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Title: Range Cattle REC newsletter
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Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00089215/00014
 Material Information
Title: Range Cattle REC newsletter
Series Title: Range Cattle REC newsletter
Physical Description: Serial
Creator: Range Cattle Research and Education Center, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, University of Florida
Publisher: Range Cattle Research and Education Center, University of Florida
Publication Date: October 2002
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Bibliographic ID: UF00089215
Volume ID: VID00014
Source Institution: University of Florida
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/;.\ LUNIVERSITY OF Visit the Range Cattle REC website at:
L FLORIDA http://rcrec-ona.ifas.ufl.edu
EXTENSION October 2002
L. ....., i: .. A. ... ..s.. Volume 5, Number 3


Buck Island Ranch. Photos: Tom E. Anton
Calendar of Events
Month Date(s) Event Location
October 17 FL Section, Society for Range Management Ona FL
FL Chapter, Soil and Water Conservation Tour
November 1 Hardee Farms Black Bull Sale Cheifland FL
November 1 Hereford Association of Florida Annual Bull Sale Bartow FL
November 7 Adams Bull Sale Ft. Pierce FL
November 14-15 2nd Annual International Agricultural Trade and Policy Gainesville FL
December 5-6 FCA Quarterly Meeting Sebring FL
January 16 FL Cattlemen's Institute and Trade Show Kissimmee FL

C h an gin g of th e G u ard ........... .............. ..... ................................................ ................ .. 2
Allow Carpon Desmodium to Produce Seed in Your Pasture ................................ .......... 2
R y grass in C en trial F lorid a .............................................................. ..................................... 2
Commodity Feeds as Winter Supplements ..................................................... 2
Mineral nutrition for bulls How important is zinc? .................................................... 3
Effect of Zinc Source and Level on Measures of Fertility in Growing Bulls......................... 4
Mole Cricket Management Custom Nematode Application on Pasture ............................ 5
Ryegrass Cultivars for Central Florida, 2002-03............................................... 6
The Im portance of Cost-Benefit Analysis........................................................ ......... ..... 7
Florida Cattle Market Update Website ..................................... 8
The Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer authorized to provide research, educational
information and other services only to individuals and institutions that function without regard to race, color, sex, age, handicap, or national
origin. For information on obtaining other extension publications, contact your county Cooperative Extension Service office. Florida
Cooperative Extension Service/Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences/University of Florida/Christine Taylor Waddill, Director.

Changing of the Guard

With this issue of the Range Cattle
REC Newsletter, Dr. Martin Adjei has
handed over the duties of editor. Over the
next few issues, be looking for some
changes in the look as I put my stamp on the
newsletter. We at the RCREC wish to thank
Dr. Adjei for his service in starting and
managing the newsletter up to this point.

Allow Carpon Desmodium to Produce
Seed in Your Pasture

Carpon desmodium is the most
practical pasture legume available in central
and south Florida. It is an excellent
companion to bahiagrass because they are
both adapted to similar soil and
environmental conditions, and they both can
survive under the management used by
Florida cattlemen. Although it is not as
nutritious as aeschynomene or stylosanthes,
carpon desmodium is a much more reliable
legume for most cattlemen.
Individual carpon desmodium plants
normally last 3 to 5 years, so they need to be
replaced in the pasture. You can assure that
there will be plenty of seed in the soil seed-
bank by removing cattle from pasture when
carpon desmodium begins to flower in early
October. Keep cattle out of the pasture until
mid-November. Allow cattle to graze the
pasture heavily after seed set. Seed that is
eaten will pass through cows, and they do a
good job of distributing its seed.

