New and revised publications from the University of Florida Insitute of Food and Agricultural Sciences
May 20th, 2013
Immature warble flies, or cattle grubs, infest and harm livestock throughout the world. Warble flies also are known as “heel flies” because they cause cattle to kick at themselves, and “gad flies” because they cause cattle to “gad about” in an attempt to evade the flies. Two species of cattle grubs occur in the U.S.A., the common cattle grub, and the northern cattle grub. This 6-page fact sheet was written by P. E. Kaufman and E. N. I. Weeks, and published by the UF Department of Entomology and Nematology, March 2013.
Pest Management Perceptions and Practices for Equine Farms in North and Central Florida (ENY2028/IN983)
May 16th, 2013
Equine facilities have unique pest management problems due to facility structure and horse husbandry practices. In Florida, homes on small equine farms are generally located in close proximity to pastures, stalls or run-in sheds, manure piles, and other fly breeding habitats. So homeowners have a high risk of exposure to pathogens that can be transmitted by filth flies to humans. Integrated pest management for equine farms requires accurate diagnosis of pest problems and the coordinated use of science-based management practices, but a recent survey shows that many equine property owners don’t know enough about the identification, biology, and presence of filth fly pests on their properties to develop successful IPM programs. This 7-page fact sheet was written by Erika T. Machtinger, Norman C. Leppla, and Cindy Saunders, and published by the UF Department of Entomology and Nematology, March 2013.
May 6th, 2013
Approximately 68% of the 16 million square miles of agricultural land worldwide is used for permanent pastures for livestock production. Fortunately, ruminants can convert plant matter that is inedible or of low nutritional value for monogastrics (i.e., swine or poultry) into calorically dense products of high nutritional value. However, the process of converting poor quality plant matter into useful nutrients for ruminants is complex. This 3-page fact sheet provides an overview and understanding of how forage composition and structure affect the nutritive value and nutrient availability to ruminants. Written by Kalyn M. Waters, Nicolas DiLorenzo, and G. Cliff Lamb, and published by the UF Department of Animal Sciences, March 2013.
April 9th, 2013
A study in Florida was conducted to examine the issue of age at castration to determine if castration timing resulted in significant differences in growth rate and weaning weight in nursing calves. In addition, the study included a comparison between Angus and Brangus calves in the treatment groups to determine if there was a breed by castration effect. No differences in calf growth rates were observed in early compared to late castration. This 4-page fact sheet was written by Amie Imler, Todd Thrift, Matt Hersom, and Joel Yelich, and published by the UF Department of Animal Sciences, March 2013.
March 12th, 2013
Dust bags are an effective method of horn fly and louse control. However, dust bags are only effective when hung in places where cattle are forced to use them. The best locations are areas where cattle must pass once or twice a day, or every other day, for instance between mineral boxes or water and pasture. During the field tests, forced-use dust bags provided an average of 90% horn fly control. Production was increased by an average of 34% over the normal management practice. This increase in production was equivalent to 1/3 lb/animal/day. This 5-page fact sheet was written by P. E. Kaufman and E. N. I. Weeks, and published by the UF Department of Entomology and Nematology, November 2012.
March 1st, 2013
This 7-page fact sheet brings together key economic and price data about Florida’s primary dairy industry collected by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). Written by K.G. Arriola and A. De Vries, and published by the UF Department of Animal Sciences, February 2013.
March 1st, 2013
This 8-page fact sheet summarizes technical performance data of dairy herds in Florida and the Southeast United States collected through the Dairy Herd Improvement (DHI) program. Written by K.G. Arriola and A. De Vries, and published by the UF Department of Animal Sciences, February 2013.
Tropical Soda Apple Leaf Beetle, Gratiana boliviana Spaeth (Insecta: Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae: Cassidinae) (EENY543/IN974)
Tropical soda apple is a prickly shrub native to South America that is a major problem in pastures and conservation areas. So a multi-agency program supported the rearing, distribution, and release of more than 250,000 tropical soda apple leaf beetles across Florida from 2003 to 2011. This 4-page fact sheet was written by Rodrigo Diaz, William A. Overholt, Ken Hibbard, and Julio Medal, and published by the UF Department of Entomology and Nematology, January 2013.
