations, and this roughage is reduced to 10 to 12% in the
finishing ration. In the Jay area excellent results are obtained
from small grains pastures prior to going into the feedlot. In mid-
western United States corn silage is the major component in calf
rations. For the Florida cattleman to be competitive with cattlemen
elsewhere he should fully exploit the resources found within the state.
In south Florida the major source of feed for beef cattle is still
pasture, and it is still mostly permanent pasture. Calves need more
than just pasture to make rapid gains. We have high-energy feed
ingredients such as cane and citrus molasses and citrus pulp available
in south Florida that are relatively economical, as compared to corn,
sorghum, and similar ingredients used elsewhere.
Based on these facts a series of experiments have been initiated
at the Ona ARC to determine if economical programs can be developed to
grow out calves in south Florida, to calf slaughter weights, or to
feedlot weights. Information is still in the preliminary stage, but
results to date have emphasized some important facts.
During the winter of 1970-71 one hundred fifty (mostly Angus
and Angus x Hereford)- 3 to 4 month old heifer calves and twenty
2/ Angus x Hereford calves were obtained from Collier Cattle Co.,
lightweight crossbred calves from the Ona ARC were used to evaluate
different levels of supplement feed. The calves with an average weight
of 221 lbs were divided into five equal groups of 34 each on the basis
of origin, breed and weight. Four groups each were placed on 10-acre
lots of pangolagrass pasture and one group was fed in drylot. The
five treatments were as follows (the first 4 groups were on pasture):
1--Fed concentrates at the rate of 0.5 percent of body weight.
2--Fed concentrates at the rate of 1.0 percent of body weight.
3--Fed concentrates at the rate of 1.5 percent of body weight.
4--Fed concentrates at the rate of 2.0 percent of body weight.
5--Full fed concentrate in drylot.
Hay was fed animals in drylot and also to animals on pasture when
a pasture became short of grass. Aureomycin was fed to animals in
each group for the first 10 days. All calves received the same concen-
trate ration which consisted of 683 pounds of citrus pulp, 683 pounds of
hominy feed, 195 pounds of blackstrap molasses, 97 pounds of 17% dehy-
drated alfalfa pellets, 293 pounds of cottonseed meal (old process) and
49 pounds of mineral (Ona #2).
The calves were sold as slaughter calves to Mid State Packers at
Bartow as they reached approximately 425 pounds in weight. Initial
cost of calf, feed costs, labor, overhead, taxes and interest on capital
outlay were charged against gross income to determine net return per
These calves were tail-end calves and did not gain well. However,
the groups receiving 1.5 and 2.0 percent of their body weight in feed
both made a small net return, while all other groups lost money. The
calves on the two lower concentrate feed levels obtained more of their
nutrition from the pasture forage. They used their pasture up and
3/ Economic comparisons were made by Dr. R. E. L. Greene, Department
of Food and Resource Economics, University of Florida.
had to be fed supplemental hay which increased their total feed cost
per calf, and their gain was less than the groups receiving higher
levels of concentrate feeds. The calves on the two lower levels of
concentrate intake did not have the finish desired in fat slaughter
calves. The cattle on fullfeed in drylot had the highest rate of
gain, feed cost and net loss per calf.
The second trial, conducted during the 1971-72 winter was to
compare different types of calves.- One hundred-fifty calves with
an average weight of 323 Ibs were divided into five groups of 30 each.
Four groups each were placed on 10-acre lots of pangolagrass pasture
and one group was fed in drylot. The calves on pasture were fed
concentrates at the rate of 1 2/3 percent of body weight. The calves
in drylot were full fed concentrates and plus pangolagrass hay. The
five treatments were as follows:
1--Brahman heifers fed concentrates on pasture.
2--Brahman steers fed concentrates on pasture.
3--Brahman bulls fed concentrates on pasture.
4--B x A steers fed concentrates on pasture.
5--B x A steers fed concentrates and hay in drylot.
Animals on pasture and in drylot were fed the same concentrate ration
consisting of 890 pounds of corn meal, 494 pounds of dried citrus pulp,
50 pounds of 17% dehydrated alfalfa pellets, 396 pounds of 41% cottonseed
meal, 148 pounds of blackstrap molasses (standard) and 20 pounds of
mineral mixture. All other experimental procedures were similar to the
During the second trial gains were higher than during the first.
Crossbred steers made greater gain and net return than Brahman steers
on pasture. All of the pasture fed groups had a positive net return,
while the drylot cattle lost money. At the conclusion of the trial the
4/ Calves were obtained from Lykes Brothers, Inc., Okeechobee.
drylot cattle were too fat to do well in the feedlot phase.
The third trial was conducted during the winter of 1972-73.
There were 90 Brahman steer calves averaging 378 Ibs and 90 English-
Brahman crossbred steer calves averaging 428 Ibs used in this study,
divided into six groups of 30 each.- Four groups were fed on Pangola
grass pasture to compare concentrate feeds containing either cotton-
seed meal or urea as a source of supplemental nitrogen. Two groups
were full fed in drylot. The treatments were as follows:
1--Brahman, fed on pasture, cottonseed meal nitrogen.
2--Brahman, fed on pasture, urea nitrogen.
3--Crossbred, fed on pasture, cottonseed meal nitrogen.
4--Crossbred, fed on pasture, urea nitrogen.
5--Brahman, fed in drylot, cottonseed meal nitrogen.
6--Crossbred, fed on pasture, cottonseed meal nitrogen.
Experimental rations composition varied because of using urea,
but they contained approximately 40% dried citrus pulp, 7.5% standard
cane molasses and the balance was comprised of corn meal, mineral, salt,
cottonseed meal or urea, wheat bran and 17% alfalfa pellets. The drylot
ration contained 15% bagasse pellets and were bulkier and contained more
roughage than during the second trial. Cattle on pasture received
approximately 1 2/3% of their body weight as feed while drylot cattle
were full fed.
Four groups were sent on to Lykes Brothers on April 17. The two
groups of Brahman steers being fed on pasture did not go into the
feedlot until June 19, 1973.
The same general trend was experienced in trial three as during
the second trial. Good quality crossbred steers outperformed good
Brahman steers both on pasture and in the feedlot. More net return was
made on pasture than in the feedlot. Brahman steers were difficult
to keep on a full feed in drylot and were easy to founder. No difficulty
5/ Calves were obtained from Lykes Brothers, Inc., Okeechobee.
was experienced with the crossbred cattle, in this respect. Calves were
heavier during the third trial and the pangola pastures were unable to
adequately support three head per acre for the entire grazing period and
it was necessary to provide supplemental hay to the calves. This increased
feed cost and was also very hard on the pastures. Gains were slightly
lower in drylot than during the second trial, due to the higher roughage
Results to date indicate that calves can be economically grown
out to feeder size in south Florida on permanent pastures. However
several precautions must be observed.
1. Pasture should be good quality. Permanent grass pastures may not be
adequate during winter months. More information is needed concerning
the value of legumes, ryegrass, and other temporary forages for
calf growing programs.
2. Grade Brahman calves will not do as well as crossbred calves on
growing out or fattening programs.
3. Calves need concentrate feed to grow out well on grass pasture.
The amount needed appears to be 1.5 to 2.0% of their body weight.
in combination with good quality pangolagrass pasture but this will
be affected by the quality of pasture or other supplemental roughage
that is available. More information is needed about the level of
supplemental feed needed with various forages.
4. Lightweight calves that are fed in the feedlot should be fed
according to the slaughter weight desired. If they are slaughtered
as a 450-500 lb fat calf they should be fed high-energy, low roughage
rations from the time of weaning. If they are to be grown out to
1000 Ibs they should be on a growing program until they are about
650-700 Ibs and then should go on a high energy-low roughage ration.