Ryegrass in Central Florida

Ryegrass in central Florida produces
from January to mid-April and the forage
contains about 15% crude protein and

75%TDN. Ryegrass can have a place on the
ranch in this region but only for very
specific uses such as early-weaned calves,
replacement heifers, or to help get cows to
breed. Over-seeding ryegrass onto
bahiagrass in the fall is not recommended
because bahiagrass does not become
dormant here like it does in north Florida.
As a result, ryegrass yields when grown in
bahiagrass are about 20% of ryegrass grown
in a prepared seedbed. If ryegrass is grown
in central Florida, it is highly recommended
that it be used as part of a pasture renovation
program where ryegrass is sown in a
prepared seedbed in early November.
Money spent on liming, fertilization, and
land preparation for ryegrass will benefit the
perennial grass when it is planted in the old
ryegrass pasture the following summer.

Commodity Feeds as Winter Supplements

A number of commodity feeds
derived as by-products from food processing
are available to Florida ranches as winter
supplements for beef cattle. The one most
available and currently inexpensive,
especially during the winter months, is dry,
pelleted citrus pulp. During the past few
winters, dry citrus pulp has been priced
between $40 and $60/ton, FOB Okeechobee.
Dry citrus pulp has a good energy
level (74% TDN) but is low in crude protein
(6%). Dry citrus pulp could be fed alone at
moderate levels to mature brood cows, but
needs additional crude protein when fed to
yearlings and first or second-calf cows. A
medium to high crude protein liquid feed
could provide the needed crude protein.
Whole cottonseed is a commodity
feed that could be mixed with citrus pulp to
provide protein. Cottonseed contains 23%
crude protein and 96% TDN, plus 25% oil


which stimulates reproduction. Whole
cottonseed is fed alone and on the ground in
many areas of the Southeast. Do not feed
cottonseed to young bulls or heifers because
of the gossypol toxin problem.
Two by-products from corn
processing are hominy and corn gluten feed.
Hominy contains 12% crude protein and
86% TDN, slightly higher than corn. Corn
gluten feed contains 21% crude protein and
75% TDN. Corn gluten feed could be mixed
with low protein ingredients to provide a
better protein balance.
Soybean hulls contain 11% crude
protein and 70% TDN. Soy hulls contain a
relatively high level of a fiber. While this
fiber is very digestible, it allows ad lib
feeding soy hulls without causing founder.
Many ranches feed soy hulls alone as a
weaning or growing supplement with good
results. Research at Ona shows that soy hulls
are equal to corn when fed at moderate
levels to yearling cattle. Soy hulls are fluffy,
but pelleted soy hulls are available at a
similar price.
Wheat middlings are a by-product of
processing wheat into flour. Wheat midds
contain 16% crude protein and 75% TDN.
Wheat midds can be fed alone, and research
studies in Florida show that wheat midds are
equivalent to corn when fed to provide up to
50% of the total diet TDN. Wheat midds are
currently priced at about $50/ton FOB
The above shows a number of
commodity or by-product feeds available to
Florida cattlemen. Their prices are variable
depending on supply. Therefore, it is
important that prices be regularly monitored
to purchase those with the lowest cost.
Commodity feeds are sold in bulk or
truckload lots which is a disadvantage to
cattlemen with small herds. Check with
several feed dealers to determine if they
might have commodity feeds that could be
bagged at a reasonable price. Another

possibility is that several small ranches may
coop to purchase truckload lots.

Mineral nutrition for bulls How
important is zinc?


Over the past decade, the
introduction of organic trace minerals have
made their way into the "main-stream" and
are now a commonly included alternative in
many grazing cattle trace mineral
formulations. Organic mineral is a generic
term used to describe the condition whereas
an inorganic, soluble salt is joined with an
organic carrier or ligand, typically an amino
acid or small peptide. This completing
action may occur in a variety of manners,
most of which are defined and controlled by
the American Feed Control Officials. Often,
the term "chelated mineral" is used to
describe all organic mineral sources. This is
a misnomer. Some common organic
mineral categories include, trace mineral
amino acid complexes, trace mineral amino
acid chelates, and trace mineral proteinates.

Common organic trace minerals:

Zinc Possess the most scientific
support as an effective organic nutrient
in cattle mineral supplements.

