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not reflect current scientific knowledge
or recommendations. These texts
represent the historic publishing
record of the Institute for Food and
Agricultural Sciences and should be
used only to trace the historic work of
the Institute and its staff. Current IFAS
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Copyright 2005, Board of Trustees, University
Range Cattle Station
Mimeo Report 59-1
FIELD DAY OUTLINE
RANGE CATTLE EXPERIMENT STATION /
January 9, 1959
Dr. W. G. Kirk, Vice-Director in Charge
Dr. E. M. Hodges, Agronomist-
Mr. F. M. Peacock, Asst. Animal Husbandman
Dr. J. E.,McCaleb, Asst. Agronomist
Mr. W. C. Hines, Farm Foreman
Miss A. F. Evers, Steno I
Mrs. Z. M. Mercer, Typist
The Range Cattle Station is a part of the Florida Agricultural Experiment
Station and University of Florida.
OUTLINE OF WORK*
Fertilizer Practices and Forage Production........ E. M. Hodges
Methods of Wintering Weanling Calves............ F. M. Peacock
Introduction of Grass and Legume Forage Species.. J. E. McCaleb
More Productive Beef Herds.......................... W. G. Kirk
Pasture Legumes............................. .............
Phosphorus Source Pastures...*...........................
Corn and Sorghum Trials......... ....... ................
Forage Crop Nursery............ *......................
Production of Hay, Silage and Grain Pastures**......**.........
Effect of Breeding and Nutrition on Production.................
Supplemental Winter Feeding.*........** ....*.................*.
Fattening Cattle..........ra ri. ....... ................ .....
Florida Agricultural Experiment Station Bualletins..............
* None of this material to be copied for publication without permission.
I. FERTILIZER PRACTICES AND FORAGE PRODUCTION
E. M. Hodges
Fertilizer cost represents a major expense on many ranches and it is essential
that the greatest possible return be realized. Efficient production and
skillful utilization must be obtained if pasture and forage fertilization is
to pay off in dollars and cents. Details of production and management must
be fitted to place and season and cannot be generalized but there is a
necessity for balance throughout, regardless of specific practices used.
A fertilizer that combines with the soil to furnish all elements needed by
the growing plants is balanced. Low nitrogen treatment rates are not suffi-
cient to produce high yields while pastures lacking either phosphorus or
potash use nitrogen to poor advantage. Minor element additions, mainly
copper, have increased the value of pangola, bahia and other pasture varieties.
Most pasture soils require not only fertilizer but lime as well in order to
have a plant food and chemical balance. Lime increases production on grass
pastures ard makes legume growth possible when other requirements are satis-
fied. This combining in proper ratio the various plant nutrients cannot be
over-emphasized and requires constant attention.
Fertilizer additions must be balanced with forage variety. Clover has a high
potash requirement while grasses need extra nitrogen for heavy production.
Pangola produces the most return per unit of fertilizer at moderate to high
treatment rates with orderly management. Bahia pastures are less productive
than pangola but suffer less damage from overgrazing, trampling during wet
weather and neglect of fertility requirements.
Time of fertilizer application should be balanced with cattle feed require-
ments if maxir m. value is to be obtained. Nitrogen application produces a
flush of grass growth within 30 to not more than 60 days, moisture and
temperature permitting. Knowledge of this effect can be used to avoid a
surplus of forage in spring and early summer and to increase supplies at
other seaszcs, subject to weather limitations. Fertilization dates must be
carefully iaranged if hay and silage are to be produced. May or early June
hay harvest requires early and heavy fertilization while midsummer silage
may be cut from a pasture treated 1 to 2 months before ensiling. Late
summer fertilization produces grass which can be used for fall and winter
grazing or harvested as hay.
Fertilizer need is influenced by previous treatment and utilization of
pastures.. Applications following hay or silage harvest must be double those
on well-grazed pasture to produce similar response. Long-continued close
grazing (too many cows) reduces grass growth, requiring more time and ferti-
lizer to return the sod to normal production. Newly established pastures
are often more productive than old sods given the same amount of fertilizer.
Increased treatment rate is required to prevent a decline in growth.
Balance is essential in all phases of fertilizer use for forage production.
Fertilizer treatments supplying plant food elements in the proper ratio
yield the most efficient production; lime application as needed permits
top returns from fertilizer. Soil amendments weighed against seasonal forage
needs and previous pastures use produce a maximum of value in relation to
II. METHODS OF WINTERING WEANLING CALVES
F. M. Peacock
Stocking calves through the first winter is a general practice in the cattle
business. The question often arises, however, as to the cheapest method to
obtain the most satisfactory performance. Trials are now underway to
determine: (1) amount of feed needed in addition to winter pasture to
obtain different rates of gain; and (2) effect of rates of gain on feed lot
performance immediately following. Results of the first phase of this trial
are summarized in Table 1.
TABLE 1.-Feed Consumption and Gains by Calves
Beginning October 23, 1957.