POTENTIAL FOR "IN-STATE" CATTLE FEEDING:
FINISHING CATTLE IN NORTH FLORIDA
F. S. Baker, Jr.
In the past, farm feedlots have fed most of the cattle finished in
North Florida, South Georgia, and South Alabama. Locally produced grain
was supplemented with citrus feeds, and additional corn was brought in
from the Midwest only by the larger feeders. For several years trucks
transporting produce backhauled Midwest corn to the Southeast, or trucked
in corn of Midwest origin from barge unloading points on the Tennessee
River. However, in recent years since large hopper cars have been
available, more corn is brought in by rail.
Most of the cattle fed in the area have been grazed between weaning
and feedlot weights of 700-750 pounds, either by the cattle feeder or by
farmers primarily engaged in growing stockers to feedlot weights. Many
of the latter have confined their operations to small grain pasture,
although a few have utilized warm season pastures, also.
Generally cattle have been fed in dry lot for relatively short
periods of 90-120 days, because most feeders have been producing pasture
gains at lower cost than feedlot gains. Cattle have been kept in the lot
for only the minimum length of time needed to attain acceptable finish,
and since the cattle were heavy and fleshy when started on feed, poor
feed conversion and high cost of gain made it necessary to have a 3 to 5
cent-a-pound margin between cost of feeders and sale price of finished
cattle. Moreover, overall gains (pasture + feedlot) were slow from
weaning to slaughter, with 12-15 months needed to graze and finish a calf
to 1000-pound finished weight.
Needless to say, increases in costs of stocker-feeder cattle, feed
and pasture, as well as much greater non-feed costs, have made it unpro-
fitable to feed cattle in the manner previously described. However, by
taking advantage of know how developed in recent years, it appears that
cattle can be profitably fed in the Southeast. Several operations, both
farmer and commercial feeding, now finishing cattle in North Florida,
South Georgia and South Alabama support this opinion.
Following are factors which are becoming more important for profitab]
1. Improved animal performance, including both rate of gain and
efficiency of feed utilization from weaning to slaughter. -
Faster gains both on pasture and in the feedlot are needed to
reduce the time required to grow and finish a calf. The shorter
grazing and/or feeding period will reduce non-feed costs
(investment, interest, labor, etc.) per head, and permit an
increased volume of cattle because of faster turnover. Many
Florida crossbred calves have the capability of gaining rapidly
and efficiently from weaning to slaughter without producing
excessively fat carcasses.
With calves, high quality feed is needed to produce fast, economical
gains. Not only should adequate levels of concentrates and the best
available forages (pasture or harvested forages) be fed, but also, the fe
should be processed so as to obtain maximum utilization. For example, fe
conversion with either steam flaked or ensiled high moisture grain is
greatly improved over that of ground dry grain. At AREC Quincy, feeding
ensiled high moisture corn has reduced feed per pound of gain 12 to 18%
compared to feeding dry corn.
Feeding a well-balanced ration with an adequate level of energy
(TDN) is highly important. Calves do not make fast efficient gains on
2. A well-planned program for combating disease is becoming more
important because of increased incidence of feedlot respiratory
disorders. Timely vaccinations and prompt treatment of disease
are not only necessary to prevent death loss, but also, to
prevent damage to animal tissue that may result in chronic
poor-doing cattle. Facilities should be provided for teaching
new cattle to eat in a comfortable confined place with shade,
clean water, and shelter from cold rain. A nearby sick pen is
needed for isolation and retreatment of sick individuals.
3. Lots,pastures, and other facilities should be planned for ease
of handling and comfort of cattle, and for saving labor in
handling and feeding cattle. In the Southeast, particular
attention must be given to minimizing the mud problem. Feed
storage, feed processing, and feed delivery facilities should be
adequate, but to reduce repair and permit efficient use of labor,
they should be as simple as possible.
4. Financing must be adequate. The biggest development in cattle
feeding in recent years has been the rapid expansion of commercial
cattle feeding in the High Plains and Southwest, with a decrease
in relative importance of farmer feeding in the Midwest. This
increase in commercial feeding has no doubt been largely due to
planned industrial type feedlot operations which operate with
such efficiency that it is possible to obtain adequate financing,
much of which comes from non-agricultural sources. To compete
with these western feedlot operations, it will be necessary to
have adequate financing to take advantage of modern cattle
feeding technology developed through recent research and experience.
Florida and the remainder of the Southeast have two principal advantages
for feeding cattle: (1) a huge surplus of stocker-feeder cattle, most of
which are shipped out for finishing in other areas at an estimated cost of
about 2 to 3 cents per pound (freight to High Plains and Southwest), or
$8 to $12 per head for a 400-pound calf, not including sickness and death
loss costs; and (2) a deficit of fed beef, most of which is brought in
either live or dressed at a freight cost of about $15 per head. Florida
feeders should enjoy a market advantage of about $23 per head ($8 + $15)
in buying a calf and selling the finished steer because of the saving of
Florida and the other southeastern states have a deficit of feed
grain, and the local crop will not support an increase in cattle feeding.
However, corn can be brought in by rail to North Florida at a freight cost
of about $0.19 to $0.20 per bushel from the Midwest. Even if all the 50
bushels of grain needed to grow and finish a calf has to be imported at
a freight cost of $0.20 a bushel, the grain would cost only $10 per head
more than in the Midwest. If we deduct this $10 from the $23 estimated
market advantage, we still have a $13 per head net feeding advantage.
By utilizing .the local corn crop for partial grain requirements, using
local citrus feeds and cane molasses, plus the greater use of pasture possible
in the Southeast, the net feeding advantage might be increased $2 to $3 per
head to a total of $15 to $16.
Feeding cattle in Florida would complement a stocker grazing operation.
Facilities for feedlot finishing (either on the farm or on a custom basis)
would give the stocker operator the option to retain ownership of his
cattle, take advantage of compensatory gain in the feedlot, and offset
financial losses in poor pasture seasons when gain is disappointing or
market conditions are unfavorable for selling off of pasture.
Finally, Florida feeders could well consider taking advantage of
feeding heavy crossbred calves which may not be in great demand by western
lots. Recent trials at AREC Quincy indicate that many of these calves can
be placed directly in the feedlot at weaning and fed with fast efficient
gains to 1000-1100 pounds slaughter-weights in 6 to 7 months. It would
be difficult to devise a system of producing beef mo efficiently than
this, especially if the calves are fed a ration with a high level of
ensiled high moisture corn similar to that used at AREC Quincy, where
weaning to slaughter feed conversion in 1973 ranged from 5.75 to 6.50
pounds of feed per pound of gain, chilled dressing percentage was 62%,
and carcasses were very desirable with high cutability.
SUGGESTIONS FOR ItICRi:1.SItC THE CATTLE FEEDING INDUSTRY IN FLORIDA
T. J. Cunha
There is,no doubt that Florida has considerable potential for
increasing the number of cattle being fed and finished in the state.
This undeveloped potential has occurred because most cattlemen in Florida
feel more comfortable with a cow-calf program which they understand and
in which they can compete favorably with anyone else in the country.
Only in the past few years, has much interest occurred in winter grazing
and developing calves to feedlot weights. This phase of the cattle
industry has considerable potential in Florida, providing a back-up
source of feed is available in case the moisture conditions are such
that forage production is low. In situations where water is available
for irrigation, this limitation does not exist. An increase in developing
calves to feedlot weights has not occurred much during the past two
years because the price paid for feeder calves by out-of-state buyers
has made it difficult for cattlemen in Florida to compete. In most
cases, these calves are going directly into the feedlot in other areas
of the country. They are fed high roughage rations (such as corn silage,
sorghum silage or alfalfa hay) until they weigh 600-700 pounds. Then
they are switched to high concentrate rations.