Copper Second most relevant organic
nutrient. Probably most important when
forage molybdenum levels are above 2

Manganese Not much support as a single
organic inclusion, however, organic
manganese is often available in
commercial organic trace mineral

Chromium Currently not
approved in the USA. Data \'u.,'et'\
that supplemental organic chromium
may be effective during periods of
increased stress.

Cobalt Similar to manganese,
probably not useful as a single inclusion,
but often-found in commercial organic
trace mineral blends.

The theory behind the benefit of
organic minerals is based on the concept that
many inorganic mineral nutrients are bound
to an organic ligand in the small intestine
prior to absorption. By offering a trace
mineral source, already bound to an organic
ligand, the absorption efficiency
bioavailabilityy) may be improved. This
theory has good supporting evidence for
organic zinc sources and, most likely, holds
true for organic copper as well. Organic
trace minerals will not be cost effective for
every situation. However, as production
practices continue to become more focused
on efficiency and overall performance,
advances in trace mineral supplementation
may offer valuable tools to include in our
management strategies. The following study
investigates the efficacy of organic vs
inorganic zinc on fertility measures in
growing Angus bulls.

Effect of Zinc Source and Level on
Measures of Fertility in Growing Bulls
A Controlled Field Study

The important role of zinc in male
fertility has been recognized for many years.
Research in young rams has shown that zinc
deficiency results in a lowered capacity to
produce testosterone, resulting in impaired
testicular development. The influence of
zinc deficiency on reproductive failure in
man has also been reported. In some cases,
human males diagnosed as having fertility

complications have responded favorably to
zinc supplementation. One of the most
commonly reported links between dietary
zinc and male fertility is the association of
dietary zinc and the functionality of
The following field study
investigates the effect of zinc level and
source in growing bull diets on subsequent
measures of fertility. Measures of growth,
sexual maturation, and fertility were
compared when bulls were supplemented
with either inorganic (zinc sulfate) at 40 and
60 ppm of the total diet or a combination of
organic (proteinated) zinc and zinc sulfate at
40 ppm.
Yearling Angus bulls (n = 325) were
stratified by body weight and allotted into
six pens of similar size. All bulls on test
originated from a common ranch and were
of a similar genetic background. One of
three treatments (2 pens / treatment) were
formulated to provide targeted levels of
dietary zinc; 1) dietary zinc level of 40 ppm
all supplied by zinc sulfate (ZnS), 2) dietary
zinc level of 40 ppm with 33.3% supplied by
zinc proteinate and 66.6% supplied by ZnS
(ZnPS), or 3) dietary zinc at a level of 60
ppm all supplied by ZnS (ZnHi).
Initial and final liver biopsies (n = 10
/ pen) were collected and analyzed for zinc
concentrations. Individual bull weights and
scrotal measures were also collected at the
start and conclusion of the trial. To control
between-person variation, a common person
collected all scrotal measures at each time
Semen from bulls intended for public
sale (n=167) was collected by
electroejaculation and evaluated for motility
and morphological abnormalities. Bulls
with percent normal sperm cell counts of <
70 percent or with motility scores < fair
(motility scores = poor, fair, good, very
good) were considered classification
deferred and tested at a later date following

the conclusion of the trial.
Following 126 d of treatment, ZnHi
bulls had a greater increase in liver zinc
concentration when compared to ZnS but
not ZnPS treatments. No differences in bull
ADG or percentage change in scrotal
circumference were detected. Bulls fed a
combination of ZnS and ZnPS (40 ppm) had
higher percent of normal sperm cells in the
ejaculate when compared to ZnS but not
ZnHi. Fewer bulls were classification
deferred when fed a combination of ZnS and
ZnPS (40 ppm) or a higher level of zinc
sulfate (60 ppm) compared to ZnS. In all
fertility measures observed in this trial, bulls
receiving the zinc proteinate / zinc sulfate
combination at 40 ppm rated highest,
followed by zinc sulfate at 60 ppm, and
lastly by Zn sulfate at 40 ppm.
These data support the importance of
dietary zinc in bull fertility. Additionally, it
appears that the use of organic zinc in
growing bull diets may improve subsequent
fertility measures. However, when
compared to inorganic zinc at an increased
level, the magnitude of improved fertility is
lessened. In terms of growing bulls,
however, it would appear probable that
the recommended level of 30 ppm in the
diet (NRC, 1996) is too low. Further
studies that investigate higher levels of zinc

