FEB 3 1955
CATTLEiiEN'S FILL DAY PROGRAM
FLORIDA EVTERLADES EXPLRIiMLNT STATION
January 20, 1955.
This report contains a summary of information included in
talks made by those participating in the Field Day program.
Subjects covered in the report include problems relating
to pasture establishment, pasture maintenance, livestock
production and marketing in the Everglades area.
EVERGLADES STATION MIMEO REPORT 55-10
Belle Glade, Florida
January 20, 1955
H. L. Speer, Assistant County Agent, Presiding
8:30 Assembly and Registration
9:00 Welcome Remarks; midwinter Problems
of South Florida Cattlemen - -
9:15 Better Beef Through Breeding - -
9:30 Evaluating Grass Varieties with
Grazing Animals - - - - -
9:45 Meeting Winter Forage Requirements -
M.U.Mounts, Palm Beach County Agent
R.W.Kidder, Assoc. Animal Husbandman
D. W.Beardsley, Asst. Animal Husbandman
R.J.Allen, Jr., Asst. Agronomist
- Tour of Station Pastures
(See map P. 2) - - - - - H.L.Speer and John H. Causey,Leaders.
1:30 Barbecue, served by - - - - Palm Beach County Cattlemen's Asso-
ciation. Price l.00
John H. Causey, Assistant County Agent, Presiding
1:30 Pasture Fertilization as Related
to Forage Growth and Animal Health A.E.Kretschmer, Jr., Asst. Soils Chemis
1:45 Finishing Steers in Green Lot
(a) Cottonseed meal, Urea and Ex-
tracted Alfalfa heal as Protein
Supplements to a Limited Concentrate
Ration for Fattening Steers on Pasture.
(b) Limited vs Full Feed of Concen-
trates for Fattening Steers on St.
Augustine Pasture and Silage - - -D.i.Beardsley, Asst. Animal Husbandman
2:00 Supplementary Feeding for Breeding
Cows - - - - - - - R.V.Kidder, Assoc. Animal Husbandman
2:15 Pasture and Livestock Insects and
Their Control - - - - - .G.Genung, Asst. Entomologist
2:30 Panel Discussions, Led by- - - .T.Forsee, Jr., Chemist in Charge
Three-minute talks followed by questions and answers ---
Progress with Corn Varieties - - -
Utilizing Green Chopped Forage for Fee
Some Engineering Problems Relative to
Chopped Forage - - - - - -
Making Grass Silage - - - - -
Rotation of Pastures with Vegetables -
Chemical Control of Weeds in Pastures
Diseases of Pasture & Forage Crops- -
Internal Parasite Control - - -
Feeding Calves for Groth - - -
Creep Fedding for Heavy Liarket Calves
Selling with Confidence - - - -
- -- V.E.Green, Jr., Asst. Agronomist
d F.T.Boyd, Assoc. Agronomist, Planta-
tion Field Laboratory
S-- -D.S.Harrison, Asst. Agricultural EngB
- - F. Bayard Toussaint, Herdsaan.x..,
S- - N.C.Hayslip, Assoc. Entomologist,
Indian River Field Laboratory
-- -V.L.Guzman, Asst, Horticulturist
- - R.S.Cox, Assoc, Pathologist
- - C.VT.Kidder, D.V.M.
- - John H. Liddon, Herdsman
- - George H. Wedgworth, Glades cattleman
- - George C. Young, Manager, Livestock
Everglades Station Pastures
Roselawn St. Augustine
Brah.Sire X Brah., Dev. &
New Planting Clover, plus
14 strains St. Augustine
plus 3 strains Bahia
Pangola Grass sEnt.
Steers and Bulls Inter-
Roselawn St. Augustine
Dev.Sire X Dev. & 3/4 Brah.
3B 5B 9B IUB
Rose. 2B 8B 6B
St.Aug Carib Rose.
Soil Roselawn St. Augustine
(Cu) Low Copper
Roselawn St. Augustine
Angus Sire X Angus & Brangus
St. Aug. Common St. Aug.
Low Copper Heifers
Roselawn St. Augustine
Brah.Sire X Brah., Eev. & 3/4 Dev.
Plant Carib grass
3/4 Devon Sire X Bravon
Plant Roselawn St. Augustine
3/4 Brah. Sire X Bravon
Roselawn St. Augustine
Molasses & Urea Supplement
Dev.Sire X Dev. & 3/4 Brah.
1B 7A 2A 5A 8A
Para Rose. Carib Rose.
-6A 3A 9A LA
Rose. Rose. Para
Plant Para Grass
Angus Sire X Angus & Brangus
Temporary Winter Pastures
R)SELAOJN ST. AUGUSTINE
Lot II Lot III Lot IV Lot V Lot I
Steer Feeiing Tr als
BETTER BEEF THROUGH BREEDING
R. 'H. Kidder
Assoc. Animal Husbandman
The spread in value between lower and higher grades of beef under pre-
sent marketing conditions is increasing the interest of Florida cattlemen in im-
proving their cattle. Under the subtropical conditions prevailing in Southern
Florida some of the established bleeding programs suited to other regions have
not been too successful. The long summers with high humidity and intense sun-
light create conditions under which cattle of European origin may not maintain
the standard of production they attain in temperate climates without special at-
tention to shade and feeding supplementary concentrates.
The beef qualities which the market demands and which can be transmit-
ted through breeding include the type, conformation and fleshing ability found in
these cattle of European origin. Besides these characteristics, South Florida
needs an animal that can do well and make good growth rates under the subtropical
sun. This animal should also be able to use pasture grass advantageously on a year
around basis for the normal purposes of growth, reproduction, maintenance and fat-
Crossbred cattle between the Brahman and any of the European beef breeds
combine many of the desirable beef qualities of the latter with a tolerance to
tropical climatic factors. These crossbreds are good foragers, good milkers and
larger than their purebred parents. They have variable dispositions and temper-
aments making some selection necessary on the basis of gentleness.
Crossbreeding between the Brahman and Devon breeds has been in progress
at the Everglades Station for nearly 10 years. fork with the Angus crossbreds
started later. Progress was slow at first because the foundation animals were
few and immature. During the last few years it has become evident that this com-
bination of Brahman with Devon has a better beef conformation and about 20% im-
provement in size over either purebred parent. No tendency toward uniformity of
type or color has been evident in the second generation crossbred cattle either
those 3/4 Devon or those 3/4 Brahman.
The breeding program was continued in a manner to develop third genera-
tion animals which were 3/8 Brahman and 5/8 Devon. These were obtained by four
combinations, as follows:
1. 3/4 Brahman cows mated to purebred Devon sires.
2. Devon cows mated to 3/4 Brahman sires,
3. First cross cows mated to 3/4 Devon sires.
4. 3/4 Devon cows mated to first cross sires.
Calves from these matings predominate in the present (1954-55) calf crop.
The animals of this third generation have shown more tendency toward solid colors,
a few exceptionally good individuals, along with as much if not more variation in
conformation than in the first and second generations.
Two conclusions are evident. First, the breeding procedures necessary
to obtain animals carrying 3/8 Brahman and 5/8 Devon are too complicated to become
a recommendable procedure to the Florida cattleman. Second, the variability in
conformation, color and temperament of these third generation brossbreds is suffi-
cient to make such a procedure unwarranted. A more practical approach to the situ-
ation is indicated. Three programs are bing inaugurated in the current breeding
season to help find answers to some of the questions involved.
Program 1. Since this crossbred between the Brahman and Devon is so far
superior in South Florida to either parent, a continued study is warranted. These
will be called "Bravon" and will consist of selected first cross half-breed cows
along with third generation animals that are 3/8 Brahman and 5/8 Devon. These will
be mated to selected crossbred sires from within the group.
Program 2. This plan, referred to as "rotational breeding", consists
of breeding second generation crossbreds to purebred sires. One group of cows
which are 3/4 Brahman will be bred to Devon sires. The other group of cows which
are 3/4 Devon wi' be bred to Brahman sires. Replacements in each group will come
from the other. This program tends to produce cattle essentially 2/3 the blood of
the parent sire. It makes use of purebred breeding stock of the two parent breeds
and can be readily followed on most ranches if it shows itself to be a superior
method of producing high quality cattle.
Program 3. The Brahman-Angus crossbred cattle in the Station herd will
be grouped with the purebred Angus cows and will be bred to selected Angus sires
continuously. In this group will be Angus, 1/2 Angus and 1/4 Angus cows bred to
the same Angus sires. From this should come some indications as to how much or
how little Brahman is best for South Florida. Also, selections for local adapta-
bility within the breed may produce some improvement in performance.
Purebred Brahman, Devon, and Angus herds will be maintained as the three
breeding programs are being studied and, to complete the comparison, a few first
cross calves will be produced each year.
Selection of breeding stock, especially in the crossbred groups, will be
made on the basis of size, growth rates, conformation,temperament, fleshing quali-
ties and uniformity.
In the 1953-54 calf crop there were very little differences in birth
weights of calves between breeds.. However, as shown in Table 1, at 6 months the
Brahmans averaged 348 pounds, the Devons 374 pounds, the first cross Brahman-Devons
414 pounds and the third cross 3/8 Brahman-5/8 Devon 409 pounds. This indicates a
definite weight advantage for the crossbred calves.