During the past 25 years Florida has developed its cow-calf programs
to the point where the best producers can do as well as anyone in the
country. The next phase to be developed in Florida will be programs on
pasture or in the feedlot to develop weaned calves to feedlot weights
of 600-700 pounds. The third phase will be an increase of feedlot
finishing of cattle to slaughter weights. Some of the lower grade
cattle will also continue to be fed to slaughter weights on pasture
with limited concentrate feeding. This will require excellent quality
pastures, however, for it to be successful.
Florida has the following advantages which are very important in
developing more cattle feeding:
1. In 1972, Florida shipped about 700,000 stocker-feeder calves to
other areas of the U.S. to be developed. Therefore, the calves
needed for feeding in Florida are already here.
2. Florida produces only about 20 per cent of the quality beef
which it consumes. Therefore, the market for beef fed to
slaughter weights is already here. Moreover, it is a rapidly
expanding market with the fast population growth and increasing
tourism in Florida.
3. Florida has a mild climate and a long pasture growing season.
These are helpful in feeding cattle and in producing forage
for them. Observations by F. S. Baker at the Agricultural
Research Center at Quincy have shown that cattle finished on
ensiled high moisture corn had gains and feed conversion
comparable to cattle fed anywhere else in the U.S. To attain
this, however, requires good rations, good management and the
use of modern technology.
Florida has the following disadvantages in cattle feeding:
1. It does not produce all the grain it needs. However, F. S.
Baker has estimated that the freight cost to bring in the corn
needed to finish a steer costs only $8.50 to $10.00. This cost
is more than made up by the cost of $7.50 to $19.50 to ship a
250 or a 650 pound animal out-of-state. Moreover, there is the
added freight cost of $15.00 to bring back to Florida a 600
pound carcass or a 1000 pound finished steer. This should give
the Florida feedlot operator a $22.50 to $34.50 market advantage
in buying a calf in Florida and selling a finished animal here -
as compared to the Southwest feedlot buying the calf here and
shipping the carcass or the live finished animal back. If
$10.00 for bringing in corn is subtracted from the $22.50 to
$34.50 market advantage, it still leaves a $12.50 to $26.00 net
advantage for the Florida feedlot feeder.
2. Florida has to combat the mud problem. However, this is a
problem in most areas of the country except the low rainfall
areas of the Southwest and West. Mud in the feedlot can cut
down on rate of gain and feed efficiency. Therefore, the mud
problem needs to be minimized or eliminated by the type of
feeding facilities used. The mud problem is being counteracted
in Florida by feedlot feeders in the following ways:
(a) The Lykes Bros. feedlot being managed by Derrill McAteer
at Brooksville is set-up on an abandoned airstrip. The
concrete helps in eliminating the mud problem. So using
concrete floors is one way to do it providing the cost is
not too high.
(b) The A. Duda & Sons feedlot about 10 miles south of Ocala
is located on real deep sand. They allow about 700 to 800
square feet per steer in the feedlot. This compares to
100 to 150 sq. ft. in most confinement feedlots. With a
large area per steer plus the deep sand which absorbs the
excreta readily, they have not had a mud problem with their
cattle. They have been in this feedlot for about 5 years
and even after a heavy rain there is no mud problem. The
water disappears quickly. There are plenty of deep sand
areas in Florida. Therefore, this is one method of feeding
cattle in Florida without a mud problem.
(c) The feedlot feeders in the Quincy area have fed cattle for
over 25 years in low cost sheds with a roof over them.
They use peanut hulls on the floor to absorb the moisture
of the excreta and allow the manure to accumulate during
the time the cattle are on feed. The pens are cleaned
after each group of cattle are fed and the manure is used
in shade tobacco fertilization. Mud has not been a problem
in these sheds.
(d) A new development being watched is the use of concrete
slotted floors. A number of these are already being used
in Arizona, California, Texas, Oklahoma, Colorado, Kansas
and other states. Don Kaplan is planning a slotted floor
feedlot at Mid-State Packing Company near Bartow. During
the Florida Bankers Feedlot tour in Arizona a number of us
visited a slotted floor feedlot at Arlington Cattle Company.
They were just getting their feedlot underway and were
experimenting with the use of 13 to 23 square feet per
steer. This is a small area but many people think that
somewhere between 18 to 25 square feet per animal is
adequate. This is a question which needs more study and
the area needed may vary depending on the kind of cattle,
temperature, humidity, ration and other factors in the area.
These slotted floors have shallow pits underneath them and
scrapers to take the excreta off frequently. The excreta
goes to a location at the end of the feedlot where the
solid matter can be separated from the liquid portion.
The liquid portion can be pumped and used on crop land as
fertilizer. The solid material can be used for fertilizer
or in other ways. The General Electric Company is experimen-
ting with a microorganism which can grow on the manure and
utilize it completely and produce a protein supplement.
Their type of installation could be used to utilize the
manure from a slotted feeding floor feedlot. This type of
feedlot is still new and many answers regarding its use are
still unknown. The cost is not known for all these units
since some may have a roof or just a simple shade. Some
may be open and others may require varying degrees of
enclosure depending on the climate. Some may have the
slotted floors permanently in place whereas others may have
individual slats which can be taken out if the cable or
scraper underneath breaks down. Square footage allowed
per animal would influence cost. If a mist sprinkler
system for cooling the animals is used this vould influence
the cost. The area and cost of labor and materials there
would greatly influence cost. The slotted floor feedlot
needs careful watching since it may be a good method to
use in certain areas and especially where mud may be a
problem in feeding cattle.
In summary, I feel optimistic about the future of developing calves
to feedlot weights and in finishing cattle for slaughter in Florida.
These are complex cattle operations, however, and to be successful, one
needs to apply the latest technology to them. Much of this technology
is already available in Florida and IFAS research is underway to develop
more information in this area of cattle production.
CURRENT PASTURE FERTILIZER RECOMMENDATIONS
FOR FLATWOODS SOILS OF SOUTHWEST FLORIDA
C. L. Dantzman
An ideal pasture program should provide enough feed for cattle
throughout the year. However, seasonal variations cause shortages
of feed periodically. Therefore, cattle needs and weather conditions
must be considered in a pasture fertilization program.
Grass Pasture Fertilization. In the early months of the year
(January to March) permanent grass growth is generally limited. During
the time from March to June grass pastures need to be fertilized with
a complete fertilizer that provides 50 to 60 pounds per acre of each N,
P205, and K20. Properly fertilized grasses should provide forage
through the summer months as long as the pasture is not overstocked.
Another application of 50 to 60 pounds of nitrogen should be applied
along in late summer to early fall (September to October). Applications
later than October may produce reduced yields, although the protein
content of the forage may be higher. If the pasture is grazed too soon
after fertilization, a high percentage of the nitrogen is removed and
a shortage of growth will occur later in the season. Wait 4 to 6
weeks after fertilization to graze pastures. An alternate practice
for the year could be a spring (March June) application of 400 to 500
Ibs per acre of a 12-6-6 or equivalent fertilizer, and a repeat of this
amount in the fall (September October). There is some recycling of the
elements under pasture conditions. The best soil pH is from 5.5 to
6.5 with a minimum CaO of 600 lbs per acre and 100 pounds MgO. Lime
should usually be applied at a ton per acre, once each 4 years, alter-
nating with calcic and dolomitic limestone after an initial application
of a ton per acre of dolomite. This rate may need to be adjusted if
soil test results so indicate. When possible, it is very desirable
to distribute the lime into the first six inches of soil. This can
usually be done prior to planting a field. Micronutrients (minor
elements) should be included in the initial application of fertilizer.