both in the organic and inorganic forms are

Mole Cricket Management Custom
Nematode Application on Pasture

Mole crickets cause about $44
million worth of damage to bahiagrass
forage production every year. An additional
$10 million is spent annually by cattle
producers to renovate pastures completely
destroyed by mole crickets.
As expected, this year's crop of mole
crickets started to hatch from eggs in June.
The nymphs have grown larger (juveniles)
and are just at the point where they are
beginning to develop wings and turn into
adults in late September. The mole cricket
nematodes produced by Becker Underwood
are available on the market as Nematac S.
These nematodes work best on adult mole
crickets. A series of workshops will be
organized jointly with county extension
faculty to demonstrate custom nematode
application on pasture this fall.
Mole crickets are very mobile and
our field tests have shown that infected mole
crickets can spread nematodes throughout a
pasture if the nematodes are strip-applied
correctly at 125,000 nematodes/A. This is

Table 1. The effect of zinc level and source on change in scrotal circumference and liver
copper, percentage normal sperm cells in the ejaculate, and percent bulls classification



Change in scrotal circumference, cm 8.6 9.3 9.1
Change in liver zinc concentration, ppm -9.8 1.2 20.6
Normal sperm cells in the ejaculate, % 55.8a 68.9b 62.5 ab
Bulls classification deferred, % 77.6a 51.5d 58.8d
abMeans with unlike superscripts within row differ (P < .05).
"ZnS = zinc sulfate, dietary level of 40 ppm; ZnPS = zinc sulfate (2/3) and zinc proteinate (1/3), dietary
level of 40 ppm; ZnHi = zinc sulfate, dietary level of 60 ppm.
dBulls with percentage normal sperm cell counts < 70 percent or with motility scores < fair (motility scores
= poor, fair, good, very good) were considered classification deferred and tested again at a later date
following the conclusion of the trial.

one-eighth of the 1 billion nematodes/A rate
that is currently recommended for applying
on golf courses. In order for the strip-
application at the reduced nematode rate to
be successful, a slit injection machine must
be used to place nematodes suspended in
water at 1 inch below the soil surface. The
slit is immediately closed with press wheels
to protect the nematodes from direct
sunlight. A special machine has been
developed by Bill Coapland Company based
in Alachua County, Florida which will be
tested during our fall workshops.
The program schedule up to date is
as follows. There maybe some minor
changes in individual county's activities in
the final program:

Mole Cricket Biocontrol:
Demonstration of Commercial Nematode
Application on Pasture

Please, RSVP to the local contact person for
directions and registration since lunch will
be provided at some locations)

Time: 9:00 AM to 12:00 PM
Contact: Lockie Gary 863-773-2164.

Time: 9:00 AM to 12:00 PM
Location: REGAN RANCH,
Contact: Travis Seawright 941-722-

Time: 9:00 AM to 12:00 PM


Jim A. Stricker 863-519-

There is no charge for attendance but
please, register with your county extension
agents now if you plan to attend any of
these workshop so we can get a head count
in advance.

