December Cattle & Forage Management Reminders

UF/IFAS Beef Cattle & Forage Specialists, and County Extension Agents serving the Florida Panhandle developed a basic management calendar for cattle producers in the region. The purpose of this calendar is to provide reminders for management techniques with similar timing to those used at the North Florida Research and Education Center’s Beef Unit, near Marianna, Florida. Links to useful publications with more information are also provided.

Calves born from crossbred cow-calf pairs in Florida (Alachua Co.) can be castrated within 36 day of birth and still wean at satisfactory body weights at weaning. Photo Credit: Matt Hersom
As the year winds down, make sure all herd records are in order and watch calves for scours. Photo Credit: Matt Hersom


Cattle Herd Management

  • Check calving cows and heifers 2-3 times daily
    • Move cows and newborn calves out of calving pasture
      • Record calf birth date, weight, tag calves, (optional: castrate bull calves)
    • Evaluate body condition of nursing cattle and increase energy supplement as needed
    • Feed best hay available to nursing cows & heifers
  • Begin supplementing bulls 60 days prior to breeding
  • Watch calves for scours
  • Feed high magnesium mineral if grazing winter annuals and watch for grass tetany
  • Summarize annual cattle herd performance & financial records
  • Prepare record book or calendar to keep herd records for the year ahead

Pasture Management

  • Begin grazing winter annual pastures when forage canopy is 10-12 inches tall and
    • Remove cattle when forage is 4 inches tall
    • If possible, limit-graze for 2-3 hours per day, plus free choice hay to stretch grazing
  • Lime permanent pastures, based on recommendations from soil test report

Pest Management



Pan Ag logo finalUse the following link to download the entire Cattle & Forage Management Annual Calendar:

Panhandle Ag Extension Team Cattle & Forage Management Calendar


Developed by the Panhandle Agriculture Extension Livestock and Forage Team:

Doug Mayo, Cliff Lamb, Mark Mauldin, Ann Blount, Cheryl Mackowiak, Jose Dubeux, Jay Ferrell, Jennifer Bearden, Nicolas DiLorenzo, Shep Eubanks, Jed Dillard, Mike Goodchild, Roy Carter, Henry Grant, John Atkins, and Kalyn Waters

Posted: December 2, 2016

Category: Agriculture
Tags: Beef Cattle, Forage, Forage & Pasture, Livestock, Panhandle Agriculture, Pasture

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