Table 1. Comparison of Purebred with Crossbred calves in birth weight, 6 months
weight market grade and type score.
Breed Number of Birth 6 month Market Type **
Animals Height* H eight* Grade* Score
Brahman 3 62 348 6.7 9.0
Devon 9 59 374 9.0 10.4
Brahman-Devon 10 58 h41 8.6 9.4
3/8 Brahman-5/8 Devon 24 61 409 7.7 8.7
Weights are adjusted to male sex.
i* Numerical rating is based on scale of 3 digits for each grade with 6,7,8, in
Commercial and 9, 10, 11 in "good" grade.
EVALUATING GRASS VARIETIES WITH GRAZING ANIMALS
D. W. Bearsley, Asst. Animal Husbandman and
R. J. Allen, Jr., Asst. Agronomist
About five years ago a series of nine pairs of two-acre pastures was es-
tablished to obtain further information on the beef producing potential of the
grasses which were found to be adapted to this area. The series included common
St. Augustine grass (Stenotaphrum secundatum (Walt.) Kuntze), Roselawn St. Augus-
tine (a more vigorous, upright growing species), Carib grass (Eriochloa polystchaya
H.B.K.), Pangola grass (Digitaria decumbens Stent.) Para grass (Panicum barbinode
Trinius) and common Bermuda (Cynodon dactylon Pers.5, Grazing for record was begun
July 1, 1951 and, with certain exceptions, has been practically continuous since
One pair of Roselawn St. Augustine pastures is grazed continuously, while
the other pairs are grazed alternately at 14-day intervals. Yearling heifers and
steers weighing between 00 and 700 pounds are used. The weight gains on the pas-
tures are determined by individual animal weights made every 14 days. The number
of animals grazing the pastures during ary given period is varied according to the
anticipated growth of the grass.
The results of the grazing trial for the most recently completed year
are shown in Table 2, The gains obtained during this year are higher in most cases
than the three-year averages shown in Table 3. A relatively mild winter with only
two scattered frosts may have been the reason for this increase.
The Roselawn St. Augustine has consistently proved to be the most pro-
ductive Dasture grass in terms of beef gains. Para, Carib and Pangola grasses
follow in that order, with common St. Augustine and common Bermuda at the bottom
of the list. Probably the greatest advantage of the Roselawn St. Augustine over
the other grasses is its relative cold resistance. About one yearling animal per
acre can be safely carried through the winter months provided the grass is not over-
grazed during the fall. Except during mild winters, less than one animal per two
acres can be maintained on the other grasses. During the spring and summer months
as many as five head per acre may sometimes be carried for several weeks on all
these grasses except common Bermuda and common St. Augustine.
The grazing of Pangola and Roselawn St. Augustine alternately has been
discontinued as impractical. The carrying capacity of the Roselawn St. Augustine
is enough greater than Pangola during the winter months to make it difficult to
adjust the number of grazing animals according to the available pasture.
Chemical analysis of growing tips and leaves of forage samples taken at
bi-weekly intervals during 195 from the grazing trial pastures have shown a range
of about 12 to 18 percent crude protein in the dry matter for Roselawn St. Augustine
grass and 17 to 25 percent for Para and Carib. The percentage composition of the
growing tips when compared on a dry matter basis does not appear to change appreci-
ably with the seasons. However, the total amount of forage available varies tre-
mendously from late fall and winter to spring and summer.
The common Bermuda and common St. Augustine pastures have been dropped
from the grazing trial in favor of more emphasis on the other grasses. The Pangola
Table 2. Summary of Grazing Trial Results from May 25, 1953 to May 26, 1954.
Avg. Weight Avg. Gain per
Animals 1bs Grazing day 1bs.
py gln'- ,M I .b Grzic dv ls Ace b
Avg. Gain per
Anirnmls per Acrs.
1 (A&B) Alternate
2 (A&B) Alternate
3 (A&B)l/ Alternate
4 (A&B)2/ Alternate
6 (A&B)2/ Alternate
7 (A&B) Alternate
8 (A&B) Continuous
9 (A&B) Alternate
Grazed during period May 25, 1953 -
Grazed during period May 25, 1953 -
Grazed as a pair May 25, 1953 -
Grazed continuously March 2,1954 -
T e Grazin
. _ T -
Table 3. Results from grazing trial pastures averaged for 3-year period, July 1, 1951 to May 26, 1954.
Avg. Wt. of
Avg. Gain per
Animals per A.
Yield per A. lbs.
1 (A&B) Alternate
2 (A&B) Alternate
3 (A&B)/ Alternate
4 (A&B)/ Alternate
6 (A&B)_ Alternate
7 (A&B) Alternate
8 (A&B) Continuous
9 (A&B) Alternate
Weighted average based on record from July 1, 1951 to
Two years' record: July 1, 1951 to May 25, 1953.
TWo years' record: July 1, 1951 to May 25, 1953.
Weighted average based on record from July 1, 1951 to
Calculated on basis of TDN estimated in grass and TDN
June 30, 1952 and May 25, 1953 to March 16, 1954.
March 2, 1954.
estimated for weight maintenance and gain.
pastures have been plowed out because of excessive infiltration of common Bermuda,
probably due to a combination of aphid damage and overgrazing during the winter
months. Pangola will be replanted and the study continued.
MEETING WINTER FORAGE REQUIREMENTS
R. J. Allen, Jr., Asst. Agronomist
To carry a maximum number of animals on a minimum pasture acreage requires
that each acre produce as much forage as possible and that none of this forage be
According to grazing trials the carrying capacity of the semi-tropical
pasture grasses used in the South Florida area varies from four to five average
size animals per acre during June, July and August, to one or even none during
December, January and February. It is obviously impractical to vary the number
of animals to match this variation in pasture forage production. It is therefore
necessary that a pasture management, or perhaps more correctly, a forage manage-
ment program be devised which will compensate for this yield fluctuation and con-
form to the above opening statement.. .
Since spring and summer pasture growth is more than ample, emphasis in
the forage management program must be placed on meeting late fall and winter for-
age requirements. Several ways of at least partially doing this are as follows:
1. Delayed grazing or holding ungrazed pasture until early winter.
2. Planting winter annual crops for temporary supplemental pasture
or chopped green feed.
3. Preserving excess summer pasture growth as silage.
4. Interplanting winter annual crops into established pasture sod.
Delayed Grazing. This practice can be used to supply some forage in late
fall or early winter but can not be depended upon throughout the winter, or for any
long period of time. It is also quite unreliable with frost susceptible grasses
which may be lost any time after early December, and also with Pangola which may
be lost to aphids any time after early November unless sprayed. When allowed to
grow for too long Para, Carib and Pangola grasses become quite tall, stemny and
over-mature with consequent wasting of forage and decrease of quality due to loss
of lower leaves, increase in proportion of stems, and seedhead formation. Roselawn
St. Augustine is the only grass suggested for delayed grazing since it is reasonably
resistant to frost, insects, and diseases, does not grow too tall, and produced few
if any mature seed heads.
Temporary Supplemental Winter Pasture. This practice requires the various
operations of land preparation in addition to seeding, and land so used during the
winter is quite apt to lay idle during the summer. Most ranches have all available
pasture land planted to permanent pasture and may not have either land or equipment
available for this practice. However, where plantings of temporary winter annuals
are made, good yields of excellent forage are generally obtained at least by the
end of January, and may be much earlier if weather conditions have permitted plant-
ing in early October. Ryegrass and oats are generally used and the Chapel Hill stra:
Rescue grass is suggested. Legumes which have shown promise in recent Station
trials are white clover, red clover, hairy Peruvian alfalfa, and Hubam. These tem-
porary pastures are generally grazed, but maximum use of high yielding forage is
obtained by harvesting and feeding as chopped green feed,
Silage. Preliminary experiments in the Station pastures over the last
two years have shown that good quality grass silage can be made from excess summer
production of our principal pasture grasses, that is, St. Augustine, Para, Carib
and Pangola. Mr. Toussaint, who supervised the field operations, will discuss later
the filling of the bunker type field silos set up this year. The practice of making
silage requires the greatest outlay for specialized equipment, but when properly
done gives the greatest assurance of having a supply of good winter forage when it
is needed. It obviously has none of the disadvantages of delayed grazing, nor is
it necessary to wait for its availability until well into the winter season as with
winter annual grazing crops. Its principal disadvantage is labor cost, but this
can be materially reduced by using self-feeding silos in the pastures.
In any discussion on silage the question usually arises, '"~hy not make
corn silage?" The answer is that while spending time and money growing the corn,
excess grass which with molasses added will make just as good silage, can be had
for the harvesting.
The making of hay is not recommended as a general practice since the
South Florida climate is not suitable for hay making without expensive hay drying
Interplanting into Established Sod. This practice is a very recent devel-
opment in the field of pasture research, the original work being done at Mississippi
State College in 1949. It requires special equipment in the form of a seed drill
able to cut furrows into pasture sod without any great disturbance or damage to the
sod. At least three machines are now on the market with which to do this,
Obvious advantages of this practice are that it eliminates land prepara-
tion and utilizes present pasture acreage while the permanent grasses are relativre-
ly dormant. Observations over the past three years indicate that it is a much more
dependable method of seeding than is broadcasting.