Ryegrass Cultivars for Central Florida,
Annual ryegrass is a cool-season
bunchgrass which can be an important
source of forage during winter and early
spring. Ryegrass, seeded alone after a
vegetable crop or used in a pasture
renovation program or into a perennial grass
sod, can provide high quality forage which
is quick to establish, provided adequate
moisture is available. Ryegrass, seeded in
cultivated soil or sod that has been treated
with a herbicide to decompose vegetative
cover, establishes rapidly and produces
increased biomass yields when compared
with seeding ryegrass into a live sod.
Cultivated and decomposed sod areas
seeded to ryegrass can be grazed within 6 to
8 wk after seedling emergence, and grazing
may extend for 90 to 120 days. Seeding
ryegrass into live sod normally requires
twice the nitrogen rate and produces 20%
the yield of ryegrass seeded in cultivated or
decomposing sod. Ryegrass responds well to
nitrogen fertilization leading to rapid growth
and increased forage quality. Ryegrass
stockpiled for 40 to 50 days during February
and March can also be harvested as hay or
silage during late March and early April
yielding 1.5 to 2.0 ton/acre dry matter (DM).
The crude protein (CP) concentration and in
vitro organic matter digestion (IVOMD) will
average 15 and 75%, respectively.
When seeding ryegrass into
cultivated soil, it is extremely important to
cultivate only enough land area that can be

seeded that day. This method will conserve
moisture and assure rapid establishment.
Ryegrass should be seeded at 20 lb/A on
tilled soil, cover seed by running grove disk
in closed position follow by a firm packing
with a roller.
Ryegrass fertilization consists of 50-
30-60 lb/A N-P205-K20 plus 1.5 lb/A Zn,
Mn, Cu, Fe (sulfate form), 0.15 lb/A B and 6
lb/A S. Following each grazing 35 lb N/A
should be applied. Ryegrass cultivars that
have performed well during the past 3 to 6
years consist of Big Daddy, Jumbo, and
Prine (3.0 T/A DM yield), Jackson (2.9
T/A), FL 80, ME-94, King, and Brigadier
(2.8 T/A), Gulf, Surrey, Marshall, Fantastic,
and Ed (2.7 T/A), Graze-N-Gro (2.6 T/A),
and Surrey II (2.5 T/A). Generally, there are
only small yield differences between the
better ryegrass cultivars grown in central
Florida. Growers should consider seeding
ryegrass on fields that are planned for
pasture renovation during 2003. The
ryegrass procedure helps decompose heavy
sod and eliminate hard to kill weeds like
common bermudagrass.

The Importance of Cost-Benefit Analysis

Costs are a major concern in the
decision making process of all firms.
However, sometimes, those involved in the
decision making process may get too
concerned with only the costs of a proposal
and forget there is another side to
production, and hence the profit, equation.
This is the added revenue, or the benefit, of
the proposed investments.
In the profit equation, total costs
(TC) are subtracted from total revenues
(TR). Thus, H =TR-TC where H is profit.
However, one has to remember that there is
another equation that is directly related to
profit and underlies the business structure.

This is the production equation, called a
production function, where inputs are
combined to create an output or set of
In some cases, added costs can come
from changes in the price of an input. This
is an instance where there will be no change
in the output levels and no additional
revenue (benefit) is gained. Other added
costs may occur as a result of a change in
inputs or the addition of inputs. These
changes are likely to have an effect on the
output production and, hence, on the
revenue total as well. This is where cost-
benefit analysis becomes important to the
firm's decision making process.
To further illustrate this, let us
examine a couple of scenarios in a cattle
Scenario 1: A producer is looking at two
sources of dewormer. One product is
fifty cents per head cheaper than the
other. They work nearly identically. On
a 100-head cow herd, the difference in
cost will be over $50 when accounting
for cows, replacements, and bulls.
Scenario 2: A producer is considering her
veterinarian's recommendation to adopt
a managed herd-health program. The
program will cost her about $15 more
per brood cow. If we assume the
producer has 100 brood cows, the
additional annual cost it $1,500. Also,
let us assume that her current weaning
rate is 70 percent on her herd. This
weaning rate is based solely on her 100
exposed cows and heifers from the
previous breeding season. The
veterinarian assures her that her herd's
weaning rate will improve to 80 percent
and possibly 90 percent due to improved
health and efficiency in her cows. This
10 percent improvement in weaning rate
translates to an improvement in revenue.
In table 1, we explore the impacts of this

new program. We will make a few
additional assumptions for this analysis.
The producer sells her calves at 350
pounds average, and the prices used will
be a steer and heifer average price.