Lot No. 1 2 3 4
Period, days 119 119 119 119
No. calves 11 11 11 11
Initi l, 10-23-57 401 380 388 406
Final 408 434 486 538
Av. daily gain 0.06 0.45 0.83 1.11
Av. daily ration:
C. S. meal 1.13 1.37 1.62 1.85
Citrus pulp 1.15 2.45 4.80 6.30
TDN (Total digestible
nutrients) 1.63 2.72 4.57 5.79
The results, v'ich are only an indication of what can be expected, show
that on low quality bahiagrass pasture one pound of TDN beyond maintenance
requirements d.ll give approximately one-third pound of gain. Increasing
TDN to 3 and 4 pounds above maintenance needs will give a TDN gain ratio
of approximately 4 to 1 for calves in the weight and grade classifications
used in this trial.
A successful program for wintering calves should enable them to fulfill
growth requirements and remain in a thrifty condition. Fat calves will
usually lose condition while thin ones improve. Calves, whether heifers
or steers, must gain at least 0.5 pound per day to remain in the healthy
growing condition which is essential to future production.
A wintering trial was initiated in October 1957 to compare pangola silage
and improved pastures as sources of roughage. One hundred and ninety
weaned calves were divided into four lots and given different roughage
sources during the winter. Lots 1 and 2 had free choice of pangola silage,
Lot 3 grazed pangola pasture and Lot 4 grazed mixed improved pasture. A
concentrate ration consisting of 1 part cottonseed meal and 2 parts citrus
pulp plus 2 percent complete mineral was fed in amounts sufficient to keep
the calves growing. Results of the trial are summarized in Table 2.
- 3 -
TABLE 2.-Feed Consumption and Gains by Calves, October 1957-March 1958.
Lot No. 1 2 3 4
No. calves 55 55 55 25
Days on feed 134 134 137 137
Av. initial weight 10-26-57 493 463 476 344
Av. daily ration:
Pasture -- Ad lib. Ad lib.
Pangola silage Ad lib. Ad lib.
Cottonseed hulls 0.41 --
Concentrate 4.16 4.16 3.50 4.13
Av. daily gain 0.56 0.76 0.70 0.64
The silage calves were self-fed from a bunker-type silo with no exact
measure of silage consumed. A group of similar calves wintered in the
same manner in 1958 except that silage is weighed out, have consumed an
average of 26 pounds daily per head after being on feed for approximately
WINTER DAMAGE ON PASTURES
The 1957-58 winter brought a combination of freezing temperatures and
above-eaerage rainfall that placed maximum stress on improved pastures.
White clover with excellent early winter growth was damaged in mid-
December 1957 and, after repeated setbacks, was ready to graze by February
15, 1958. Mature pangolagrass that had been saved for winter-grazing was
damaged by leaching and suffered even more loss through trampling of the
Stands of pangola, Common bahia and paragrass were winterkilled in many
locations. Repeated freezing temperatures together with heavy rain reduced
extensive areas of these sensitive varieties to one percent or less of the
c.iginal stand. This damage, common in the northern part of Florida, had
never occurred extensively so far south. Spring growth was slow but
eventual recovery was excellent with fertilization, limited grazing and
The following are some points drawn from the 1957-58 winter experience:
1. Water caused more damage to pastures than did cold.
2. A reserve of hay or silage is essential for a herd largely dependent
on improved pasture year-round.
3. Very little grass or clover growth occurs in weather that is too cold
for personal comfort.
4. Pangola damage was severe with recovery delayed until July 1, 1958.
Cultivation of injured sods did little if any good and burning was
5. Some adjustment of acreage may be needed where pangola makes a high
percentage of the pasture but its productivity is essential where
fertilizer is a major expense.
- 4 -
III. INTRODUCTION OF GRASS AND LEGUME FORAGE SPECIES
J. E. McCaleb
The purpose of the nursery project is to introduce different species,
varieties and strains of grasses and legumes for observation, and later
evaluation by harvesting and grazing trials of the more promising plants
as forage crops in central Florida.
The introduction and testing of grasses and legumes has been under study
at the Range Cattle Station since 1941. A grass introduction nursery was
started in fall 1954 and more than 600 grasses and 80 legumes have been
planted since then. Introductions are first planted in rows or plots for
observation and those which show promise of meeting central Florida soil
and climatic conditions are transplanted or seeded in larger blocks. These
supply vegetative material or seed for establishing grazing and fertility
studies. Legumes, planted in replicated plots, are allowed to remain
undisturbed through the second year to determine live-over and seed pro-
duction. The genera which have been best adapted in grass and legume
planting at the Range Cattle Station for the last four years, with
representative species or selections, are as follows:
Pangolagrass (igitaria spp.): Pangolagrass is the most productive grass
with good fertilization and management. Giant pangola has not been a
good producer. Leesburg #5 is a slender stemmed selection which may be
useful under special conditions.
Bahia (Paspalum epp.): Pensacola, Argentine and Common bahia are now used
for experimental grazing trials. The first 2 are comparable in yield and
both are superior to Common. Pensacola is more cold resistant than
Argentine or Common. Tifhi, a hybrid developed at Tifton, may prove
superior to those now commonly grown.