Much research work is necessary to determine the compatability of various
winter annual grazing crops with the several permanent pasture grasses; the rates,
depths, and time for seeding; the rates and types of fertilizers; and the proper
management of the pastures both prior to and after seeding. Tentative recommenda-
tions are to mow or graze pasture grasses relatively close before interplanting;
use about 200 pounds of 0-12-12 or similar ratio fertilizer on muck or about 300
pounds of 8-8-8 on sandy soils, with minor elements if considered necessary; plant
the same species as recommended for temporary pasture with the possible addition
of hairy vetch; and seed at standard depths. Thoroughly inoculate all legume seed.
Suggestions for Forage Management Program. During the spring and summer
months, concentrate cattle so that a minimum number of acres are grazed to full ca-
pacity but without over grazing. Harvest grass from ungrazed pastures at any time
when both yield and quality are high, and ensile in self-feeding silos in the pas-
Graze Pangola, Para, or Carib grasses closely or harvest in late summer
or early fall. Interplant into these pastures as soon as possible after harvesting
- 10 -
and when convenient in the grazed fields. Distribute cattle over the entire acre-
age in fall and open the silos so that grazing pressure will be light enough to
allow establishment of the interplanted crops. Pasture rotation may be advisable
at this stage. As the silage supply becomes diminished during the winter, grazing
may be increased on the interplanted crops.
With Roselawn St. Augustine grass delay grazing on some pastures and graze
or harvest others closely so that interplanting may be done on them during October,
Move cattle to delayed grazing pastures as the closely grazed pastures are planted.
Hold silage stacks until they are needed to prevent overgrazing.
PASTURE FERTILIZATION AS RELATED TO FORAGE
GROaWIH AND HEALTH
Albert E. Kretschmer, Jr., Asst. Soils Chemist
For a more complete review of the subject, it is suggested that the
reader obtain a copy of Everglades Station Miimeo Report 55-9.
The common saying that "muck soils must be fertilized heavily to produce
healthy animals" should be changed to "Muck soils must be fertilized properly".
It is uneconomical to apply fertilizer materials that fail to change either the
quantity or quality of grass or improve the animals' health. Likewise, failing to
increase through fertilization the content of a particular element in a forage he
meet the animal! requirements,even though the forage's requirement has been mnt,
is poor economy if the animals3 needs cannot be met satisfactorily through the iue
of a supplementary mineral mix.
Soil Testing-Organic Soils
Until experiments now being conducted at the Station are complete, the
following two steps should be followed for those interested in obtaining fertilizer
recommendations based on soil samples taken from pastures. These steps also are
applicable to sandy soil samples. (1) Take 10 individual soil samples with a soil
tube in any similarly treated pasture area and mix thoroughly before submitting
the composite sample for analysis. All obvious manure and urine spots should be
avoided. (2) Submit with the soil sample a summary of the fertilization history
for the area, including quantities of trace elements added and forage being grown.
This step is of great importance since recommendations for fertilization often de-
pend on the previous history, particularly with respect to the trace elements.
Fertilizer recommendations are presently made on the assumption that grasses grow-
ing on organic soils containing as much as 4 pounds of water soluble phosphorus and
80 pounds of 0.5 N acetic acid soluble potassium will not respond to additional
fertilization with these elements.
Nutrient Requirements of Pastures-Organic Soils
The chart included at the end of this discussion lists the elements known
to be essential for plant and animal well-being. They are placed into three classes
and the more important ones will be discussed.
- 11 -
Nitrogen (N) There is no doubt that N applications to Everglades organic soils,
under certain environmental conditions, will benefit pasture growth. Information
to this effect was published several years ago. Response to N might be expected
when the following condition or conditions exist: (1) compact surface soil, (2)
high water table, (3) low temperature and, (4) thick sod coverage. An over-all
light green to greenish yellow color of a field of St. Augustine grass or the ap-
pearance of a reddish discoloration on the older leaf blades indicates the need
Nitrogen toxicity or "nitrate poisoning" of animals is of some concern
to cattlemen. Rye grass and oats are the two offenders found in this area, both
absorbing about equal quantities of nitrates particularly during early growth stages.
Permanent grasses and legumes do not accumulate nitrates sufficient for toxicity.
Some of the factors favoring nitrate accumulation are: (1) an oversupply of nitro-
gen in the soil, (2) well aerated soil in the root zone, (3) sufficient moisture
supply, (4) low light intensities, (5) insufficient carbohydrates in the plants,
and (6) temperatures low enough to retard plant growth.
The symptoms exhibited by affected animals usually are quite uniform in
character and are markedly increased in severity if the animals are disturbed or
forced to move about. Some of them are: (1) a rapid acceleration of the pulse,
(2) general weakness, (3) staggering gait, (4) apparent blindness in some instances,
and (5) cyanosis or blue coloration of the tongue and eyes. If the color of a drop
of blood taken from an affected animal's ear is chocolate brown, excess nitrates
are responsible; a cherry red color indicates prussic acid poisoning. Animals may
be cured from either type of poisoning if treated in time.
Results of tests and observations carried on at the Everglades Station in-
dicate that the use of quicktests are of little value in predicting toxic forages.
Animal individuality is the main reason for this. An animal that is in a weakened
condition as a result of insufficient feed, not only is more susceptible to nitrate
toxicity but also will tend to gorge itself when first turned into a lush rye grass
or oats pasture, thereby ingesting more nitrates than a well fed animal.
Phosphorus (P) and Potassium (K) Additions of either or both may result in forage
growth response. There is little P or K lost through leaching in these soils. Some-
times fertilization with K may be necessary for maximum grass growth even though the
animal's needs have been met. On the other hand there may be no grass response to
additions of P necessary for animal health. The average P contents of 169 forage
samples taken in the area were 0.30%, adequately above to 0.13% P level necessary
for normal cattle nutrition.
Visual symptoms of P deficiency of grasses or legumes have not been ob-
served on commercial plantings of grasses in this area but symptoms attributed to
K deficiency of St. Augustine grass have been observed in numerous pastures. They
may be described as small, round, to rather large elongate solid brown areas appear-
ing first on the older leaf blades. The average K contents of 142 survey samples
Until further information is available an initial 500-pound per acre appli-
cation of 0-8-24 (40 1bs. P20q and 120 Ibs, K20) is recommended to be disked into
virgin soil. Yearly applications of 300 pounds should be maintained for at least
two years or until soil tests indicate otherwise. Old vegetable land or heavily fer-
tilized old pasture land may need no further phosphate applications. Muriate of pot-
ash (plus trace elements if necessary) may be applied to meet the requirements for K,
- 12 -
Copper (Cu) and Molybdenum (Mo) At least 50 pounds of copper sulfate per acre
should be disked into virgin peat soil. Copper oxide on an equivalent Cu basis
(25 lbs. of 50 copper oxide) is just as effective as the sulfate form and at the
present time is slightly less expensive. It is doubtful that further Cu additions
would be beneficial to forage growth at least for several years. However, the
animals may benefit from such applications. At this time it is recommended that
15 to 20 pounds of copper sulfate or 8 to 10 pounds of copper oxide be applied annu-
ally for at least two years following the initial application. It is doubtful that
Cu fertilization of old, heavily fertilized vegetable land (turned into pasture) is
of any benefit to the grass or cattle, since it probably would not increase the Cu
contents of the forage. Spraying or dusting with about 1$ pounds of copper sulfate
or 8 pounds of copper oxide would effectively increase the Cu contents,
Forages containing 3 ppm Ilo should contain about 10 ppm Cu to maintain
healthy growth of coms. A survey of forage samples in the area showed average Cu
and Mo contents of 7.4 and 5.5 ppm, respectively, for samples taken in the fall,
and 10.9 and 2.9 ppm, respectively, for th- spring samples. These results indicate
that animals not obtaining Cu through the mineral supplement may become deficient
in Cu during' the winter months rather than in the spring and sumner months.
manganese C(n), Zinc (Zn), and Boron (B) At the present time the initial fertili-
zatica proramr iould incluca sufficient quantities of manganese sulfate, zinc sul-
ifae, and .orax to supply a'cout 25, 10 and 10 pounds per acre, respectively. For
two or thr0e years thereafter, annual applications of about 15 pounds manganese :ul-
fate and 5 pounds each of zinc sulfate and borax per acre should be made. Pastures
having been previously fertilized with large quantities of these elements probably
would not respond to further additions.
Crbalt (Co) Cobalt is not known to be essential for plants. Its essentiality to
I-minants is well knomn. Of 63 grass and legume survey samples collected through-
out the area, 17 contained 0.04 ppm or less while only 17 contained more than 00?
p-pm Co. Values ranged from 0.01 ppm to 0.26 ppm Co, the average being 0.06 ppm.
Cobalt contents of forages lsas than 0.07 ppm may not supply sufficient Co for maxi-
mum cattle growth while 0.10 ppm is adequate. More than 7M5 of the survey samples.
therefore, may be placed in the possibly deficient class.
