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Area Ranchers Enjoy Jackson Cattlemen’s Tour

Commercial cattle herd at Bigham Farms, near Malone.

Commercial cattle herd at Bigham Farms, near Malone. Photo credit: Doug Mayo

The Jackson County Cattlemen’s Association hosted a farm tour on Thursday, July 17.  There were 75 cattle ranchers from Jackson, Washington, Holmes, and Calhoun Counties, as well as surrounding Alabama and Georgia counties that participated in the tour.  Three farms and a feed mill hosted the group.

The first stop on the tour was a blackberry and dewberry control trial on property being leased for hay production by AAA Farms.  Tour participants got to see preliminary results, 45 days after application, of seven different herbicide applications made to balckberrry and dewberry briars in a Bermudagrass hayfield.  All of the herbicides did provide defoliation of the briars, but actual control will not be evaluated until next spring.

Josh Thompson, Regional IPM Agent discussed the ongoing trial to compare commercial herbicide products recommended for briar control in pastures.

Josh Thompson, Regional IPM Agent discussed the ongoing trial to compare commercial herbicide products recommended for briar control in pastures.  Photo credit:  Doug Mayo

Cattlemen's Tour Participants viewed the preliminary reulsts of the treatements after 45 days, but the real test will be the control provided next spring.  In this photo PastureGard was used in the left plot compared to the untreated check to the right.

Cattlemen’s Tour Participants viewed the preliminary results of the treatments after 45 days, but the real test will be the control provided next spring. In this photo PastureGard was used in the left plot compared to the untreated check to the right.

The second stop on the tour was a sponsored hamburger lunch at Bigham Farms.  Several speakers shared information with the group before Billy Bigham provided an overview of their commercial cattle operation.

Billy Bigham provided an overview and history of their cattle operation.

Billy Bigham provided an overview and history of their cattle operation.

Lee Bigham shared with tour participants how their cattle pens were designed to work their cattle calmly with as little stress as possible.

Lee Bigham showed the tour group how the hydralica chute and sorting gates worked in their cowpens.

Lee Bigham showed the tour group how the hydralica chute and sorting gates worked in their cowpens.

The third stop was at AFG Feed Mill in Donalsonville, GA where local peanut, cotton and corn by products are being made into feed.  The company is working with a local peanut mill, cotton gin, and ethanol plant to make use of locally produced by-proucts..

AFG Feed is making cattle feeds from peanut, cotton, and corn byproducts from local farms.

AFG Feed is making cattle feeds from peanut, cotton, and corn byproducts from local farms.

The final stop was a visit to North American Farms, where Florida cattle are being fed out to be shipped to Central Packing in Sumter County.  They are working with Seminole Pride, a branded beef program that will provide Florida Fresh Beef to consumers in the state.

North American Farms near Bascom is finnishing cattle from Florida Ranches for the Seminole Pride branded beef program.

North American Farms near Bascom is finishing cattle from Florida Ranches for the Seminole Pride branded beef program.

The Jackson County Cattlmen’s Association organized the event with the help of the Jackson County Extension Service.  The event would not have been possible without the support of the Tour Sponsors.  MWI Veterniary Supply and Northwest Florida Farm Credit sponsored the hamburger lunch.  Southern States provided refreshments through out the day.  Dow AgroSciences and Dupont supplied the chemicals for the briar control trial.

The following were TV Channel 7 & 13 news stories that aired about the event:

WMBB News 13 – The Panhandle’s News Leader

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Author: Doug Mayo - demayo@ufl.edu

Jackson County Extension Director, Livestock & Forages Agent. My true expertise is with beef cattle and pasture management, but I can assist with information on other livestock species, as well as recreational fish ponds.
http://jackson.ifas.ufl.edu
Doug Mayo

Permanent link to this article: http://okaloosa.ifas.ufl.edu/newsletters/2014/07/19/area-ranchers-enjoy-jackson-cattlemens-tour/