Bermuda (Cynodon spp.): Coastal and Suwannee have not proven to be as
productive as pangola or Pensacola and/or Argentine bahiagrass; however,
both are of proven value and do well in some sites in central and south
Florida. NK37 cannot be recommended at this time. This evaluation is
based on plantings made in 1957-58.
Panic or Guineagrass (Panicum spp.): The panicgrasses, with the exception
of Para, Maidencane and Torpedo, have not been widely used in central Florida
except in localized areas.
Canarygrass (Phalaris spp.): Reed canarygrass, Hardinggrass and Ronpha-
grass. Ronphagrass is a natural hybrid of Reed canary and Harding. Reed
canarygrass is the most productive of the 3; however, recommendations for
cool season grasses cannot be made at this date.
White Clover (Trifolium repens): Louisiana white is the most productive
cool season legume in central Florida. Two selections, Nolan's improved
and S-1, are slightly more productive than the common white grown from field
run seed. This is probably due to better and more carefully selected seed.
- 5 -
Sweet Clover (Melilotus spp.): Floranna is more productive than Hubam in
this area. Israel is a new introduction which is showing promise through-
out the southeastern U. S., but was highly susceptible to wilt (Fusarium
spp.) at the Range Cattle Station and Immokalee in winter 1957-58.
Indigo (Indogofera spp.): Hairy Indigo is successfully grown in well-
drained areas for late summer to early winter grazing and to supply soil
nitrogen for grass growth. Seed production is adequate to maintain a
stand when properly managed.
Alfalfa (Medicago spp.): Hairy Peruvian, African and other alfalfas have
been grown in plots and grazing areas but damage by disease and extremes
of wet and dry weather make this legume an uncertain crop for general use
in central Florida.
Other legumes which have been planted but failed to establish and maintain
a stand over several growing seasons include: Red, Crimson, Alyce, Alsike,
and Sub-clover among the clover group and Beggar-weed (Desmodium spp.) and
Joint Vetch (Aeschynomene spp.).
Year-long forage production is basic to the cattle industry and the
introduction of grasses and legumes for forage production is never-ending
and must be a continuous phase of the experimental program. Grass varieties
now grown in improved pastures in central Florida are primarily tropical
or sub-tropical in origin and make little growth during periods of low
rainfall and/or cool nights, and in addition are seriously damaged or
killed by frost. There is a particular need for cool-season grasse; ::2d
warm-season l~.-uines which will provide succulent and nutritious forage to
fill the gap ir -w existing in the year-long production program. The
numerical prob'aility of finding a forage plant which will be acceptable
is small; how'rver, the possibility remains that a valuable discovery will
be made in the next planting.
WINTER FEED EMERGENCY
For the past 10 years most mature cattle at the Range Station have been
maintained in good production without any supplemental feed during the
winter. Frost and rain in the 1957-58 winter destroyed much of the reserve
forage in the pasture, making it necessary to furnish abnormally large
amounts of supplemental feed. The usual quantity of stored feed was ex-
hausted in January and substantial tonnages were purchased. Extra feed and
labor cost involved in caring for cattle amounted to over $10.00 per head.
All cattle were given one or more of the following feeds from January
through April: Cottonseed pellets; cottonseed-salt-mineral mixture; pangola
hay; pangola silage; cottonseed hulls; citrus molasses containing 3% urea;
cottonseed meal and citrus pulp mixture; grazing White clover one hour daily.
Supplemental feeding in addition to available grass pasture prevented death
loss, although most cattle lost considerable flesh. Calves made slow early
growth but when weaned in September they compared favorably with those of
previous years in skeletal development but were not in as high flesh.
IV. MORE PRODUCTIVE BEEF HERDS
W. G. Kirk
Successful production of commercial beef cattle in Florida depends upon
1. Supplying the day-to-day nutritional needs of all classes of cattle
on the farm and ranch. Pasture forage is basic. Plan and follow a
year-round pasture program that includes the use of high yielding
varieties of grass and clover to furnish a long grading season with
some forage for hay and silage. This will require regular fertili-
zation as Well as rotational and deferred grazing.
2. No overstocking. Overstocked pastures mean partial starvation for
cattle during some seasons of the year. This materially reduces the
productivity of the herd and lowers resistance to disease and
parasites. Moderately stocked, good pastures result in a 75 to 85
percent calf crop with calves averaging 400 pounds or more and grading
Good or better at weaning. Moderately stocked pasture will give a
larger weaned calf crop with less trouble and lower cost than can be
obtained on overstocked pasture.
3. Culling is a cure for overstocking. Cull all unproductive cattle on
a basis of reproduction rate, age, disposition, defects, weight and
quality of calves weaned. Cull until your estimated forage supply is
sufficient for the number of cattle left.
4. Supplemental feeding when pastures are of poor nutritional quality
keeps animals in condition to produce good calves. Protein supple-
ments are usually needed and legume pastures can be used to supply
a part of the shortage for this purpose. As supplements are an
added expense, use those locally available and only as long as the
condition of pastures demand it. (Section XVII)
5. Good management. With the year-round pasture program in mind and the
herd culled, several other practices should be considered. Calves
should be born at the most favorable period of the year, usually
January to March, weaned at 7 to 8 months and given extra care the
first winter. Markets should be watched and cattle sold when they
will bring the largest net return. Handle animals carefully at all
times, keeping different classes of cattle separate. Inoculate calves
for blackleg and bangs-vaccinate all calves intended for breeding.