Applications of 6 ounces of 21% cobalt sulfate (costs about "1.00 per
pound) to the soil in a mixed fertilizer was not very effective in increasing the
Cr contents of forages. On the other hand, Co applied to pastures at the same rate
by plane effectively increased Co contents of the forage. If Co is to be applied
tc pastures on the everglades organic soils it is recommended that about 6 ounces
of 21% cobalt sulfate be flown on rather than applied in a mixed fertilizer. The
cost of flying this amount on (including the cost of the Co) would be about $1.25
Nutrient Requirements of Pastures-Sandy Soils
Three innate characteristics of the majority of virgin sandy soils in
South Florida that should be kept in mind ere: (1) extremely low N and organic mat+'
contents, (2) inability to prevent leaching, and (3) low pH resulting in a need for
lime. Fertilization and liming of these soils for grass or clover growth will be
- 13 -
Lime Virgin soils having a pH of 4.5 to 5.0 and having little or no scrub palmetto
coverage previous to clearing, should be limed with dolomite or calcic limestone at
a rate of 1 ton per acre. If palmetto coverage is medium to thick, 2 tons per acre
is recommended. Some dolomite is recommended because it supplies magnesium which
is usually deficient on these acid soils. The materials should be disked into the
Grass Fertilization On virgin soils at planting time, 1000 pounds of rock phosphate
should be disked into the soil. Five hundred pounds per acre of 6-6-6 including
sufficient trace elements to supply 15 pounds of copper sulfate or 8 pounds of copper
oxide, 15 pounds manganese sulfate, 15 pounds ferrous sulfate, and 10 pounds each
of zinc sulfate and borax per acre also should be disked in. Probably no more trace
elements need be added for about five years. For maintenance, a minimum of 50 pounds
per acre each of nitrogen (N) and potash (K20) should be applied annually in the fall
after the rainy season. A similar application in early spring will result in much
larger yields. Have soil analyzed at the end of 4 or 5 years to determine the needs
for further phosphate applications.
White Clover Fertilization. On virgin land apply rock phosphate and trace elements
as for grass. In addition, disk into soil about 200 300 pounds per acre of 0-8-24
at time of seeding and 200 pounds per acre of muriate of potash in the early spring.
For maintenance, apply 150 pounds per acre muriate of potash in fall after the rainy
season and when reseeding commences. Five to 10 pounds per acre of borax should be
included. An additional 150 pounds per acre of muriate of potash should be applied
in the early spring. Sulfate of potash, gypsum, or sulfur should be mixed with the
muriate of potash to supply about 30 to 40 pounds sulfur per acre every other year.
If nitrogen is being used in the summer, the use of ammonium sulfate will preclude
the need of additional sulfur.
IINERAL ELEMENTS "
FORAGES E ---- -- ... ESSENTIAL TO "- ----- CATTLE
Boron (1)(3) Nitrogen* -- Cobalt (2)
Vanadium Phosphorus (1) (2) Iodine
Potassium (1) (3)
Copper (1) (2)
Manganese (1) (3)
Zinc (1) (3)
(1) Forages growing on Everglades organic soils may respond to additions of these
(2) Animals grazing forages growing on Everglades organic soils may respond to
additions of these elements even though the forages may not respond.
(3) Animals grazing forages growing on Everglades organic soils most likely will
not respond to additions of these elements even though the forages may respond.
*Nitrogen is considered a mineral element in this text. The problem of nitrogen
nutrition of forages and cattle is complicated by management practices, climatic
conditions, soil conditions, etc., and will be discussed elsewhere.
- 1 -
COTTONSEED MEAL, UREA, AND EXTRACTED ALFALFA MEAL AS
PROTEIN SUPPLElENTS TO A LEIIT"D CONCENTRATE RATION
FOR FATTENING STEERS ON PASTURE E/
D. W. Beardsley, Asst. Animal Husbandman and
R. W. Kidder, Assoc, Animal Husbandman
The first of a series of four feeding trials was begun in the spring of
1951 to determine the value of supplementary protein for steers being fattened on
limited concentrates and pasture. T'o trials were run during the spring, February
to June, and two during the fall and early winter, October to January, to observe
possible differences in the need for extra protein with respect to possible seasonal
variations in quality and growth of the grass.
Each trial consisted of five uniform lots of two-year-old, mostly grade
Brahman steers with ten animals per lot. Each lot had access to four acres of Rose-
lawn St. Augustine grass. The supplements given and the average results for the
four trials are shown in Table U.
Table 4. Average results of four steer feeding trials comparing value of various
protein supplements average duration of trials, 122 days.
Lot No. I* II III IV V
Initial weight, Ibs. 659 649 644 647 634
Final weight, lbs. 724 819 811 817 798
Total gain, lbs. 65 170 168 171 164
Avg. daily gain, Ibs, 0.54 1.40 1.37 1.40 1.35
Avg, daily ration/steer, Ibs.
Ground snapped corn --- 2.0 1.5 1.5 1.5
Citrus pulp -- 2.0 1.5 1.5 1.5
Blackstrap molasses -- 2.0 2.0 2.0 2.0
41% Cottonseed meal -- 1.0 -- --
Urea-corn inix (15% --- --- --
urea + 85% gr.sn.corn)
Extracted alfalfa meal -- -- -2.3*
Avg. Carcass grade Util. Low comic. Low comn. Low comm. High util.
Average of last three trials only.
-* This amount calculated to give approximately same amount of crude protein as
in one pound of 41% cottonseed meal.
There was no check lot receiving grass alone during the first trial. Lot
I during this trial received the same ration as Lot III except that peanut meal was
substituted for cottonseed meal with equal results. A definite shortage of grass
developed during the trial held in the fall of 1953 and about 17 pounds per steer
of fresh chopped sugarcane was fed to all lots for the last 62 days of the feeding
period. The peanut meal lot in the first trial and the sugarcane fed during the
last trial are not included in the averages.
/ Blackstrap molasses, urea (Two-Sixty-Two), and extracted leaf meal furnished by
U. S. Sugar Corp., E. I. duPont de Nemours & Co,, and American Chlorophyll Co.,
The average daily gain of all lots receiving supplementary feed was more
than 3/4 pound greater than the steers on grass alone. There appear to be no dif-
ferences between the various supplemented lots regardless of whether or not extra
crude protein was supplied.
Table 5. Average daily gain in pounds for two trials held during fall and winter
and two trials held during spring.
Lot No. I II III IV V
Fall & Winter 0.26 0.93 0.92 1.02 0.95
Spring 1.12" 1.86 1.82 1.77 1.75
Average for second spring trial only.
In Table 5 it can be seen that the gains made by all lots of steers were
greater in the spring trials than the ones conducted during the fall. However,
even when considering the fall trials separately from the spring trials, no advan-
tages were observed to providing supplementary crude protein above that in the basic
carbohydrate supplement. It would appear that the differences found between the
fall and spring trials are due to the total amount of nutrients available to the
steers in the fall and winter, rather than a shortage of protein alone. Some of
the factors concerned appear to be the quantity and palatability of the grass avail-
able, and the digestibility of the nutrients in this forage.
LIMITED VS FULL FEED OF CONCENTRATES FOR FATTENING
STEERS ON ST. AUGUSTINE PASTURE AND SILAGE
D. W. Beardsley, Asst. Animal Husbandman,
and F. B. Toussaint, Herdsman
A new series of steer feeding trials was begun in March, 1954, to try to
answer some of the questions arising from the use of pastures and silages for the
major portion of a fattening ration and to determine what level of concentrate feed-
ing might produce maximum returns. Details of the first 120-day trial are given in
Everglades Station IIimeo Report 55-7. The second trial in this series began Novem-
ber 29, 1954 and is still in progress.
In the first trial, five lots of steers were fed different levels of con-
centrates while grazing Roselawn St. Augustine pasture. A sixth lot received St.
Augustine grass silage plus limited concentrates in the dry lot. Steers on pasture
receiving six pounds per day of a mixture of equal parts of ground snapped corn,
Citrus pulp and blackstrap molasses were given no extra protein supplement. When
the steers were receiving full feed on pasture, urea-fortified (4% urea) blackstrap
molasses replaced the straight mill-run molasses in this mixture. The limited a-
mount of concentrates given the steers fed silage was supplemented with cottonseed
meal and urea to balance the ration. The silage was made from rather mature grass
and was of only fair quality when fed out. Chemical analysis of the silage showed
6 to 8 percent crude protein in the dry matter.
- 16 -
The rate of gain for the steers fed on pasture was correlated with the
amount of concentrate fed. The average daily gains ranged from 1.45 pounds for
steers on grass alone to 2.11 pounds for steers receiving full feed for the 120-day
period. The silage fed steers given limited concentrates gained no better than
those on grass alone.
All lots averaged about medium grade as feeders. The lot receiving full
feed attained an average high commercial on carcass grade, including three steers
graded as good. The lots on limited feed on pasture made average commercial, while
the lot on grass alone and the one on silage made utility.
Calculations based on feeder steer and feed prices during the test and
the prices received for the carcasses, showed a greater net profit for the lot fed
6 pounds of concentrates per steer daily throughout the feeding period. This net
profit amounted to $37.00 per steer. The full-fed lot returned $25.00 per steer,
about the same profit as the lot on grass alone. The silage-fed lot showed a net
The three steers which attained the good slaughter grade in the lot re-
ceiving full feed showed a net return of '64.00 per steer, or more than two and
one-half times the average of the lot as a whole. This suggests that higher quality
feeder steers capable of attaining the good slaughter grade on full feed might be
potentially more profitable than lower quality steers on limited or no-suipplemented
feed on pasture.