In addition to having generally low-quality foods, ranchlands often have a low diversity of food sources, further reducing the quality of habitat for deer. Ranchland management for deer should therefore focus on providing a diversity of abundant, high-quality foods. This 2-page fact sheet provides some deer habitat improvement tips that focus primarily on raising the quality of deer forage but that also will help you grow better cover by improving plant diversity and productivity. Written by William M. Giuliano, John M. Olson, and Cailey Thomas, and published by the UF Department of Wildlife Ecology and Conservation, January 2013.
February 22nd, 2013
Many forage-based livestock production systems in Florida are characterized by extensive grazing with minimal inputs of commercial fertilizer and supplemental feed. In these systems, adequate soil fertility conditions are essential to sustain forage production. If nutrients become deficient, pasture and animal performance is reduced, and the economic returns of livestock operations may decline. This 3-page fact sheet discusses the different nutrient pathways in grazing pastures to help producers better understand how to promote nutrient cycling and pasture sustainability. Written by Maria L. Silveira, Joao M. B. Vendramini, Hiran M. da Silva, and Mariana Azenha, and published by the UF Department of Soil and Water Science, January 2013.
This 2-page fact sheet provides specific tips to improve quail habitat in cattle country that focus on diversifying the plant species and structural composition and increasing early successional communities dominated by herbaceous plants. Written by William M. Giuliano and Lauren Watine, and published by the UF Department of Wildlife Ecology and Conservation, January 2013.
In general, infested animals are unhealthy and cannot be managed efficiently, so pesticides are commonly used to protect animals from pests. The successful control of pests requires careful mixing and application of recommended pesticides according to label directions. Besides ensuring the control of pests, applying pesticides at the recommended rate is necessary to prevent injury to the animal. This 5-page fact sheet was written by P. E. Kaufman and E. N. I. Weeks, and published by the UF Department of Entomology and Nematology, October 2012.
Tropical soda apple is a prickly shrub native to South America. First reported in Glades Co., Florida in 1988, it later spread to Georgia, Alabama, Louisiana, Texas, Mississippi, Tennessee, North Carolina, and South Carolina. It is a major problem in pastures and conservation areas. Negative impacts of tropical soda apple include reduction of cattle stocking rates, competition with native plants, and the costs associated with its control. Dense thickets of the weed also can disrupt the movement of wildlife. This 4-page fact sheet provides a summary of the major steps of the successful biological control program against tropical soda apple in Florida. The article covers the importance of the weed, identification and biology of the biological control agent, rearing and release efforts, establishment and impact, and efforts to communicate the outcomes of the program to stakeholders. Written by R. Diaz, J. Medal, K. Hibbard, A. Roda, A. Fox, S. Hight, P. Stansly, B. Sellers, J. Cuda and W. A. Overholt, and published by the UF Department of Entomology and Nematology, November 2012.
Identification and Control of Southern Sandbur (Cenchrus echinatus L.) in Hayfields (SSAGR364/AG373)
Southern sandbur is an annual grass that grows in pastures and cropland throughout the warm areas of the southern United States from Virginia to California. This native grass is adapted to dry, sandy soils and has a shallow, fibrous root system. It can easily invade a poorly managed field, diminishing the quality of a hay crop or grazing pasture. Southern sandbur seeds start to germinate in late spring, and germination continues through the summer and fall. Flowering occurs in late fall, and growth is consistent until the first frost. This 2-page fact sheet was written by Hunter Smith, Jason Ferrell, and Brent Sellers, and published by the UF Department of Agronomy, December 2012.
December 18th, 2012
The North Florida Research and Education Center in Marianna, Florida annually hosts the Florida Bull Test. By controlling the environmental factors and taking Expected Progeny Differences (EPD’s) into account, the data clearly emphasizes the dual importance of genetics and environment in all cattle types. This 5-page fact sheet presents the procedures, rules, and results of the 2011-2012 test. Written by G. Cliff Lamb and Nicolas DiLorenzo, and published by the UF Department of Animal Sciences, December 2012.