Animals need free access to a balanced mineral mixture (Section XVI)
and a supply of good water.
6. Breeding. No breed or strain combines all the good qualities wanted
in a beef herd and the cattleman generally gets better results with a
breed he likes. Keep strain of cattle that gives the highest net
return under the feed conditions and management practices followed.
A cattleman should improve the herd by use of quality breeding stock
and continuous selection and culling.
V. GRAZING TRIALS
Varieties: Trials with grass varieties have been conducted in paired
5-acre pastures. Results with 5 grasses are tabulated below.
Average Per-Acre Beef Gains on Different Grasses
Grass 500 lbs. 6-6-6 900 lbs. 9-6-6
Variety Annually. 1949-51 Annually, 1951-54
Carpet 61 pounds 165 pounds
Pensacola bahia 152 215 t,
Argentine bahia 1021 0 216 "
Coastal bermuda 129 200 "
Pangola 202 338 "
1. One year's result.
Fertilizer rates: Three fertilizer levels on pangolagrass and one on
Pensacola oahia and Coastal bermuda were grazed during 1957. The beef gains
per acre are shown below.
Fertilizer Pounds Per Acre Beef Gain
Grass Variety N P20O Kg0 Per Acre
Pangola 90 45 45 293 pounds
Pangola 180 90 90 524 "
Pangola 270 135 135 534 "
Pensacola bahia 180 90 90 270 "
Coastal bermuda 180 90 90 201 0
VI. PASTURE LEGUMES
WHITE (Dutch) clover is the best cool-season pasture legume available.
The Louisiana strain has been used since 1941 with excellent results.
LOUISIANA S-1, NOLAN'S and other vigorous, free-blooming southern strains
are more uniform than commercial Louisiana white. LADINO white clover has
proved to be an excellent forage producer but does not make seed in the
southern half of the Florida peninsula. Ladino may be mixed 50-50 with
HUBAM and FLORANNA sweetclovers are good for fall planting, the latter
variety being proven superior in the northern part of the state. Sweet-
clover acreage has declined in recent years.
HAIRY INDIGO can be grown in the summer period on any moderately drained
location. It requires liming at 3-4 year intervals on flatwoods land in
addition to annual spring treatment with phosphate and potash.
Growing and Grazing Winter Clover:
1. Very moist land or irrigation is necessary for white clover. Sweet-
clover is slightly less exacting in moisture requirement.
2. Make new plantings in October leaving cattle on area for 1 to 2 weeks.
Remove cattle from old or established clover fields at time of ferti-
lization; late fall grazing delays regrowth of clover.
3. Soil pH of 6.0 to 6.5 is needed (1800 lbs. per acre of available calcium
on sandy land). Treat with 2-3 tons lime per acre on most new land, add
1 ton every third year.
4. Apply 500 lbs. per acre 0-12-12 when planting new land; 250 lbs. 0-8-24
in October on old clover. One or two 60 lbs. per acre applications of
K20 as muriate of potash or 0-8-24 fertilizer are needed on vigorous
white clover during winter and spring. Most plantings on new land
should receive 1 unit copper and 1/2 unit boron per ton of fertilizer.
Boron may be added annually but copper application every second or
third year is adequate.
5. Use up to 5 times manufacturers rate of seed inoculant, planting seed
as soon as treated and avoid drying after planting. Most inoculation
failures result from moisture loss soon after planting.
6. Do not graze the fall and winter clover for 90 to 120 days or until
early blossom stage is reached.
7. Graze rotationally, 3 or 4 divisions being best. White clover makes the
most feed if allowed to bloom moderately while being grazed. Grazing
clover too early reduces yield.
8. Clover has caused some bloat in Florida. Grass growing in a clover
mixture or furnished in a separate pasture reduces the danger. Feeding
hay just prior to grazing lush clover may decrease bloat hazard.
VII. PASTURE INSECTS
Yellow sugarcane aphid and grass worms are the worst pests of improved
grass pastures and are most likely to attack vegetation in vigorous
growth following fertilization. Satisfactory control is obtained with
0.15-0.20 pound of active Parathion for aphids and 1.00-1.25 pounds of
active DDT per acre for worms. Infestation by these insects was light in
1958 with a total of 40 acres (one 10-acre field required treatment March
7 and April 8) being sprayed for aphids. Grass worms were not present in
sufficient numbers to require control measures.
VIII. PHOSPHORUS SOURCE PASTURES
Treatment areas: Each of the 7 treatments, containing 15 acres of pangola-
) grass, is divided into 4 equal areas, permitting rotational grazing and
accumulation of forage for winter use. This project is in cooperation with
Animal Husbandry and Soils Departments, Main Station, Gainesville.