Copper should be applied to new soils at the rate of 4 pounds per acre
calculated as copper oxide (CuO). Where research or experience has
shown zinc, manganese, or iron has been of benefit, they should be
applied at the following rates: manganese 4 pounds per acre MnO,
zinc 4 pounds ZnO, and iron 5 pounds per acre Fe2 0 3. Reapplications
of each should be made at the same rates and on the same basis at 5
to 10 year intervals (shortened when a deficiency is confirmed). These
elements may be applied as oxides, sulfates, or frits (slowly soluble
form). If a legume is included in the pasture, use boron at 2 pounds
per acre B2 3 initially and 1 pound B203 every 3 to 4 years (borate
form usually borax or a fritted material).
If fritted trace elements are used, an application of 20 pounds
per acre of FTE 503 is suggested (it contains the equivalent of 3.8%
CuO, 8.7% ZnO, 9.7% MnO, 9.6% B203, 25.6% Fe203, and 0.3% MoO3).
Fritted trace elements containing only one of each of the micronutrients
are also available.
Pastures at the ARC, Ona station generally have copper or a comb-
ination of copper, manganese, and zinc applied at planting time on a
new field. For a legume, boron is added. After this is done is has
been very difficult to get a growth response to further additions of
micronutrients. Cattle provided with minerals further add to the soil
supply of some necessary plant micronutrients.
Many ranchers are now using higher analyses fertilizers such as
a 16-8-8 for their pastures. These fertilizers are good sources of
needed N-P-K but sulfur will usually be lacking in high analysis
fertilizers. The soils contain a sulfur reserve and some is added in
rainfall and in irrigation water from deep wells. At present we don't
know whether these sources will continue to supply the plant needs or
if supplemental sulfur may be needed in the future. Should sulfur
deficiency be suspected, a source of sulfate (SO4) in some form
should be included in the fertilizer at a rate equal to that of
Grass Hay Fields. Lime, pH, and micronutrient requirements are
the same as for grass pastures except that the interval for retreatment
may be shortened for micronutrients. An application of 500 to 600
pounds per acre of a 10-10-10 or equivalent fertilizer applied from
February to April is needed to produce a hay crop before June 1.
Growth of perennial grass starts slow in the spring, especially
pangolagrass. Therefore an additional 50 pounds per acre of nitrogen
a month after the complete fertilization may be needed to accelerate
In general, fertilization for hay production depends on the
ranchers' needs and the conditions of the grass. If a fall hay crop
is planned and the grass has been grazed short, it will be necessary
to add 50 to 60 Ibs each of N, P205 and K20 per acre by August 15.
This may be followed September 15 with 50 to 60 Ibs per acre of nitrogen
if a rapid growth is needed. However, should the grass not be grazed
short at this date, the complete fertilizer may be added anytime
in September and the extra nitrogen be omitted.
Harvested hay contains a considerable amount of the elements.
Assuming pangolagrass hay contains 1.0% N, 0.26% P, and 2.0% K, 5
tons of hay would contain 100 Ibs N, 26 Ibs P, and 200 Ibs K. Appli-
cations of greater amounts of fertilizer elements can produce higher
yields. Pangolagrass has been reported to utilize as much as 400 Ibs
per acre of nitrogen along with increases in phosphorus and'potassium.
Excessive rains however are a hazard to heavy applications especially
nitrogen due to possible loss. Also, common Bermudagrass may be
encouraged by high rates of fertilization.
Soil testing is a valuable tool and is available through your
county extension agent. Results of soil testing can give a more exact
recommendation for the calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, and potash needs
of your forage plants. This could result in a savings in fertilizer-
. Cool Season Legumes(Including Whiteclover) With Grass. Dolomitic
lime should be applied at the rate of 3 tons per acre on new plantings.
When the seed-bed is in good condition, the lime should be incorporated
into the surface 6 inches of the soil. Reapplications of lime should
be made at the rate of a ton each third year or as the need is indicated
by soil tests. Alternate applications of high calcic or dolomitic
lime. Clovers grow best when the pH range is between 6.0 and 7.0 and
when there is at least 900 Ibs per acre of CaO and 100 Ibs per acre of
MgO. On new clover fields an application of 300 Ibs per acre of an
0-10-20 is desirable at time of planting. Have the materials so
formulated as to include sulfate at about the same rate as the phosphate
in the fertilizer. No nitrogen need be applied since nodules on the
clover roots have nitrogen fixing ability. Some ranchers prefer a
starter supply of approximately 25 Ibs per acre of nitrogen and report
g ood results. Too much nitrogen may cause competition from the grass,
add to the costs, and interfere with early nitrogen fixation by the clover.
A spring application of 60 Ibs per acre of K20 (100 lbs per acre of KC1)
should supplement the clover plants. On established fields an application
of 300 Ibs per acre of an 0-8-24 should be made when the clover plant
appears or when the field is reseeded to clover. A spring application
of 60 Ibs per acre of K20 is also needed for good growth. The micro-
nutrient treatments are essentially the same as for the grass pastures,
being sure to include boron at the rate of 2 Ibs per acre of B203 at
planting and a retreatment at one-half this rate every three to four
Hairy Indigo. A June application of 300 Ibs per acre of an
0-8-24 is recommended. Micronutrients should be included in the
fertilizer or lime materials at the same rate as for whiteclover.
Hairy indigo is a summer legume and usually does not germinate until
hot weather arrives.
Aeschynomene is usually planted from March through June. It
prefers a relatively moist soil. The desired soil pH range is 6.0
to 7.0 and the soil should have a minimum of 900 pounds per acre of
CaO and 100 pounds MgO. New lands should have an application of 500
pounds per acre of a 0-14-14 or a mixture containing the equivalent
P205 and K20. Where aeschynomene has been established, 300 pounds
per acre of an 0-8-24 should be applied.
Oats and Ryegrass.. Each of these crops are usually planted in
October and often incorporated in a renovation program. An application
of 500 Ibs per acre of a 6-12-12 (or fertilizer supplying the equivalent
amounts) should be applied at planting time with additional applications
of 150 pounds per acre of NH NO3 applied at 6-8 weeks intervals. Micro-
nutrients and lime needs are usually satisfied by residual nutrients
from the previous crop. However, the soil pH should be from 5.5 to 6.5,
and have at least 600 lbs per acre CaO and 100 Ibs per acre MgO.
1. Space pasture fertilizations to help provide the feed when needed.
2. Be sure to fertilize 4 to 6 weeks before grazing the pasture.
3. Do not overfertilize with micronutrients to prevent toxic
4. Whenever possible rely on soil test results for the field's
needs for calcium, magnesium, potassium, and phosphorus.-
See your county agent.
GRASSES OLD AND NEW
E. M. Hodges
Grasses available when pasture improvement work was begun in
south central Florida included common bahiagrass and carpetgrass.
Common bahiagrass had broad, dark green leaves, and was very cold-
sensitive. Seed germination was slow and gave rise to the recommendation
that you plant and come back in two years to see how it was doing.
Carpetgrass was the most popular item in those days. Not so tempera-
mental as bahia, it was easier to establish and would grow on poorer
land. Since these early days a number of better grasses have become
available to the rancher. These are discussed below.
Pangola digitgrass was tested in the mid 1940's and by 1950 was
widely planted. There were no flaws in Pangola in those early days!
Though frost sensitive, it grew well from vegetative plantings, and
cattle did the best ever when grazing on Pangola. Even mature grass
was valuable as hay or for winter grazing. The good days were soon
over and winterkill, spittlebug damage, and bahiagrass invasion have
shown Pangola less than a perfect grass.
Slenderstem digitgrass was released in 1969 after a long period
of testing. This digitgrass grows off faster after planting than
Pangola and has value in areas where other perennial grasses are a
problem in competing with Pangola.