In Scenario 1, it is clear that a simple
cost analysis would yield the same result as
a cost-benefit analysis since there are no
clear benefits to the more costly of the two
products. Revenue is not improved in any
way while costs are increased. The net
result would be a decrease in profit. So, in
the cost-benefit framework, there is negative
benefit to the increased cost of the more
expensive product.
With Scenario 2, cost-benefit
analysis yields a dramatically different result
than simply looking at the cost of the
program. With scientific backing that
healthier animals are more efficient, one
could reasonably expect significant
performance gains in this situation.
Therefore, simply considering the cost of the
program would leave out some important
considerations to the bottom line of the
business enterprise. In fact, a further
analysis would show that any improvement
in the weaning rate above four percent

would make the program profit-enhancing
above an $87 per hundredweight average for
steers and heifers given the assumptions
used in this example.
Closing Remarks
These scenarios are simplified in
order to clearly illustrate the principles of
cost-benefit analysis. In the real world, the
principles are sound, but there may be more
that needs to be considered. In some cases,
the time period may be longer than one year,
and time value must be considered. The
main point of this exercise is to demonstrate
that simply asking "How much does it
cost?" may not be the right question to ask
in order to make the best decision for your

Florida Cattle Market Update Website

In November of 2001, I joined the
faculty at the Range Cattle Research and
Education Center (RCREC) in Ona, FL with
the charge to provide economic analysis to
the livestock industry in Florida. As a part
of my program, I introduced the Florida
Cattle Market Update website in May of
2002. The web site is intended to be an
information outlet with price and inventory

Table 2
Without the With the program
Weaning Rate 70% 70% 75% 80% 90%
Additional # of 0 0 5 10 20
Additional Costs None $1,500 $1,510 $1,520 $1,540
@$100/cwt. None None $1,750 $3,500 $7,000
$95/cwt. None None $1,663 $3,325 $6,650
$90/cwt. None None $1,575 $3,150 $6,300
$85/cwt. None None $1,488 $2,975 $5,950
Change in l
@$100/cwt. $0 ($1,500) $240 $1,980 $5,460
S$95/cwt. $0 ($1,500) $153 $1,805 $5,110
$90/cwt. $0 ($1,500) $65 $1,630 $4,760
$85/cwt. $0 ($1,500) ($22) $1,455 $4,410

reports as well as my monthly market
outlook letter. Additionally, there will be
links to articles of interest to those in the
cattle industry.
The website can be found at
The website is also linked from the Food
and Resource Economics website,
http://www.fred.ifas.ufl.edu, the RCREC
website, http://rcrec-ona.ifas.ufl.edu, the
South Florida Beef Forage Program website,
http://sfbfp.ifas.ufl.edu, the Central Florida
Livestock Agents Group website,
http://www.cflag.com, and the Animal
Science Department website,
The primary features of the website
are the weekly cattle price charts and the
monthly market outlook reports. The weekly
price charts can be found in the Chart Room
section of the website. This section is
designed to open in a new browser window
in order to minimize the need for continued
use of the browser's back button.
Additionally, the individual price charts will
open in yet again another window. Each of
these new browser windows can be closed
by either using the windows program close
button or the close window hyperlink with
in the page itself. The price charts included
on the site are 12 week price trends for 2-3,
3-4, 4-5, and 5-6 cwt. calves, annual price
trends for 3-4 and 5-6 cwt. calves, value
added for heavier weight calves over 2-3
cwt. calves.

Adjei, Martin B.
Anton, Tom E., Ed.
Arthington, John D.
Kalmbacher, Rob S.
Mislevy, Paul
Pate, Findlay M.

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