Fertilization: Beginning in 1955 the fertilizer program has been as
follows: Phosphorus 25 pounds P205 annually from soluble sources and 1000
and 1200 pounds per acre of rock and colloidal phosphate each 3 years; K20
at 50 pounds and nitrogen at 100 pounds per acre. The areas received
dolomitic limestone at 1 ton per acre in 1955 with the exception of 1
superphosphate area left unlimed. The 1957 production record of the cows
in this experiment was as follows:
Phosphate Calf Crop Gain Av.
P205 Av. Wean- Per Cow Wt.
Treatment Acre % ing Wt. Acre Sept.
No phosphorus -- 80 510 133 980
Super, no lime 25 89 467 235 1024
Super + lime 251 78 486 231 1089
Rock phosphate 1000 90 432 199 1089
Colloidal phosphate 12001 100 491 225 1063
Basic slag 25 100 507 292 1022
Triple superphosphate 25 100 473 210 1007
1. Total treatment per acre every 3 years.
IX. CORN AND SORGHUM TRIALS
Plantings of corn and sorghum were not successful in spring, 1958, because
of unfavorable temperatures and soil moisture. One acre of Florida 200
was planted in fall, 1958, to determine the effect of several dates of
fertilization on yield.
X. FORAGE CROP NURSERY
Two grass introductions from Africa were planted in blocks in 1.956-57 for
grazing and other studies. A cooperative trial to determine the forage
production and growth habits of 5-bahias, 4 bermudas, 3 pangolas and 2
canarygrasses was started in fall, 1957, at the Range Cattle Station and
South Florida Field Laboratory, Immokalee. Seedings of 15 legumes were
made in fall, 1957, and 1958 in these locations to study forage production,
reseeding and live-over.
- 10 -
XI. PRODUCTION OF HAY, SILAGE AND GRAIN PASTURES
The wet-cold winter of 1957-58 highlighted the need for supplying roughage
in winter and early spring. Use of heavy-producing grasses increased the
opportunity for providing supplementary winter forage. Personnel at the
Range Cattle Station are studying production and use of winter forage in the
following ways: (1) Field and barn-cured hay; (2) self and hand-feeding of
silage and (3) grazing of temporary pastures.
Iay: Approximately 140 tons of pangolagrass hay were field harvested or
barn cured in 1958. Sixty-three tons of this total were barn cured with
heated air forced through stacked bales in a drying barn. The following
table shows the added costs of barn-drying pangolagrass hay.
Cash Cost Item Cost/Ton Hours Operation/Ton
10.0 gals. #2 fuel @ $0.18 1.80 Furnace 1.25
23.3 KWH @ $0.03 .70 Blower fan 2.63
Total. cost per ton 2.50
The heating unit operates 48 percent of the running time of the blower fan
with air duct temperature of 115 to 120* F. Fuel and electricity increased
costs of pangolagrass hay $2.50 per ton in 1958. Extra labor required in
placing and removing hay from barn adds to this cost. Hay of satisfactory
quality was made by this method during weather conditions which made field
Silage: Silc-: of 3 types, 2 bunker, 1 upright and 1 stack, were filled with
500 tons of pangolagrass silage in August 1958. The contents will be used
as follows: feeding trials comparing pangolagrass hay with pangolagrass
silage for steer fattening; self-feeding and bunker feeding in wintering
of calves; determination of weight per cubic foot, moisture content and
feeding vwl'ue of silage; and effect of polyethylene and vinyl plastic
covers on spoilage and palatability. Results obtained in the 1957-58 self-
feeding of wintering calves are shown in Section II.
Oats and Rye: Encroachment of Smutgrass and other weeds reduces the value
of a productive pasture. Control of heavy stands of such plants may
require an intervening crop to break the weed cycle. Oats and rye have
been used experimentally for this purpose and to determine their value for
fattening cattle. The second trial, using long-yearling steers, was planted
in October 1957. Grazing with 7 steers on 7 1/2 acres of oats and 5 on an
equal area of rye began December 3, 1957. The following period of cold, wet
weather reduced herbage production and grazing of Florida Black rye was
terminated after 49 days, Floriland oats after 115 days. Average daily gains
were 1.11 and 0.46 pounds per day on the oats and rye, respectively. The
1957 results are inconclusive. Floriland oats and Gator rye for the third
trial were planted October 20 and grazing started November 26, 1958.
- 11 -
The herbicide program is concerned primarily with the control of weeds,
sedges, grasses and other grass-like plants in improved pastures; aquatic
plants in canals and drainage areas; palmetto and wax myrtle on native
The herbicides used have been limited to those
toxic to livestock at spraying concentrations.
tend to become more palatable when treated and
The following treatments have given 80 percent
listed plants. Ratcs of herbicides are given
Species Material Rate
materials which are non-
However, poisonous plants
may be grazed with death
or better control of the
in pounds of active material
1. Urox is given in pounds of commercial material per acre.
Plants should be growing vigorously when treated and at periods of plant
growth when food manufactured in the leaves is being stored in the roots.