December 12th, 2012
Beef cattle producers should consider using ionophores to increase calf gain and gain efficiency in a cost-effective manner. Ionophores are feed additives used in cattle diets to increase feed efficiency and body weight gain. They are compounds that alter rumen fermentation patterns. Ionophores can be fed to any class of cattle and can be used in any segment of the beef cattle industry. Similar to many other feed additives, ionophores are fed in very small amounts and supplied via another feedstuff as carrier for intake. Ionophores decrease incidence of coccidiosis, bloat, and acidosis in cattle. This 4-page fact sheet was written by Matt Hersom and Todd Thrift, and published by the UF Department of Animal Sciences, December 2012.
Mange is a persistent skin condition of mammals caused by infestation with parasitic mites. Mites are tiny arthropods, usually less than 1 mm in length and difficult to see with the naked eye. Adult mites have eight legs, and larvae have six. The effect of the mites on the animal’s skin, called “mange,” is the most visible sign of an infestation. This 6-page fact sheet describes several skin conditions commonly caused by parasitic mites in domestic animals. Written by E. N. I. Weeks and P. E. Kaufman, and published by the UF Department of Entomology and Nematology, September 2012.
Comparing the Urine Ketone Strip Test and Handheld Ketone Meter to Diagnose Ketosis in Early Lactation Dairy Cows (VM186)
October 22nd, 2012
Ketosis is a common metabolic disease in fresh dairy cows. Clinical and subclinical ketosis (SCK) can cause reduced milk yield, decreased milk protein, reduced reproductive capacity, and increased risk of displaced abomasum. Usually, diagnosing ketosis is performed by measuring acetoacetate or BHBA levels in the blood, urine, or milk samples. Measuring BHBA in serum or plasma is considered the gold standard diagnostic test for subclinical ketosis, because this method has stability, but the price for ketone strips is approximately $0.08/strip while the price for the the electronic BHBA measuring system is approximately $1.00. UF/IFAS researchers conducted a study to compare the two, using 72 Holstein cows between 14–40 days in milk from three dairy farms in north-central Florida with 450–800 lactating dairy cows. The key finding for this experiment is that no difference exists in BHBA concentration between cows that had a trace or small in the ketone strip reading. This 3-page fact sheet was written by Klibs N. Galvão, Achilles Vieira Neto, Gustavo Peña, Joao Bittar, and Lucas Ibarbia, and published by the UF Department of Veterinary Medicine-Large Animal Clinical Sciences, October 2012.
October 17th, 2012
Horn flies are one of the livestock pests with the greatest impact on the health and productivity of cattle. Economic losses due to horn fly damage are estimated at $36 million annually in Florida alone. In the U.S.A. annual losses total between $700 million and $1 billion, with up to $60 million spent on insecticidal control. Horn fly damage is caused by blood feeding. The flies feed frequently and exclusively on blood, piercing the skin of cattle with their proboscis and taking around 20 small blood meals each day. Pain and irritation due to the constant presence of the flies and their bites causes defensive behavior in the cattle that prevents adequate food consumption and rest. This 4-page fact sheet was written by P. E. Kaufman and E. N. I. Weeks, and published by the UF Department of Entomology and Nematology, September 2012.
Native and improved pastures play an important role in sequestering carbon from the atmosphere. Because of the relatively high sequestration rates and extensive area, grazing land represents an important component of terrestrial carbon dioxide (CO2) offset and is a significant sink for long-term carbon sequestration and greenhouse gas mitigation. This 4-page fact sheet contains information for stakeholders, students, scientists, and environmental agencies interested in enhancing ecosystems services provided by grazing lands. Written by Maria Silveira, Ed Hanlon, Mariana Azenha, and Hiran M. da Silva, and published by the UF Department of Soil and Water Science, September 2012.
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