The relatively good gains made by all lots on pasture indicated that the
grass supplied adequate protein to balance six pounds of the carbohydrate mixture
and that the urea supplied as urea-fortified (4% urea) blackstrap molasses provided
sufficient additional crude protein to balance up to 19.5 pounds of this concen-
The second trial now under way includes, in addition to the five lots on
pasture and one fed limited concentrates in the dry lot, a seventh lot which is re-
ceiving full feed of concentrates plus silage in the dry lot. Observations thus
far emphasize the differences in grass consumption among the various levels of con-
centrates being fed. The steers on grass alone appear to be short of grass while
those on full feed have an ample supply.
SUPPLEMENTARY FEEDING FOR BREEDING COWS
R. W. Kidder, Assoc. Animal Husbandman,
and D. WT. Beardsley, Asst. Animal Husbandman
Florida cattlemen are aware of the important relationship between quality
cattle and present market values. Both breeding and feeding are necessary factors
in this relationship. The animal must have certain inherited qualities if he is to
produce good beef. He must also have access to a good ration and be in good health
if he attains the highest potential of his inheritance.
Competition for concentrate feed from poultry, swine and dairy industries
is making it more and more necessary for the beef producer to rely on forage and
pasture for a large portion of the gains of his cattle. South Florida with its usual
12 months of grazing presents an excellent opportunity to meet this feed competition*
- 17 -
Some byproduct feeds are better adapted to beef cattle than to the other
meat and livestock industries. Florida has an abundance of two such feeds in citrus
pulp and in molasses, both citrus and blackstrap. It is very important that these
feeds be studied to find out how to use them most advantageously along with pasture.
Much interest has been shown in the use of non-protein nitrogen as an
addition to molasses for breeding cows on pasture. A first year experiment on this
subject was conducted during the 1953-54 season. Urea-fortified (4%) molasses was
compared to unfortified heavy mill-run blackstrap molasses as a pasture supplement
for breeding cows and their calves, fed free choice. The object was to determine
whether or not the extra crude protein supplied as urea would be of value during
the winter pasture season, when the nitrogen content of the grass is thought to be
Two herds of Devon cows of comparable breeding plus enough 3/4 Brahman
3/4 Devon heifers to equalize the stocking rate were used. Each herd included a
breeding age bull plus calves born to these cows after October, 1953. Roselawn
St. Augustine grass pastures stocked at equivalent rates furnished the grazing.
Molasses was supplied free choice in open concrete troughs from January 27, 1954
to April 15, 1954, a period of 79 days. One group received mill-run blackstrap
while the other received molasses fortified with 4 percent of urea. The cows and
calves were weighed individually at the beginning and the end of the test.
The molasses consumption in both groups, based on cows and bulls only,
was about twice that anticipated. In an effort to determine how much molasses
the calves were eating, creeps were built around the troughs at the end of the
trial and molasses added to each. The calves consumed so little that rains caused
the molasses to spoil and it was discarded.
The cows fed 4 percent urea fortified molasses consumed a daily average
of 10.05 pounds which amounted to 4/10 pound of urea per cow. At this level ox
feeding no indications of ill effects due to urea were observed at any time during
the feeding trial.
Table 6. Molasses Supplementation for Cows and Calves on Pasture, January 27
to April 15, 1954 79 days.
Urea fortified Mill-run
Avg. daily gain, cows only,lbs. .76 .88
Avg. daily gain per cow & calf, Ibs. 1.27 1.19
Molasses consumed per cow per day, lbs. 10,05 9.71
SResults of this feeding trial are shown in Table 6. There were 23 cows
on 16 acres in the urea molasses group and 26 cows on 20 acres in the mill-run mo-
lasses group. The slight difference between 1.27 and 1.19 pounds average daily gain
indicates no advantage of one feed over the other. In Table 7, is shown a compari-
son of the molasses fed cows to the other cows in the herd. While those receiving
molasses gained 60 to 70 pounds each, the other cows in the herd lost an average of
- 18 -
35 pounds each. This is an advantage of about 100 pounds per cow. An average con-
sumption of 10 pounds per day for 80 days totals 800 pounds of molasses which in-
creased the average weight of each cow 100 pounds. This amounts to 8 cents per
pound increase with molasses costing $20.00 per ton. This indicates that the feed-
ing of molasses to breeding cows shows promise of being a good procedure while the
cows are nursing calves.
Table 7. Comparison of Gains of General Herd with Molasses Supplemented Herds.
Average weight gain per cow
January 27 to April 15, 1954
General Herd (117 head no molasses) Minus 35 lbs.
Urea Molasses Herd Plus 60 "
Mill-run Molasses Herd Plus 69 "
Since results of one year should not be considered conclusive, it is
planned to continue these trials for 2 or 3 years to verify these results.
PASTURE AND LIVESTOCK INSECTS AND IHEIR CONTROL
W. G. Genung, Asst. Entomologist
For a more complete discussion of pasture insects reference should be
made to Florida Experiment Station circular S-64 and more recently Everglades
Station Mimeo Report 55-8. Only a brief discussion is possible here.
The control of aphids and armyworms on Florida pastures has become an im-
portant phase of pasture management. At times it has appeared necessary to control
leafhoppers and spittle bugs. While practical chemical control of Rhodes grass
scale has not been obtained, the U.S.D.A. Entomologist at this Station, D. D, Questel
has made important strides in biological control by introduction of a small wasp
parasitic upon this scale. A large number of parasite recoveries have indicated
establishment of the wasp near areas of liberation.
Losses in grass yield of pasturage due to insect feeding are often ob-
vious. An additional loss that is equally great in cases of aphid infestation is
that in nutritive value of the grass. A recent study at this Station indicates
losses up to 50% or more of the protein content through feeding of the yellow sugar-
Several phosphatic insecticides are useful in controlling aphids, each
with some special merit. If cattle can be removed from pasture for only two or
three days, one half pint 40% TEPP per 100 gallons per acre can be used. This
material is as toxic as parathion but disappears much more rapidly. Malathion
is reported to have lower mamalian toxicity than parathion and is an excellent
aphicide, as a dust and as a spray from wettable or emulsifiable material. Two and
one-half and five percent dusts have given good control at this Station. Wettable
- 19 -
powders at both 1 and 2 pounds per 100 gallons have been satisfactory. Similarly,
malathion emulsion dosages were halved and gave good control in each case. Para-
thion 1 and 2 percent dusts, and sprays containing 1 or 2 pounds of 15% wettable
powder per 100 gallons are the treatments most generally used. Excellent control
has also been obtained with emulsifiable parathion at 1/2 pint and 1 pint per 100
gallons. Here the lesser amounts of phosphatic insecticides are used the material
should be applied on warm, relatively calm days and sprays should be applied with
power sprayers with sufficient pressure to penetrate well into the growth. Excep-
tionally dense pastures should receive the higher dosages.
Arnyworms and related forms can be best controlled with toxaphene or
chlordane sprays and dusts. DDT is also effective. If aphids are also present
a phosphatic insecticide can be combined with above materials. Toxaphene 10% dust,
chlordane 5% dust and DDT 5% dust at 20 to 35 pounds per acre depending on density
of pasturage, may be used. Spray with 22 pounds 40% toxaphene wettable, 2 pounds
DDT wettable or 22 pounds chlordane 40% wettable per 100 gallons. Treatment on
heavier pastures requires the higher rates of application.
Best leafhopper control is obtained with DDT at 20 to 35 pounds of 5%
dust or 2 pounds 50% wettable per 100 gallons,
Spittle bugs have been successfully controlled with toxaphene 40% wet-
able. Two and one-half pounds per hundred gallons are suggested.
Cattle should be kept off pastures treated with chlorinated insecticides
for at least two weeks, and should not be returned to those treated with phos-
phatics (except TEPP) in less than 7 days.
Livestock insects, particularly biting flies such as hornflies, horse-
flies and mosquitoes often occur in large numbers and are worrysome enough to
cause loss of flesh and reduction in lactation. Mosquito populations during rainy
periods sometimes become so great that weak animals may die from loss of blood or
be smothered by mosquitoes plugging the nasal openings.
Horse fly control is generally not attempted in Florida. U. E. Dove re-
ports protection in South Carolina and Illinois up to two weeks with pyrenone in-
secticides. Mechanical self-applicators have been designed for protection from
Horn fly control can be obtained by spraying animals with DDT at 25
pounds 50% wettable per hundred gallons, 2 to 3 quarts of spray per adult animal.
Toxaphene appears to be superior to DDT when used at the rate of 10 pounds 40%
wettable powder per hundred gallons. Dairy animals should not be sprayed with
DDT, toxaphene or chlordane. Control on these can be obtained with methoxychlor
about 9 pounds per 100 gallons. Pyrenone insecticides are also safe for use on
dairy animals. This material gives best initial kill but has shorter residual
effect on hornflies. New materials now being tested show promise in hornfly,
For mosquitoes, area treatment with fogging machines is best method of
control. Jeep foggers in which the insecticide is gravity fed into the manifold
and fogged out the exhaust are popular. Jeeps can also be equipped with venturi
exhaust generators. A 5% DDT fuel oil solution is most commonly used, although
lindane and BHC formulations are also effective.