Transvala digitgrass, released in 1973, resembles Slenderstem
and is most important as a reserve for use in case of the introduction
of Pangola stunt virus. This disease is not known to be in the
United States but is serious in South America. Transvala has nematode
resistance but does not grow off as fast as Slenderstem, and both are
hard hit by frost.
Pensacola bahiagrass covers more acres than any other improved
grass in Florida. It is adapted to a wide range of soils and tolerates
close grazing with no damage to the stand. Response to fertilization
is strong at lower rates but tops out quickly at 50-100 pounds nitrogen
annually in a 2-1-1 pattern. Pensacola stays green under 2 to 4
degrees of frost but growth is slow in the November to March period.
Rapid maturity of forage reduces palatability and reduces gains of
young cattle. The same factor limits the hay and reserve pasture
value of Pensacola.
Argentine bahiagrass has become a prime sod source. It has a
wide leaf and a darker green color than Pensacola and does not produce
as many seed heads. Argentine is subject to ergot, a fungus attacking
the seedheads and capable of causing abortion in grazing stock. This
is not a common problem but should be considered to a limited extent.
Argentine has found favor as pasture on many shallow muck lands where
drainage is good. It does not stand frost as well as Pensacola but
warm season forage growth is greater.
Paraguay or Texas bahiagrass is a fine-leafed type, rather hairy
and makes limited growth. Little is planted now and it is of no
Paraguay 22 bahiagrass is wide-leafed like Argentine but produces
more seed and tolerates more frost. Paraguay 22 is valuable for pasture,
sod, and seed purposes.
None of the bahiagrasses grow well in cool weather and all suffer
loss of forage value with maturity. Since the forage matures rapidly
under normal conditions, it follows that daily gains of young cattle
are comparatively slow on such pasture.
Common bermudagrass was actually the first improved pasture in
this area, coming in on "cowpenned" garden or farm area and thus
furnishing some good grazing. One of the earliest complaints about
pasture went thusly "I grew up fighting bermudagrass in the garden
and now I'm planting the stuff".
Coastal bermudagrass became available in the 1940's from Georgia
- USDA planting breeding program. It grew in favorable locations in
south-central Florida but lacked vigor and found no general place in
the Ona program. The same was true of a sister line known as
A wide variety of coarse-stemmed bermudagrasses have been grown
in southern Florida for many years some being given local names.
A group of introductions were obtained by this Station from the USDA
in 1955-56. One of these was selected and planted in trial pastures
in 1959 and grazed for several years under the names Starrgrass and
Bermuda 52. Cattle gains per acre of Bermuda 52 were intermediate to
those of Pangola and Pensacola. A good sod of Bermuda 52 was maintained
at the same time digitgrasses were severely damaged by cold and insect
attack. Fertilizer requirement is high on this grass and grazing
quality is lost with maturity. The coarse stemmy growth is not used
well when frosted and this type may be best suited to locations having
less frost than is common in the Ona area.
Another large-stemmed bermudagrass is currently being evaluated
in grazing and plot trials (UF 4 Rhodesian). It resembles Bermuda 52
and may prove to be a better grass. Both of these bermudagrasses
spread by long above-ground runners and they can spread into cultivated
land adjoining the pasture.
Alicia bermudagrass has lately received much attention but has
not been observed at Ona. Reports from northern Florida indicate it is
not outstanding in yield or digestibility.
Coastcross 1 bermuidqqrs.'; hn:i been planted in many places and
with varied success. Early results at Ona were unfavorable but
plantings since 1970 show promise. It was selected in Georgia for
high digestibility and is making vigorous growth in trial pastures
at Ona. Persistence under grazing on flatwoods in this area remains
to be measured.
Limpograsses Hemarthria altissima
The limpograsses came to the Ona center in a large group of
grass introductions known as the Oakes collection. Given the common
name "limpograss", these introductions were rather quickly scattered
over southern Florida. There were three types of limpograss planted
and all grew well on plots on newly broken land where lime and fertilizer
had been added. Two of the limpograsses are fine-stemmed and sometimes
referred to as "red" and "green", respectively, because of color
differences visible during growth. These two have some cold tolerance
and grow during February and March.
The third limpograss has a much larger stem, may grow to four
feet in height, and is quite easily damaged by frost. The big limpo-
grass seems to be grazed more readily than the small-stemmed ones.
Limpograsses grow best on moist land with above-average organic
content but excellent establishment and growth have been obtained
on upland sites. Extreme variations in response to similar planting
and fertilization procedures have delayed evaluation of these grasses.
They grow well at times and fail at others creating confusion as to
how to handle them. Additional information on response to soil type,
handling of planting material, and fertilization needs may open the
way to extensive use of the cold tolerance of the limpograsses.
Some old-time grasses have fallen by the wayside and are used no
more. Common bahiagrass is only a remnant and carpetgrass, while present
on many acres has not been planted to any extent for 20 years. Natal-
grass and crabgrass hay are still cut but on only a minor scale.
All the bahiagrasses are now "old-timers" and their importance can
be measured by the increasing acreages being grazed and harvested
for seed and sod. Pangola digitgrass has gone from a peak of
popularity in the early 1950's to the present realization that it
has problems as well as values. Loss of stand through cold and
insect damage combined with overgrazing and lack of renovation has
hit thousands of acres of Pangola.
The present trend to more intensive handling of pastures will
upgrade the attention to chopping and warm season legume treatments
on bahia pasture. It will also encourage the use of renovation and
rotation practices to keep Pangola sods in production.
I have no expectation that the new grasses we are looking at
will take the place of those now in use. Rather than replacement,
we are looking for supplementation and diversification. For instance
- the forage need of longest standing in this area is quality grazing
during the cool season. The new digitgrasses and bermudagrasses make
more cool season growth than Pangola or Pensacola. The limpograsses
have a potential for frost tolerance not present in other perennial
grasses. Another improvement Slenderstem establishes more rapidly
than Pangola and may be very useful in upgrading pastures where less
desirable grasses have established. A word of warning thorough
seed bed preparation during hot weather is needed to give Slenderstem
a chance to make a stand.
The coarse-stemmed bermudagrasses seem to be free from spittlebug
damage and to hold a stand better than the digitgrasses. They may
provide us some pasture which is of good quality and easier to main-
tain than Pangola. New grasses teamed with those of already-proven
value will help us avoid the situation of having "too many eggs in one
basket" which occurs when all the pasture is in one or two varieties.
This broadened variety base combined with fertilization and rotation
will be an important part of the cattle business of the future.
WINTER ANNUAL FORAGE PRODUCTION
Winter annuals provide a very important segment in a year-round
livestock grazing program. Winter annuals (ryegrass, small grains
and clovers) can provide excellent forage over a 4-5 month winter
period. However, to be successful in winter annual forage production
one must follow good management practices. The following points
should be considered.
1. Selection of variety or species
Choosing a variety or species is important and should
coincide with forage needs.
NK tetrablend 444, Gulf, Florida Rust Resistant,
Magnolia and Wintergreen yield quite well. However,
common ryegrass should not be planted because of its
susceptibility to rust.
Small grain varieties
Wheat Wakeland, Coker 68-19
Oats Fla. 501, Elan
Barley Fla 102 (poor yielder)
Rye Wintergrazer 70, Wrens Abruzzi, Gator and
Vita-Graze, yield quite well. However Florida Black
yielded poorest and headed earliest of all varieties.
Berseem clover makes early growth but is frost sensitive
and will not tolerate standing water. Requires high fertility.
White clover adapted to moist soils throughout the state.
Will provide good grazing during mid and late winter.
Sweet clover will grow on drier soils than white clover
and will not tolerate flooding. Its palatability is
much less and grazing season shorter than that of
2. Soil test
One month prior to preparing a seed bed for a winter annual
a soil test should be taken to determine the status of major
plant nutrients (N, P and K) in addition to MgO, CaO and pH. This
is an important consideration especially if vegetables were grown
recently on that land.