Severe leafburn by chemicals may result in poor root-kill, Use herbicides
within recommended limits and observe safety precautions in relation to
personnel, drift to nearby susceptible plants and contamination of spray
- 12 -
XIII. CATTLE PROGRAM
Breeding: Nineteen Brahman heifers were purchased from 1942 to 1945 and
nine of these animals are still in the herd. Shorthorn bulls have been
mated to the Brahman cows and the crossbred heifers back-crossed to bulls
of the parental breeds, giving varying proportions of Brahman and Shorthorn
blood. Crossbred, 3/4Br-1/Sh, 3/4Sh-1/lBr, Shorthorn and Brahman cows are
being used in a project discussed in XIV and weaning data of calves from
these matings, in XV.
The grade herd consists largely of Brahman and Shorthorn animals, with a
few Santa Gertrudis, Angus and Hereford, all tracing back to the native cow.
Management: Practices include: No continuous overstocking of pastures;
culling of inferior and low producing animals; rotational and deferred
grazing to provide good feed throughout the year; regular fertilization
of all improved herd pastures; controlled breeding season of 110 days,
starting :2- late March; supplemental feeding when required to prevent
excessive weight loss; calves castrated and dehorned shortly after birth;
calves wonened at 6 to 8 months of age, fed in corral for the first 10 days
after weaning and on pasture the first winter; all calves inoculated against
blackleg when 7 to 9 months of age and heifer and bull calves vaccinated
for Bangs at the same time; complete mineral available to cattle at all
times; control of external and internal parasites; separation of different
classes of cattle; regular attention to all herds.
Records: BrTeding, weight changes and productivity of all cattle are
recorded and used as a measure of the value of each animal for beef
production. A.l cattle are weighed every 3 months, those on grazing and
feeding trials more frequently. Calves are classified as to condition and
slaughter grade at weaning and all experimental animals are graded when
slaughtered. Carcass data are obtained on animals when slaughtered.
Breeding n.d production records of all cattle and feeding data for animals
fattened -,n pasture and in dry lot are being put on IBM cards. This will
permit rapid analysis of data and give more accurate information on the
production of cattle under widely varying conditions.
Meat quality: Factors affecting quality of beef such as breeding, age at
time of slaughter, grade, ration and methods of feeding and wintering are
being studied in cooperation with the Main Station, Gainesville.
- 13 -
XIV. EFFECT OF BREEDING AND NUTRITION ON PRODUCTION
Three breeding herds of 60 cows each are kept on pasture throughout the
year. Each herd consists of 10 Brahman; 10, 3/4Er-l/4Sh; 20, 1/2Sh-
1/2Br; 10, 3/4Sh-1/4Br; and 10 Shorthorn. Brahman, 3/4 Brahman and
10 crossbred cows are bred to a Brahman bull; Shorthorn, 3/4 Shorthorn
and 10 crossbred cows, to a Shorthorn bull.
Herd 1 on 800 acres native range (5 fields of 160 acres each), one half of
which is burned each winter, was fed an average of 182 pounds cottonseed
pellets per cow from January through April 1957.
Herd 2 grazed 310 acres of native range and 75 acres of improved pasture.
One half the native pasture was burned and the improved pasture was
fertilized twice yearly.
Herd 3 was kept on 75 acres Pangola pasture, 20 acres of which was over-
planted with White clover under irrigation. The entire area was well
Effect of Breeding and Pasture on Calf Weights
Adjusted to 205 Days of Age.1
Average Weaning Weights, 1957
Herd 1 Herd 2 Herd 3 Breed Group
Breeding of Calves Native Combination Improved Mean
Brahman 368 367 388 374
7/8 Brahman-1/8 Shorthorn 388 378 353 373
3/4 Brahman-l/4 Shorthorn 407 480 499 462
3/4 Shorthorn-1/4 Brahman 429 421 474 441
7/8 Shorthorn-1/8 Brahman 373 369 447 396
Shorthorn 313 361 379 351
Mean 380 39 423 400
1. In cooperation with Animal Husbandry and Nutrition, Main Station,
Crossbred calves, 1/2 Shorthorn-1/2 Brahman, produced in another herd had
an average weight of 437 pounds at 205 days.
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XV. CALF CROP
Yearly calf crop is the most important factor in a cow-calf production
project. Cattle at the Range Station are maintained on different levels
of nutrition, ranging from a highly productive pasture with 1.50 acres
per cow to native range with 13.3 acres per cow. Several herds are
on a combination of improved and native pasture. The majority of these
cows obtain all their feed by grazing, only having free access to a
complete mineral mixture. The weaned calf crop from all cows for several
years is summarized below:
No. No. Percent
Year Cows Calves Calf Crop
1952 236 158 67
1953 293 212 72
1954 403 214 53
1955 433 310 72
1956 453 317 70
1957 4151 307 74
1958 410 321 78
1. Sixteen cows produced no calves in 1957
as bull was sterile.
XVI. MINERAL MIXTURES
Mineral mixtures fed at the Range Station for more than 12 years with
good results are made up as follows:
Ona Range Modified Salt
ITngredients Station Mineral Sick Mineral
St-amed bonemeal 28.00 pounds
Defluorinated phosphate 28.00 --
Common salt 31.21 100 pounds
Red oxide of iron 3.12 10 "
Copper sulfate 0.63 2 "
Cobalt chloride or sulfate 0.04 2 ounces
Cane molasses 7.00 "
Cottonseed meal 2.00 "
Complete mineral contains 16.4% calcium, 8% phosphorus and 31% common
salt. Common salt, in addition to being an essential ingredient, prevents
spoilage of bonemeal, molasses and cottonseed meal if mineral becomes
wet. Molasses and cottonseed meal have been added to improve palatability.