- 20 -
PROGRESS WITH CORN VARIETIES
Victor E. Green, Jr., Asst. Agronomist
The FLORIDA GROJlt AND RANCHER magazine for December 1954 carries the com-
plete story of corn improvwnent in the Everglades area. The yield increases over the
period of 1936 to 1954 are dle to the efforts of workers in the fields of Entomology,
Plant Pathology, Chemistry and Soils, Agricultural Engineering, Agronomy and Plant
Breeding. That the last fields of study have been most important is shown by the
fact that the early varieties of the 1930's and 1940ts remain inferior to this date
even with the newest methods of pest control. They will not give a satisfactory
response to fertilizer. Likewise, the newest, improved varieties fail miserably
when not subjected to improved pest control practices.
The highest yields at the Everglades Station in plot studies between 1936
and 1953 are shown below. Yields in years of flood and storm are not shown.
The detailed data for 1954 are shown
Mimeo Report 55-4, which will be supplied upon
in tabular form in Everglades Station
A. Open-pollinated corn
B. Improved open-pollinated corn
C. Hybrid southern corn
D. Mayorbela--Puerto Rico
E. Synthetic variety-Big Joe
F. Better agronomic practices
G. Additional tropical corn
- 21 -
UTILIZING GREEN CHOPPED FORAGE FOR FEED
F. T. Boyd, Assoc. Agronomist
(Plantation Field Laboratory
The production of green chopped forage for feed involves a program of
heavy fertilization, adequate irrigation, and the utilization of high producing,
palatable legumes and grasses which can withstand close cutting. Harvesting
equipment includes field forage choppers and sufficient feed wagons with power to
haul a full feeding of forage to the cattle. Land values, irrigation costs, and
expenditures for seed, fertilizer, labor, and harvesting equipment limit the prac-
tice of using green chopped forage to dairies and feed lots where relatively high
financial returns are expected. This practice has been found advantageous for
dairymen whose grazing areas are located long distances from the buildings and by
dairymen who are confronted with pasture parasite problems. Certain forages have
less losses by soiling than by grazing, especially those losses due to trampling
and contamination with manures.
The extent to which the advantages of utilizing green chopped forage over-
come the added expense of production and harvesting will determine the degree to
which this practice is accepted.
SOME ENGINEERING PROBLEMS RELATIVE TO CHOPPED FORAGE
Dalton S. Harrison, Asst. Agricultural Engineer
Selecting the Equipment
Forage harvesters are constructed with capacity ranges from 12 to 20 tons
per hour and within a price range of 1500 $3200. One of the first items to decide
upon is the amount or capacity per hour one desires to harvest and then what type
drive is desired--either auxiliary engine or PTO operated. Forage operation in the
Glades area demands a ruggedly constructed machine. While PTO harvesters keep
operating costs down, an auxiliary engine operated harvester keeps the knife wheel
spinning at full capacity while the tractor operates at any desired field speed.
The auxiliary engine operated type is recommended for the heavy duty work in the
Adding the Preservative
Many mechanical methods have been devised for adding the two most common-
ly used preservatives in making silage--(l) Sodium Metabisulfite, and (2) molasses.
(1) Adding Sodium Metabisulfite: Agricultural Engineers of the USDA have
successfully added the salt, sodium metabisulfite, through fertilizer hoppers, either
the "star wheel type" or the "revolving pan type". These small hoppers may be driven
from any convenient drive shaft of the harvester since they require little ppwer
(1 h.p.). The hopper is installed so as to deliver into the blower. With the re-
volving pan type hopper, 10 inches in diameter, shaft speeds of 30-120 rpm are satis-
- 22 -
factory, depending on how much is to be added per ton of silage. With a 6 inch
star wheel in a 10 inch hopper a speed of 10-30 rpm is satisfactory.
(2) Adding Molasses: Blackstrap molasses has a viscosity equivalent
to transmission grease (20,000 SSU), therefore it is very improbable that it can
be applied to the silage in a spray form. A pump with approximately 6-inch dis-
charge and 600 psi would be necessary to spray the molasses. Rotary pumps have
been fairly successful in handling molasses. They are positive displacement pumps
and combine the constant discharge characteristics of the centrifugal type with
positive discharge features of the reciprocating type. Some of the most widely
used rotary pumps are: two external spur gears; two spiral grars; two herringbone
gears; external-internal gears; screw, swinging vane, two-lobe or cam type; cam
and piston; rotary piston and universal joint. Most spur gear pumps are designed
for speeds not exceeding 600 rpm.
Pumps are designed for maximum efficiency at a given rpm and should not
be operated in excess of recommended capacities. Molasses pumps should be either
(1) standard fitted--iron casing, iron rotor, steel shaft, iron idler, bronze bear-
ing, iron head; (2) bronze fitted--iron casing, bronze rotor, steel shaft, bronze
idler, bronze bearings, iron head; or (3) all bronze fitted--all bronze except
shaft which is stainless steel.
MAKING GRASS SILAGE
F. Bayard Toussaint, Herdsman
A suggested way to utilize surplus summer forage is to economically pre-
serve it as grass silage for winter feed for all classes of cattle. In the summer
of 1954 the Everglades Station made grass silage in stacks from Roselawn St. Augus-
tine, Bara, Carib and Pangola grasses. The stacks wre opened during the latter
part of December and silage is being self-fed now as a winter supplement for breed-
ing cattle, bulls and steers.
The stacks are of simple construction, consisting of two parallel fences
6 feet high and 12 feet apart. They are 48 feet long and are built near ditch banks
for adequate drainage.
Grass wap staged by mowing or close grazing and was harvested with a
chopper set at 1/4 3/2 inch cutting length. Power-take-off unloader wagons were
used to haul and deposit forage in the stacks. One-half of each stack was treated
with molasses as a preservative. The other half was treated with sodium metabi-
Straight mill-run blackstrap molasses at a rate estimated to be 100 pounds
per ton of green forage was applied as a preservative to all 4 varieties of grasses.
It cost from $1.00 to $1.40 per ton of forage. Molasses was diluted 3:1 with water
for easier handling and was sprayed on each load of forage as it was spread in the
stack. Sodium mdtabisulfite at the rate of 8 10 pounds per ton of forage was
spread on each load as it was put in the stack. This preservative cost from $ .96
to $1.20 per ton of forage.
- 23 -
The following table summarizes some information on the operation:
Para St. Augustine
Condition of grass
Crude Protein, % oven dry
Times packed with tractor after
Estimated % Spoilage
Good grass silage can be put into the
to ;5.00 per ton, or more, depending upon
size of operation, preservatives used and
stack for costs ranging from
the type forage being cut, manage-
The following suggestions will help to make better silage and make self-
1. Stage grass so that it is succulent and has a high protein content.
2. Build strong stacks with good drainage and hard fobting for self-feeding.
3. Chop forage with fine cut, i I inch, unless making long grass silage,
4. Use preservatives, especially if forage is not of high quality.
5. Fill stack as rapidly as possible after starting operation.
6. Pack continuously during filling and several times after, with a heavy
7. Vlen self-feeding, use six inches or more feed daily from face of stack
to prevent spoilage. Allow sufficient room for cattle to feed.
ROTATION OF PASTURES WITH VEGETABLES
Norman C. Hayslip, Assoc. Entomologist
(Indian River Field Laboratory, Ft. Pierce)
The prosperity of Florida growers and ranchers depends upon how well
they can compete with growers and ranchers in other production areas. WTorkers
with the Florida Agricultural Experiment Stations believe that an opportunity is
at hand whereby the rancher and vegetable grower can be of mutual benefit in
adopting a cropping system which would include the rotation of vegetables and
pastures on the more productive sandy soils in South Florida. Such a system might
place both the vegetable producers and cattlemen in a better competitive position
by reducing the production costs of cattle and vegetables,
_ _ _ ~
- 2 -
The continuous production of vegetable crops on the same soil has
created or intensified a number of serious disease, insect, weed and fertility
problems in South Florida. Many vegetable producers migrate to virgin soils to
escape some of these problems. the supply of good virgin soil is rapidly becoming
depleted, and there is urgent need to develop satisfactory methods of vegetable
production on the same fields at reasonable intervals.
Improvements made in pasture production have been rapid, with improved
grasses, fertilization and effective drainage and irrigation. The more intensive
grazing which accompanies improved pastures presents problems of animal diseases
and parasites which are spread from animal to animal. In order to keep a pasture
highly productive it is necessary to periodically re-work the ditches and dykes,
as well as to cultivate ana fertilize the grass. The intrusion of water sedge on
improved pastures is a case in point -rhere renovation may be needed.
Because of the above factors, vegetable and pasture rotation studies
were begun at the Indian River Field Laboratory in the winter of 1951, and expand-
ed in 1953 to include a large-scale cooperative rotation trial in the Devil's
Garden area of Hendry County. This trial is being conducted by the Atlantic Land
and Improvement Company, La Belle; ir. E. B. Hull, tomato grower, La Belle; the
Range Cattle Experiment Station, Ona, as well as the Indian River Field Laboratory,
Ft. Pierce. The research trials at Devil's Garden and at Ft. Pierce will not be
completed for several years. However, the following results and observations indi-
cate that the rotation of vegetables with pastures may have a number of distinct
advantages, and warrants the serious consideration of all who are interested
directly or indirectly in Florida agriculture.