3. Seed bed preparation
Good seed bed preparation is recommended. Winter annuals may
be seeded directly into freshly prepared soil or into an established
perennial grass sod. When seeding into a sod it is necessary to
graze or mow closely in order to remove excess forage and thus
decrease competition for young seedlings. When seeding in either
situation it is desirable to pack the seed bed with a cultipacker
to get good seed to soil contact.
4. Seeding date and rate
Winter annuals should be seeded when mean temperatures range
from 60 to 700F or lower. This corresponds to October November
temperatures in central Florida. Seeding rates of ryegrass are
20 lbs/A; wheat, rye, oats and barley 3 bu/A; berseem clover
20 lbs; white clover 4 Ibs and sweetclover 15 Ibs/A. Be sure to
purchase the proper strain of bacteria for the legume you are
going to plant.
Following a successful establishment of winter annuals, apply
recommended amounts of fertilizer. If no soil test has been taken
apply 500 Ibs of 10-10-20/A when plants are 1 to 2 inches tall.
Following each grazing or every 30-40 days apply 50 Ib of actual
nitrogen/A. This will depend somewhat on the amount of forage
6. Grazing management
Ryegrass and berseem clover should be grazed each time plants
attain a height of 10 to 12 inches. Small grains should be grazed
when plants attain a height of 12-15 inches and new developing
tillers are 1 to 3 inches tall.
It is recommended to graze all winter annuals rotationally.
This results in both additional yield and higher quality forage
per acre. High stocking rate is also advisable allowing cattle to
consume all forage rapidly, then moving on to a new pasture.
7. Estimated costs and returns
Outlined in the following table are basic costs and returns
per acre for ryegrass production at two fertilization levels.
Land preparation and seeding
Seed 20 Ib/A @ $.45
Fertilizer 500 lb 0-10-20
400 Ib 12-6-6
50 Ib actual N/A
250 Ib actual N/A
Yield T/A (D.M.)
Value @ $75.00/T
In conclusion, select the proper variety or species,
good seed bed, follow good fertilizer practices and graze
CONSIDERATIONS IN BEEF CATTLE MANAGEMENT TO IMPROVE PRODUCTION
F. M. Peacock
Good management includes all those things that contribute to the
well-being of the herd and the greatest financial returns. This
incorporates the use of all the technical knowledge, experience and
wisdom of the man in making decisions.
Nutrition is an important item contributing to production and
for the beef herd under pasture conditions. The wide variability in
quality and quantity, of forage throughout the year, and different
phases of the cow, makes it difficult to maintain the herd on a
constant nutritional basis unless special consideration is given
to the problem. The kind and amount of supplement provided cows on
pasture should be relative to the needs of the cows and pasture.
Close observation of cows as to their condition and available feed
throughout all their productive phases is necessary to recognize
the problems. The cows' condition and available forage supply will
indicate the supplement needed.
Loss of calves due to calving problems, sickness and accidents
are a major loss of income. Most deaths due to accidents cannot be
foreseen but careful and thoughtful handling of cattle and having
calving pastures free of areas where calves can drown or get cut off
from the cow will help. Working cattle and crowding in pens during
the hot period of the day can cause heat stress, and if the pens are
dry and dusty calves can get sick from breathing this dust. Death
loss in calves due to sickness is usually from pneumonia which usually
occurs shortly after birth. Calving pastures free from standing water
and with roughs to get into from the cold can help this problem.
Calf loss from calving problems can be major under some systems.
Some of this can be eliminated by close management during the calving
season and selecting bulls according to the age and type of the
particular cow herd. Size of calf is associated with difficult calving.
However, size itself is not the whole problem. The physical structure,
whether long keen bodied or large in the head, shoulders and hind
quarters, will determine to a high degree the problems at parturition.
Selecting bulls that produce calves small in these areas, even if
total size is large, will eliminate many of the problems.
The well being of an animal includes health and comfort. Certain
breeds of cattle are more adapted to heat than others. Cattle standing
in ponds, mud holes and around water troughs, panting hard from the
sunshine and humidity are not comfortable. These animals are using
excess energy and do not have the proper appetite to consume enough food
for desired production. Research has shown that shade increased
production both in cow-calf herds and steers fattened on pasture. Shade
should be considered when establishing a new pasture before all the
trees have been removed. In some instances artificial shade might be
Pregnancy testing is a management tool. It is a management aid
for wintering and in culling cows to make room for replacements. An
important aspect of pregnancy testing and selling open cows is the
elimination of poor doing cows whether it be from parasites, old age,
disease or just cattle that fail to adapt. This area of management if
conducted properly does a good job of cleaning up the herd because
pregnancy indicates that both genetic and environment factors are in
harmony and if not, something is wrong.
Semen testing of bulls, especially in single sire herds, can be
a form of insurance against a low or total loss of an entire calf
crop. A complete physical examination of bulls might be considered
because of the responsibility the bull has for the calf crop. This
would eliminate the poor semen producers and cripples, especially
older bulls that might cause trouble.
Parasites are present at all times. During periods of ample
feed parasitism might not show damage but during periods of nutritional
stress parasites take over. Individuals that show signs of internal
parasites should be wormed. Spraying the herd for lice and horn flies
periodically and especially in the fall will help in better utilization
of winter feed. Having a clean herd during nutritionally low periods
will help it weather the hard times.
Records are useful in making decisions. Records, if studied,
give one a better understanding of his cattle as they show the wide
variations that occur within a given population. The use of records
along with actual appraisal of cow results in knowledge of the cattle
relative to their production and assists in culling and selection for
REPORT OF PROGRESS
ACTIVE RESEARCH PROJECTS
AGRICULTURAL RESEARCH CENTER
During 1972 research was conducted under 17 active projects,
covering work with beef cattle breeding and nutrition, forage
evaluation and soil fertility. In addition, cooperative studies
were conducted with the Department of Entomology in Gainesville.
Emphasis was placed on expanding forage and field crop variety
tests at the Ona and Immokalee research centers, as well as on
ranches in Manatee, Collier and Orange Counties. Additional
pastures were established to evaluate the effect of animal
grazing on new forage varieties. Two projects were terminated.
Forage research was continued under statewide research projects.
Rainfall totaled 49.03 inches during 1972, which was 5.83 inches
below the last 30-year average. Temperatures ranged from a low
of 320 on December 28 to a high of 101F on July 3.
AGRONOMY RESEARCH E. M. HODGES AND PAUL MISLEVY
State Project 1167. Evaluation of Introduced and Native Plant
Species for Pasture, Forage and Other Uses.
A perennial grass experiment was established at Immokalee to study
the effects of stubble height, species, and irrigation on total yield,
seasonal distribution, and forage digestibility. Another experiment
was established at Ona to study the effects of 4 initial harvest
stages and 3 aftermath treatments on yield and digestibility of 4
In addition, an experiment was initiated to determine the effect of
mob grazing animals on 36 different grasses and legumes. Measurements
include yield, digestibility, plant height, and percent forage removal.
Thirty two acre pastures were established to study the effects of
management on 4 perennial grasses and siratro in terms of yield,
digestibility, legume persistence, and cow grazing days.
Establishment of American jointvetch (Aeschynomene americana) was
improved by cultivation of sod prior to seeding but drought prevented
response to fertilization and seeding rates. Wide variations were
observed in a nursery of Digitaria and Hemarthria accessions. Twenty-
two grasses were compared in a replicated trial, fertilized at 33, 67
and 100 pounds nitrogen per harvest. Highest total yields for six
warm season harvests were obtained on bermudagrasses and digitgrasses.