Modified salt sick mineral is used along with bonemeal and common salt in
all experimental grazing trials. Cows on native range have eaten from 35
to 45 pounds of the complete mineral during a year while those having
access to fertilized pasture consume less than 20 pounds per year.
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XVII. SUPPLEMENTAL WINTER FEEDING
Adequate roughage is essential for all classes of cattle. Fertilization
of selected pastures in early fall combined with rotational and deferred
grazing can be used to advantage to furnish more roughage for mature cattle
from December through February. These practices have been used at the
Range Station for several years to maintain yearling heifers, cows and
bulls in good condition during the winter without supplemental feeding.
Supplemental feeding of cattle on pasture is outlined in the following
Protein supplements can be used to balance the ration when there is
a good supply of poor quality forage:
1. One to 2 pounds 41% cottonseed or other high protein pellets
daily or double these amounts every other day, fed on the
2. Mixture of 75 parts cottonseed meal, 15 parts common salt and
10 parts complete mineral, self-fed. Proportion of ingredients
can be adjusted according to amount to be fed, class of cattle,
quality of pasture and weather conditions.
3. Grazing clover 1 hour daily.
Rations to use when energy feed is needed in addition to protein:
1. Two to 4 pounds 20% pellets daily per cow.
2. One to 2 pounds cottonseed meal mixed with 2 to 4 pounds
drie-J citrus pulp, ground snapped corn or molasses.
3. Three to 5 pounds citrus or cane molasses containing 3%
4. Three to 5 pounds molasses plus 1 pound of cottonseed
meal daily per cow.
5. Ten to 15 pounds grapefruit daily per cow plus protein feed.
1. Three pounds to full-feeding of hay or 10 pounds to full-
feeding of silage, depending on the amount of pasture
forage available. Cattle on low protein hay or silage
require supplemental protein.
2. Three to 10 pounds of cottonseed hulls, ground cob and
shuck meal plus protein feed to balance these roughages.
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XVIII. FATTENING CATTLE
Value of Pangola Hay and Silage in Steer Fattening Rations
Pangola hay and silage were compared in 3 dry lot feeding trials of 120
days each. Three lots in each trial were fed hay free-choice and 3 lots,
silage. Cottonseed meal, 41% protein, was fed at the rate of 3 pounds
daily per steer to all lots. Lot 70 was fed only hay and cottonseed
meal, Lot 71 was given a limited amount of pulp and molasses, Lot 72,
full-fed pulp and molasses. Lot 73 was fed only silage and cottonseed
meal, Lot 74 was given limited amounts of pulp and Lot 75, full-fed pulp
and molasses. The results of these trials are given in the following
Feed per 100 Pounds Gain
Lot Daily Cottonseed Citrus Citrus S1.
No. Gain Hay Meal PuL_ Mol. TDN Cost Gradel
70 1.15 1425 260 -- 780 $27.27 L. St.
71 1.86 654 161 208 209 640 21.81 L. G.
72 2.29 369 132 341 270 618 21.30 G.
73 1.29 4680 233 807 27.20 L. St.
74 1.94 1955 154 201 205 627 20.99 H. St.
75 2.40 1186 324 324 241 604 20.38 G.
1. Cost per ton: Hay $25.00; silage $8.00; pulp $50.00; molasses $25.00;
mineral $65.00; cottonseed meal $70.00.
Steers self-fed either hay or silage and full-fed pulp and molasses, Lots
72 and 75, ate an average of 7.29 pounds hay daily or 26.92 pounds silage,
too high roughage consumption to produce the highest rate of gain.
Sugarcane Bagasse in Steer Fattening Rations
Bagasse, the fibrous residue of sugarcane stalks after the juice is pressed
out, has been fed in 5 trials. It contains from 40 to 45 percent fiber and
has made up as much as 40 percent of an experimental ration. However, when
fed at this level the ration is too low in TDN to give consistently good
gains throughout a 100-day or longer feeding period. In a trial completed
in 1958, ammoniated bagasse was mixed with 15 parts cane molasses to give
a crude protein equivalent of 11 percent. Cottonseed hulls were fed as
roughage to Lot 67, a combination of hulls and bagasse to Lot 68 and bagasse
to Lot 69. -The roughage part of the ration was mixed with cottonseed meal,
citrus pulp, alfalfa pellets and complete mineral to give slightly over 8
percent digestible protein and 60 percent TDN in each of the 3 rations. All
rations were self-fed to grade steers for 109 days. The results are
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Feed per 100 Pounds Gain
Lot Daily Am-Bag- C. S. C. S. Citrus Alf. Sl.
No. Gain Mol. Hulls Meal Pulp Pellets TDN Grade
67 2.91 -- 177 199 478 22 566 Good
68 2.66 193 109 236 628 30 752 Good
69 2.64 331 -- 173 479 25 607 L. G.