1 Pangola grass makes a good cover crop and is a strong competitor with
many undesirable weeds and grasses when managed properly. From sprigs planted in
the spring, Pangola covers the soil rapidly, hen coverage is complete this grass
develops an upright growth of sufficient depth to crowd out many of the pest weeds
2 Pangola can be controlled by grazing the grass close just before plow-
ing under to a depth of 6 to 8 inches with a mole board plow equipped with a large
rolling colter. Complete coverage of the grass is necessary for killing out
Pangola. On ungrazed plots the grass may be moued ana burned prior to plowing.
3 Pangola may be sprigged in the sides of the tomato beds at the time
the last cultivation is made. In this manner the grass begins to become estab-
lished while the tomato crop is being harvested. After harvest the tomato beds
are leveled, and grass is available for grazing as soon as the stand is reestab-
4 Good crops of tomatoes and sweet corn have been produced on soils
where Pangola was plowed under one to two months before planting.
Some problems involved in a vegetable and pasture cropping system will
not be well understood until a number of such operations come into existence. As
problems appear there is reason to believe that solutions can be developed through
the combined efforts of the cattlemen, vegetable producers, industry and the
Experiment Station. Perhaps the most complicated and difficult part of this study
has to do with the plant disease relationships. Work on this important phase of
the study is being carried on by the Plant Pathologist at Indian River Field
- 25 -
CHELIICAL CONTROL OF .SEDS IN PASTURES
V. L. Guzman, Asst. Horticulturist
Two years of observation have indicated that 2,4-D is more effective than
mowing for the control of weeds, most of which are susceptible to 2,4-D. In
general, one spraying is equal to, or better than, two to four mowings; furthermore,
(1) grazing can be continuous since 2,4-D appears to have no ill effect on live-
stock, and (2) the grass yield is not reduced as by mowing.
In pasture establishment, 2,4-D spraying will kill susceptible weeds, in-
cluding low growing ones which the mower cannot reach. Spraying is also effective
in killing weeds in corners, fence rows, and on ditchbanks where a mower cannot
operate, thus preventing dissemination of weed seeds from these locations. then
legumes are seeded in a pasture for winter grazing, mowing plus rotation of grazing
appears to give better control than chemical weeding. This is due to the fact that
2,l-D and related compounds, when sprayed broadcast over the pastures, may kill some
legumes, or severely reduce their growth. A method is being investigated to avoid
injury to the legumes by burlap sacking the nozzles. The spray is delivered onto
the sack, which in turn brushes the leaves of weeds without touching the low-
growing legumes. Relatively better weed control has been obtained by this method
than by mowing but some injury to legumes was evident.
Only the amine salt of 2,L-D or 2,4,5-T are recommended for weed control
in the Everglades. It is also suggested that spraying should be done at wind
velocities of less than 10 m.p.h. (light breeze) and no closer than I mile from
sensitive crops in order to avoid 2,4-D drift injury. The 2,4-D spray rig should
not be used for other spraying operations on susceptible crops because 2,4-D is
very difficult to remove from the spray system.
Rates of 2,4-D used vary from 1 to l1 pounds per acre (one quart of amine
salt equals one pound). One half pound is enough to kill susceptible weeds such as
sticker weeds and wormseed. One and one-half pounds are necessary to kill horse-
nettle, nightshade, and other more resistant weeds. Of course, better control is
probable if 2,4-D is applied on a warm day when rain is not expected and when the
weeds are s:all and growing rapidly. A pressure of 20 to 25 p.s.i. is ample to
deliver 20-30 gallons of solution per acre in an even spray through a flat spray
DISEASES OF PASTURL AND FORAGE CROPS
R. S. Cox, Assoc. Plant Pathologist
Field corn:- The Helminthosporium leaf blights constitute the most im-
portant disease problem on corn in the Everglades. Fungicides (Nabam or zineb)
are effective against these diseases and are widely used on sweet corn. Cost,
however, largely prohibits their use on field corn. This throws a great burden
on the plant breeder, since our main hope for control lies in the development of
resistant varieties. Dr. Green has discussed this aspect of the work which in-
volves a large breeding and variety testing program in cooperation with U.S.D.A.
and other agencies.
- 26 -
Grasses: Several fungus diseases occur on the pasture grasses. The
most important one noted to date is a leaf blight of Para grass. The blighted
leaves turn brown and die which results in large brown patches (sometimes cover-
ing acres) in a pasture. Preliminary work indicates that this disease is caused
by a species of HeLminthosporium.- No control is known at this time.
INTERNAL PAPRASIT CONTROL
C. V. Kidder, D.V.M.*
Belle Glade, Fla.
Cattle in southern climates are more severely affected by internal pcrz-
sites than are those in regions having cold winters. In addition, large numbers
of cattle are concentrated on Everglades pastures because of their higher arry'-
ing capacity. This also increases the parasite problem.
Four kinds of internal parasites have caused most of the trouble in t,e
Everglades area. These are the three stomach worms Ostertagia, Haemonchus, and
Trichostrongylus axei, and the lung worm, Dictyocaulus, The most effective drug
against these stomach worms is phenothiazine. This drug, known as an anthelmintic,
is used (a) to treat animals in order to remove adult parasites and (b) as a pre-
ventive to keep animals from becoming seriously infected with parasites.
All animals in the herd should be treated to remove adult parasites at
least once a year. Experience has shown that treatment with bolus form of
phenothiazine will control haemonchus but will not get rid of either Ostertagia
or Trichostrongylus axei. A suspension form which will remain in fluid form long
enough to reach the fourth or true stomach is necessary to effectively control
these last two parasites. These are the parasites involved in the serious problem
which has been called "muck sickness". 'Jhenever one animal in a herd develops
this condition, it is time to treat the entire her-.
Phenothiazine can be given to an entire herd by mixing the drug in some
feed. This procedure requires that all of the cattle get the feed and that some
do not get too much. Hence, this program must be used with extreme caution and
under very close supervision and observation,
Vhen using phenothiazine to prevent infection a low level is fed for a
long time or continuously. The daily intake under this program for each animal
should be 1.0 to 1.5 grams. Y.hen used in this form the adult worms are not de-
stroyed in the animal but (1) the number of eggs they produce is reduced and
(2) the ability of these eggs to hatch is to a large extent destroyed.
Phenothiazine treatment does not control adult lung worms. It may
destroy some immature larvae in the digestive tract and lcw- -oel feeding of
phenothiazine may destroy the eggs as they are passed out th.i.ough the digestive
* A practicing Veterinarian in the Everglades area.
- 27 -
FEEDING CALLS FOR GROWTH
John H. Liddon, Herdsman
In Florida, where it is a common practice to market cattle as heavy
calves, it is essential that the most growth possible be obtained from calves
from birth to weaning. If, then, we are to make the most gain possible at the
cheapest cost, we must take two things into consideration, namely, genetics and
Genetics doesn't tell us how much our animals will produce, but rather
sets the limits beyond which the animal cannot progress regardless of his environ-
ment. Therefore we must have a selection program so that we may ever extend these
genetic limits. Briefly, a few of the factors transmitted from parent to off-
spring that will affect the rate of growth are: (1) Mothering ability--How nrch
milk the dam provides for the young, etc. (2) Adaptability--The ability of th.
individual to do well in the locale where it is born. (3) Conformation--
Structure of the animal-beef type. (U) Feed utilization and fleshing ability--
The ability to produce more beef with less feed. (5) Temperament--This will
affect the growth of the animal as individuals with a bad disposition have a
greater tendency to stay away from the feed troughs than the more docile animals.
They tend to be more nervous, which burns up energy.
Management is the sum total of the controllable environmental factors.
The management of calves will vary in as many ways as there are operators. Gener-
ally speaking, however, the management practices will be dictated by the economic
picture. During seasons of high beef prices there will be little culling whereas
during period of low beef prices the reverse will be true.
The calving season will vary from one place to another, depending on
weather conditions and availability of feed. In this area it is considered best
to start the calving season in October and finish in January. By observing calves
dropped at various times during the year it has been found that calves did better
when dropped at this ti.e. Some of the reasons considered responsible for this
are: (1) The weather is cool and the rainy season is over. (2) The incidence of
screw worms is low. (3) There are less external parasites such as flies and
mosquitoes. (4) The calves born in early winter get the benefit of good milk
production during the spring; hence, are well grown when weaned. (5) The grass
at weaning time is in a good nutritious, succulent stage of growth. (6) Calves
born early in the winter will be large enough to utilize much of the surplus grass
in the spring and sum er.
It is thought best to restrict the calving season to three or four months
because it lessens the labor at weaning, allows .aore careful care of the cattle and
helps the operator to cull more thoroughly.
Under certain conditions it has proved profitable to feed nursing calves.
This practice, known as "Creep Feeding", has had its greatest popularity in the
pure bred business. But, as in most things, the economic factors must be consid-
ered before a program such as this is put i:-to effect. The main advantages of
creep feeding are heavier weaning weights and higher grade at weaning Some of
the limiting factors of creep feeding are: (1) Price of cattle of different grades.
(2) Price of feed. (3) The amount of spread between cattle of different grades.
- 28 -
Cases where it might prove advisable to creep feed are: (1) Show cattle.
(2) High grade cattle (usually purebred) sold soon after weaning. (3) When there
is a large spread between cattle of different grades. (4) 'hen the dams of the
calves are low milk producers. (5) When the pastures are short due to cold, drought,
etc. (6) Vlhen corn and other concentrates are cheap in relation to beef.