Average oven dry yield per acre was 5.2 tons for Pensacola bahiagrass
(Paspalum notatum), 7.5 for Coastcross bermudagrass (Cynodon dactylon),
and 7.7 tons for Pangola digitgrass (Digitaria decumbens). Limpograss
(Hemarthria altissima UF 8) increased in percentage composition against
bermudagrass and bahiagrass when given a long regrowth period.
State Project 1241. Herbicides in Forage Production.
Three rates of commercial dowpon were applied at 2, 4 and 6 Ib/A with
0, 1, 2 and 4 gal. of Sunoco 11E oil/A to study their effects on
smutgrass (Sporobolus poiretti) control. Following herbicidal appli-
cation mowing (mow vs non-mowed) and nitrogen (none vs 100 Ib/A) treat-
ments were applied. Four and 6 pounds of Dowpon M (commercial product)
gave similar control of smutgrass. Clipping smutgrass 5 weeks after
treatment and applying 100 lb N/A resulted in 500% increase in the ground
cover of Pangola and significant smutgrass control. When treatments were
non-fertilized and non-clipped, only slight increases in Pangola were
* * *
State Project 1358. Pasture Grass and Legume Variety Evaluation Under
Varied Fertilization and Management Practices.
Commercial corn, silage sorghum, millet, and sudangrass-sorghum hybrids
variety experiments were conducted at the Ona ARC. Forage corn variety
experiments were also conducted in Orange, Manatee and Hendry counties.
Silage sorghum varieties, Pioneer 931 and Pennsilage, produced the
highest D.M. yields, averaging 16 and 14 T/A in 2 harvests. The S-S
hybrids produced in 3 harvests 9 tons D.M./A as compared to 5 T/A for
millets which contained rust on all harvests. Corn silage production
averaged 5.1 tons D.M./A at Orange County, 3.8 T/A at Manatee County,
and 6.8 T/A at Ona. Forage D.M. yields of small grains at Immokalee
were not significantly different, ranging from 1.6 to 1.9 T/A. However,
at Ona significant differences in winter annuals were observed, ranging
from 2.7 tons for ryegrass to .96 tons for triticale. Significant
differences in ryegrass at Immokalee were also observed. No significant
differences in ryegrass D.M. yields were found among slow release N
State Project 1368. Yearlong Grazing on Grass and Grass-Legume Varieties.
Weaned calves were grazed yearlong on Pensacola bahiagrass (Paspalum
notatum) pastures to test the effect of intensive management practices
on daily gain. The pasture was fertilized at three dates with 50-25-25
pounds per acre of N, P205 and K 0, respectively. Mowing, chopping and
seeding warm season annual legume were added to the fertilizer treatment.
Cool season (October-April) daily gains, with concentrate feed added,
averaged .34 and .37 pounds on grass only and grass plus legume treat-
ments, respectively. Warm season gains, with no feed and limited legume
growth, averaged .70 and .67 pounds for the grass and grass plus legume
Warm season grazing on UF1 experimental digitgrass (Transvala) produced
374 pounds gain per acre and 1.06 pounds daily gain. A tall growing
bermuda-like grass (UF 4 Rhodesian) produced 339 pounds per acre and
daily gain of 1.26 pounds. Cattle grazing Limpograss (UF 8) averaged
237 pounds per acre and 0.98 pounds daily gain.
.A. ht* .A. *J-
j\ ^\ j ^^
State Project 1403. Management Systems for Beef Cows.
Eight herds of cows of European-Brahman breeding were grazed on 40-
acre pasture units to evaluate different forage and supplement systems
in terms of production. The basic pasture for each herd consisted of
four units of ten acres each of Pangola digitgrass (Digitaria decumbens)
and mixed grasses receiving equal fall and spring applications of 50-25-25
pounds per acre of N, P205 and K20. Forage variables included Hubam
sweetclover (Melilotus alba), American jointvetch (Aeschynomene americana),
rust-resistant annual ryegrass (Lolium multiflorum), and irrigated
whiteclover (Trifolium repens). One herd on all-grass pasture received
five pounds per day per head of urea-fortified blackstrap molasses from
December 1 to May 1. Warm and moist winter and spring weather eliminated
the need for hay feeding. Forage production conditions were exceptionally
favorable for perennial grasses, annual ryegrass, and Hubam, while joint-
vetch and whiteclover made little growth. Weaned calf percentages on
all treatments were higher than the average of the proceeding three years.
Palpation in August 1972 showed 188 out of 204 females to be pregnant with
not less than 85% pregnant in any group. Weaned calf production per cow
unit averaged 400 pounds or above on all treatments except two in which
legumes failed. Calf production per pasture unit was highest on the
molasses supplemented and the mixed grass-whiteclover-ryegrass programs.
This project is being revised.
State Project 1590. Field Crop Variety Testing.
Commercial corn and grain sorghum variety testing was conducted at Ona
ARC. The experimental design was a randomized complete block replicated
3 times. No significant differences were found among the corn grain
yields of 14 hybrids. However, McNair x 210 did yield 140 bu/A of 15%
moisture corn. There were significant lodging differences among hybrids
with Funk G 5757 and Dekalb 1214 exhibiting the best lodging resistance
and Pioneer 3009 and McNair x 210 being most severely lodged. Of the
grain sorghum varieties, Bird-Go produced the highest grain yield per
acre averaging 7,000 pounds/A for 1 harvest. However, this variety
lodged most severely. Br-64 was also a good yielder with excellent
lodging and bird resistance.
* *A *
ANIMAL BREEDING RESEARCH F. M. Peacock
State Project 1120. Charolais, Brahman, Angus and Their Crosses
for Beef Production.
This project was designed to evaluate the three breeds and their
crosses for beef production in central and south Florida. Each breed
of sire was bred to cows of the three breeds and F1 cows of the three
breeds. Calves by the Charolais sires had weaning weight as follows:
x Charbray cows 540 Ibs; x Angus cows 509 Ibs; x Brahman cows 560 Ibs;
x Angus-Charolais cows 555 Ibs; x Angus-Brahman cows 583 Ibs; x Brahman-
Charolais cows 574 Ibs. Calves by the Brahman sires had weaning weights
as follows: x Brahman cows 415 Ibs; x Angus cows 460 Ibs; x Charbray
cows 505 Ibs; x Angus-Brahman cows 526 Ibs; x Angus-Charolais cows 525 Ibs;
x Brahman-Charolais cows 506 Ibs. Calves by the Angus sires had weaning
weights as follows: x Angus cows 438 Ibs; x Brahman cows 450 Ibs;
x Charbray cows 493 Ibs; x Angus x Charolais 470 Ibs; x Angus x Brahman
cows 524 Ibs; x Brahman x Charolais cows 496 Ibs. Charbray cows produced
the highest and Angus lowest of the straightbred while the Angus x Brahman
produced the highest of the crossbreds.
State Project 1261. Feedlot Performance and Carcass Characteristics
of Brahman, Angus, Charolais, and their Crosses.
This project is designed to evaluate the relative performance of the
three breeds and their crosses when fed in drylot for 180 days. The
animals had the following daily gain and grade by breed: Charolais x
Charbray, 2.20 pounds Low Good; Charolais x Angus, 1.99 pounds -
Low Choice; Charolais x Brahman, 1.91 pounds Low Good; 3/4 Charolais
- 1/4 Brahman, 2.21 pounds Good; 1/2 Charolais 1/4 Angus 1/4
Brahman, 1.70 pounds Low Good; 3/4 Charolais 1/4 Angus, 2.33 pounds
- Low Good; Angus x Angus, 2.21 pounds High Good; Angus x Brahman,
1.94 pounds High Good; Angus x Charbray, 2.10 pounds Low Good; 3/4
Angus 1/4 Brahman, 1.99 pounds Low Choice; 3/4 Angus 1/4 Charolais,
1.82 pounds Choice; 1/2 Angus 1/4 Brahman 1/4 Charolais, 1.93 pounds
- Good; Brahman x Brahman, 1.93 pounds Low Good; Brahman x Charbray,
2.08 pounds Good; Brahman x Angus, 2.53 pounds Good; 3/4 Brahman -
1/4 Angus, 1.93 pounds Good; 3/4 Brahman 1/4 Charolais, 1.88 pounds
- Low Good; 1/2 Brahman 1/4 Brahman 1/4 Angus, 2.38 pounds Good.