In cooperation with Animal Husbandry and Nutrition, Main Station,
1. Grade yearling cattle that are thrifty, good type, quiet disposition,
weighing from 450 to 700 pounds should be selected for feeding.
Calves should weigh from 400 to 500 pounds. Cull out nervous and
poor gainers as soon as observed.
2. All she.rp horns should be tipped and cows and heifers kept separate
from steers. Steers should be grouped according to age and weight.
Some animals may need to be drenched to eliminate intestinal parasites.
3. Feed cattle in groups, 10 to 40 in dry lot when fed twice daily and in
larger numbers on pasture when self-fed. Do not overcrowd animals.
4. Fattening ration must include roughage, protein, mineral, vitamins
and energy nutrients in proper proportions if cattle are to make
good use of the feed for maintenance and gain. Most experiments show
that either feeding 10 mg. of stilbestrol daily per steer or implantation
of 24 to 30 mg. of stilbestrol in the ear increases rate of gain and
improves feed efficiency.
5. Citrus, corn and cane products are rich in carbohydrates and low in
protein. They can be used for maintenance and fattening when balanced
with protein-rich feeds. Citrus pulp and ground snapped corn are not
roughage feeds. Cattle require a roughage feed such as pasture, hay,
silage or cottonseed hulls.
6. When feeding calves, allow 1 pound high protein feed for each 250
pounds live weight. With yearlings allow 1 pound protein feed for
each 300 pounds and with 2-year-old steers 1 pound for each 325 pounds
7. A protein feed consisting of 60 parts cottonseed meal, 8 parts urea
(2-6-2) and 32 parts citrus meal or other energy feed can be used for
yearling and 2-year-old cattle. Molasses containing 3% urea can be
used to replace part of the cottonseed meal. Calves cannot utilize
either molasses or urea as well as older cattle.
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8. Good gains can be secured with yearling and older cattle fed an average
daily ration of:
A. Four to 6 pounds of hay or equivalent pasture, silage or
cottonseed hulls and
B. Two to 3 pounds of either cottonseed or peanut meal or
a mixture of 60 parts cottonseed meal, 8 parts urea
and 32 parts citrus pulp.
C. Plus any one of the following: 8 to 12 pounds of either
citrus pulp, ground snapped corn or corn meal; 4 to 6
pounds of either pulp or ground corn and 4 to 6 pounds
of either citrus or blackstrap molasses; 8 to 12 pounds
sweet citrus pulp.
9. Give ample roughage and a small amount of fattening feeds at start,
increase fattening ingredients in the ration slowly until cattle are
on full feed in 30 to 40 days.
10. Provide 3 linear feet of trough space for 600-pound animals fed twice
daily and one half this space for cattle self-fed.
11. Feed cattle at the same time each day. Keep troughs clean and remove
any moldy feed. A shed over feed troughs prevents feed spoilage and
reduces danger of cattle going off feed.
12. Supply ample fresh water and give access to a complete mineral
13. Keep cattle comfortable. Good sanitary conditions can be maintained
with less effort on pasture than on dry lot. Spray animals to control
14. Do not disturb animals unnecessarily. Exciting or running animals
will reduce rate and increase cost of gains.
15. Disposition of herdsman is an important factor in how cattle perform.
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XIX. FLORIDA AGRICULTURAL EXPERIMENT STATION PUBLICATIONS
A partial list of the available publications on pasture, cattle and
related subjects follows:
Bulletin 477 ...Hay and Seed Drying with a Slated Floor System
484A ..Grass Pastures in Central Florida
502 o..Liver Fluke Disease and Its Control
506 ...Know Your Fertilizers
510 ...Poisonous Plants in Florida
513R ..Minerals for Beef and Dairy Cattle
515 ...Maintaining Fertility in Mineral Soils Under
517 ...Winter Clovers in Central Florida
523 ...Growing Oats in Florida
538 ...Citrus Products for Beef Cattle
5141 ...Selecting and Using Beef and Veal
554 ...Year-Round Grazing on a Combination of
Native and Improved Pasture
558 ...Relation Between Soluble Phosphorus in Soils
and Growth Response of Pasture Forage
575 ...Feeding Value of Citrus and Blackstrap
Molasses for Fattening Cattle
578 ...Factors Affecting the Weaning Weight of
585 ...Pangolagrass Pastures for Beef Production in
Central Florida A Method of Determining the
Economics of Establishing and Fertilizing Them
597 ...Feed Lot Performance and Carcass Grades of Brahman
and Brahman-Shorthorn Steers
Circular S-22 ..Citrus Molasses in Steer Fattening Ration
S-33 *.Costs and Methods of Pasture Establishment and
S-35 ..Fertilizer Should Contain a Source of Sulfur
for Clover Pastures in Many Areas of Florida
S-57 ..Feeding Beef Cattle for Show and Sale
S-61 ..Inoculated Legumes in the Farm Program
S-64 ..Control of Some Insect Pests of Improved Pastures
S-78 ..Internal Parasites of Cattle, Their Control
with Phenothiazine and Management
S-89 ..Steer Fattening Trials in North Florida
S-94 ..Gator Rye
S-98 ..Hairy Indigo
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