If, in the operator's opinion, creep feeding will pay, consideration must
be given to the time to start feeding and the ration to use, Animals may be started
as early as three to five weeks of age. Any palatable concentrate may be used in
the creep feeders.
Still another method of increasing the available nutrients to the calf is
by indirect supplementation. In this method, the cow is fed so that she will be
able to produce more milk.
In January of 1954, two breeding groups of cows at the Station were given
molasses free-choice. The average gain of these cows for 79 days showed an advan-
tage of about 100 pounds over the cows on pasture without supplement. The calves
from these cows also showed a decided advantage at weaning as shown in Table. There
is a possibility that part of this difference in weaning weight is due to breeding
of both cows and calves as no attempt was made to separate these animals on this
basis. In general, the plan of indirect supplementation would have its most bene-
ficial effect during periods when the pasture is short and the cows are suffering
from the lack of feed.
Table. Effect of supplementing cows with molasses on weaning weights of calves.
7 month weaning weights
General Herd Herd receiving Average
No supplement molasses Advantage
Male calves 108 lbs. 490 Ibs. 82 lbs.
Female calves 366 Ibs. 421 bs. 55 lbs.
To be successful in this plan it is essential to have a high calving
percentage or else include a rigorous culling plan where dry cows are sent to mar-
ket in the fall. If the calving percentage is low and dry cows are retained, the
nutrients consuraed by the dry cow, for all practical purposes, will be lost. When
this cost is added to the cost of the feed used by cows suckling calves, the cost
per pound of increased gain may be in excess of the receipts from this gain.
A large portion of the nutrient requirements for calves prior to weaning
comes from milk. therefore, the rumen is not well developed and does not have the
capacity to handle roughages sufficient to furnish the nutrients required for the
calf when weaned. If then, we are to keep the calf from losing weight after wean-
ing we must furnish the extra nutrients in the form of concentrate feeds. For
example, our observation is that a 400 pound calf will consume less than 30 pounds
of grass at 7 months of age. Based on average grass analyses, a 400 pound, fast
growing calf must consume 50 pounds of grass to meet the requirements for good
growth. If he is to remain a fast growing calf the nutrients that would ordinarily
be furnished by the other 20 pounds of grass must be furnished in the form of con-
- 29 -
At this Station the calves are weaned at seven months and fed three
pounds each per day of a mixture of 2 parts ground snapped corn, 2 parts citrus
pulp and 1 part cottonseed meal, plus 7 pound of cane molasses while on pasture.
This may or may not meet the needs of the calves, depending on the amount of grass
they consume. This supplement is continued for three months, at which time all
calves having attained a weight of 500 pounds are cut off feed and the others are
given the same ration 30 days longer.
The program is arranged so that some temporary pasture crops are avail-
able for use during periods of permanent pasture shortage. The cattle are also
supplemented with fresh chopped sugarcane. Some supplementary concentrates are
fed to yearling cattle being carried on these pasture substitutes in order to
prevent loss in weight or to keep them growing. Under these conditions, the feed
usually contains 20 or 25 percent of cottonseed meal.
CREEP FEEDING FOR HEAVY hARKLT CALVES
George H. 'edgworth*
Wedgworth Farms have followed the practice of creep feeding calves for
several years. 7'e have found from observation that under our conditions this
practice has proven to be desirable. Therefore, I shall endeavor to relate our
conclusions on some of the important points based upon our observations and ex-
perience. I want to emphasize that under other conditions of management this
practice might not be desirable.
Some of the points to be considered when creep feeding calves are:
(1) size of pasture, (2) condition of the brood cow, (3) type of calf, (h) length
of feeding period, (5) type of feed, (6) type of marketing program, (7) type of
breeding program, (8) feed consumption, and (9) feeder placement.
(1) Size of Pasture:- Our experience has been, with pastures that are never over
80 acres in size, with approximately 11 to 1 cows per acre, calves learn to eat
quicker in smaller pastures. However, the same results would probably be obtained
by using more feeder units in larger pastures.
(2) Condition of the Brood Cow:- Although all calves respond to feed, we feel that
the maximum results are obtained when the brood cow is in good condition and sup-
plying adequate milk for normal calf growth. The s.aall amount of supplement feed
is not in any way a replacement or substitute for a good brood cow. The best re-
sults have been obtained ith the combination of brood cows in good condition plus
(3) Type of Calf:- It has been our observation that calves which have good beef
conformation respond better than poorer quality calves. It is somewhat doubtful
whether it pays to feed calves which do not have the ability to produce good beef
* A local Cattleman with ranches in the Everglades area.
- 30 -
(4) Length of Feeding Period:- At the age of approximately five to six months,
our program is to sell the steer calves as heavy calves. At this time, the
creep feeding is stopped for the remaining heifer calves who are not weaned until
approximately 7 to 8 months of age. These heifers are cut off creep feed during
the spring. Since the cows produce more milk at this time of the year, the
heifers continue to make normal gains. One advantage in creep feeding the heifers
is that they learn to consume feed, hence they know how to eat feed at weaning
time, thus reducing the shock of weaning.
(5) Type of Feed:- We feel that a coarse feed low in protein and high in carbo-
hydrate is all that is necessary. We have obtained satisfactory results with a
mixture containing 900 pounds of citrus pulp, 900 pounds of ground snap corn and
200 pounds of cottonseed meal per ton. We have found that adding molasses was
undesirable because it tended to stop the free flow of the feed in the feeder.
(6) Type of Marketing Program:- Our only purpose in creep feeding is to obtain a
heavy calf (425 to 500 lbs. at approximately 5 to 6 months old) of top quality at
an early age. By feeding calves they reach market earlier, hence realizing higher
prices. It is doubtful if creep feeding would be profitable on all types of calf
(7) Type of Breeding Program:- Also important is the breeding program followed
when creep feeding. We have endeavored to have a short breeding season so that
our calves would be of uniform age. With a uniform age the feed period can be
controlled and calves of approximately the same size and age can feed together.
(8) Feed Consumption:- The approximate consumption at the end of the 5- to
6-month feeding period has been approximately two pounds per head per day. UIe
have not kept accurate records for the entire period, however, due to the fact that
hardly any feed is consumed during the first two months, the average for the com-
plete period would be less than one pound per head per day.
(9) Feeder Placement:- It is our opinion that by placing the creep feeders in the
vicinity of the water supply, shade or other places where the cattle tend to
group, the calves will learn to enter the creep feeder area at an earlier age.
If a rancher's goal is heavy calves for market, we feel that creep feed-
ing, under the proper conditions, is profitable. However, under certain programs
of management, it is rather doubtful if creep feeding would be desirable.
SELLING WITH CONFIDENCE
George C. Young*
Having an open and competitive market available such as that maintained
by Glades Livestock Market Association, removes much of the guess work from the
selling of livestock. It is not, however, our purpose at this time to emphasize
the importance of using your livestock market in the selling of your cattle. In
general, these remarks should apply to any sale of cattle, although using an open
competitive market would minimize but certainly not remove the responsibility on
the part of the seller to plan his sales carefully.
Manager Glades Livestock Market Assocation.
- 31 -
In this discussion, we are dividing livestock sales into three classes:
(1) The forced sale which most cattlemen make several times each year. An
extreme example of this sale is the cattleman forced to sell a large portion of
his livestock because of a flood, freeze, or other unexpected hazard. The well-
planned operation holds this type of sale to a minimum. The most common forced
sale is brought on by the culling of cattle, injuries received in handling, etc.
The rancher usually finds it profitable to make such forced sales on the existing
market at the time the occasion arises without consideration as to whether he
could make a few extra dollars by making special arrangements to retain the live-
(2) The speculative sale -- is one where the producer has the feed and other
factors which would enable him to carry his livestock to a desired finish, but
makes the sale because he feels that he is justified in taking the profit he is
able to realize at that time.
(3) The planned sale -- is the most important to the livestock producer. The
planned sale can only be made with confidence when certain basic information is in
the possession of the seller. He should know not only the grade of his particular
animals but as much as is possible about all the different grades so that he can
definitely know whether he is receiving market price,
He should be reasonably well-informed as to general market conditions,
Such information is available from the Agricultural Marketing Service of the
U. S. Department of Agriculture, as well as from trade periodicals. For specific
information prior to making the sale, it is well to attend sales where open and
competitive bidding prevails, as well as to review the daily market reports as
provided to the newspapers by the Agricultural Marketing Service maintained by the
Federal and State governments. We can see, therefore, that selling with confidence
means PLANNED SELLING.
In planning pastures and feed supplies during the year, careful consid-
eration must be given to the planned sales program. Ordinarily, there is an
abundance of cheap feed available during the summer. As the end of this abundance
approaches, there is usually heavy marketing and consequently a weakening in price
structure. Most cattlemen find it necessary to sell off some cattle as winter
approaches and the important decision concerns the kind and number of cattle to be
sold. We, in South Florida, are very fortunate in that by careful planning we can
take advantage of winter pastures which are not available over a large area of
livestock producing sections.
The cattleman who sells with confidence is the well-informed cattleman.
Others may occasionally get a higher price but more often they take less than the
maximum market price. A reasonable amount of study and planning given to the
marketing of cattle will pay tremendous dividends, Your livestock market is pre-
pared to help you plan your sales in order that you may obtain the full value for
your cattle on the basis of their market grade.