* * *
ANIMAL NUTRITION RESEARCH H. L. CHAPMAN, JR.
State Project 1386. Post-Weaning Management for Beef Calves.
One hundred-fifty calves having an average of about 320 Ibs. initial
weight were divided into 5 groups of 30 each to compare fattening
crossbred calves on pangola pasture and in drylot and to compare the
relative performance of Brahman steers, bulls and heifers on pasture.
After the growing phase the calves were placed in a commercial feedlot
and finished for slaughter. During the growing phase the Brahman heifers,
steers and bulls gained 1.23, 1.48 and 1.55 pounds a day, and had a
net return of $7.11, $11.96, and $6.87 per head, respectively. Cross-
bred steers fattened on pasture had an average daily gain of 1.59
pounds and a net return of $22.22 per head as compared to 2.00 lbs a
day and a loss of $8.86 per head for the calves fattened in drylot.
State Project 1565. Utilizing Sugarcane Products in Ruminant Rations.
Thirty-six crossbred steers were divided into 4 equal groups on the
basis of weight and grade. The groups were randomly allotted to
treatments to determine if 3 mg/head/day of methionine hydroxy analogue
would affect the utilization of bagasse pellets. No significant effects
were related to experimental treatment.
State Project 1578. Nutritional Value of Vitamin E for Brood Cows.
The second year of a study initiated during 1971 was conducted to see
if injected vitamin E would affect the reproduction performance of
Brahman, Santa Gertrudis or Charbray cows. This study will be terminated
with the current calf crop. To date injected vitamin E has had no
significant effect on reproduction.
* 1 *
State Project 1583. Supplemental Amino Acids for Beef Cattle on
Two experiments were conducted with weanling calves on pasture to
study the effect of 3 mg of methionine hydroxy analogue on rate of
gain. The experimental rations were comprised of dried citrus pulp,
corn meal, cane molasses, 17% dehydrated alfalfa, mineral and supple-
mental nitrogen from either urea or cottonseed meal. The experimental
rations contained 14% crude protein. Results from treatment effect
on gain were variable.
SOILS RESEARCH C. L. DANTZMAN
State Project 404. The Maintenance of Soil Fertility Under Permanent
A study was made to evaluate the effect of time of application of
phosphorus (P) and potassium (K) on Pangola digitgrass-white clover on a
Myakka fine sandy soil. Total annual oven-dry forage yields ranged from
10.7 tons per acre for plots fertilized in October to 12.7 tons per
acre for plots fertilized in December. The plots were harvested four
times per year. Annual fertilizer applications included 200 Ibs of
N, 50 Ibs of P205, and 100 Ibs of K20 per acre rate. A check area
receiving no P or K yielded 7.6 tons per acre from the formerly native
soil area. The year was marked by a mild winter season.
Levels of lime and micronutrients on Pangola-white clover were evaluated
on a Myakka fine sand. No nitrogen was applied during the trial. Total
annual oven-dry forage yields ranged from 4.95 tons per acre for plots
receiving 1 ton per acre of lime and no micronutrients to 7.60 tons per
acre for plots receiving 3 tons per acre of lime and 30 lbs per acre
rate of micronutrient mixture of elements as FTE 503. Average clover
coverage ranged from 8 to 52% as the rates of lime increased to 3 tons
per acre and micronutrients increased to 30 pounds per acre FTE 503.
-tf -I 1.
State Project 989. TDng-Range Effects of Pasture Management on the
Fertility of Flatwoods Soils.
Lime levels from 0 to 4 tons per acre were ( as calcic lime and as
dolomitic lime) applied and rototilled to a depth of 6" to a Myakka
fine soil containing native average level of calcium and magnesium.
The plots were harvested five times during the year. Fertilizer
applications consisted of the equivalent of 500 pounds per acre of a
12-6-6 after each harvest. The winter weather was mild. Average soil
values one-year after application of the lime ranged from 218 ppm
calcium for the 0 level to 447 for the 4 ton level of lime. Magnesium
values ranged from 76 ppm to 11.2 ppm for the same treatments, respectively.
Annual total yields of oven-dry Pangola digitgrass varied from 12.5 tons
for 0 level of lime to 15.4 tons per acre for 4 tons of lime.
On areas of Myakka fine sand receiving 1 ton per acre of lime as calcic
or dolomitic, or ton per acre of each, the calcium ranged from 240
to 300 ppm and magnesium from 43 to 109 ppm. Average yields of oven-dry
materials varied from 13.1 to 14.6 tons per acre.
State Project 1361. Salt Tolerance of Pasture Plants.
Greenhouse trials were made to evaluate the effects of lime treatments
on the growth of Pangola digitgrass irrigated with toxic levels of
NaC1 (1600 ppm). Plants receiving no lime did not survive as long or
produce as much yield as plants receiving from 2 T/A to 8 T/A of lime.
There was little difference in oven-dry yield of Pangola when treated
with different lime levels in the absence of toxic levels of NaCI in
A' 4% l', 4
State Project 1367. Response of Pangolagrass to Potassium.
Pangola digitgrass (Digitaria decumbens) response to different levels
of residual potash (K) was measured by means of grazing and hay
production. A field divided into six lands was last treated with K
in 1970. Soil test plus fertilization was calculated to total 25,
75 and 125 pounds per acre K20 in the soil. The area was fertilized
in August 1972 with 67 pounds N per acre and harvested 75 days later.
Hay yields, calculated on a 12 percent moisture basis, averaged 1.04,
1.55 and 1.82 tons per acre on the residue of the 25, 75 and 125 pounds
per acre K20 treatments. Yields were low indicating a fertility
limitation but were affected by the previous fertilization differences.
State Project 1382. Measurement of Elements Deposited from Atmosphere.
Six streams located in southwest central Florida were sampled at inland
locations at approximately 1 month intervals. The sizes of the water-
sheds above the sample locations are as follows: Peace River, 640,000
acres; Manatee River, 50,000 acres; Horse Creek, 45,000 acres; Fish-
eating Creek, 26,000 acres; Big Paynes Creek, 25,000 acres; and Gum
Slough (cowpens), 4,000 acres. The average value range for the
chemical measurements of the streams were as follows: Ca 2.4 to 44.7
ppm; Cl 10.4 to 26.1 ppm; F 0.20 to 1.30 ppm; Fe 0.01 to 1.66
ppm; Mg 1.3 to 13.2 ppm; N03 1.2 to 4.0 ppm; P 0.03 to 2.16 ppm;
K 0.5 to 3.3 ppm; Na 6.5 to 18.7 ppm; soluble salts 12.9 to 83.1
ppm; and pH 5.7 to 7.9. In many cases the higher average values were
associated with the stream draining the largest watershed, Peace River
(Ca, F, Mg, N03, P, and soluble salts), while the lower average values
were associated with the stream draining the smallest watershed in
the study, Gum Slough (Ca, F, Fe, Mg, P, K and soluble salts).
. 4 4.
Ralph S. Durrance retired from the Ona Agricultural
Center on July 31, 1973, after twenty years of
service. One of a number of long time career
employees at the center he has been a dedicated,
valuable employee and will be missed. We give our
sincerest thanks to Ralph for his efforts in behalf
of agriculture and extend best wishes to him for a
long, happy retirement.