Florida’s brutal summers present unique challenges for cattle ranchers; take steps to counteract these challenges for your beef herd.

Florida’s hot and rainy summers bring unique challenges—including bugs—for Florida beef ranchers and their herds. While the lack of freezing temperatures and snow and ice ate a boon, the opposite end of the spectrum—high heat and humidity, and the accompanying bugs—present challenges to herd health as well. The South Florida Beef-Forage Program’s article of the month offers solutions to mitigate summer’s challenges for your beef herd. See them below.

Help Your Beef Herd Beat the Heat

According to the article, Florida’s summer heat and high amounts of rain can be detrimental to the health and productivity of your beef herd starting at 75 degrees. The article maintains that “When cattle are over heated, they eat less, require more water intake and don’t have the same rate of gain,” and that “Daily rain makes it hard on skin, hooves and health of our livestock and horses.  Constant wet ground makes hooves susceptible to fungal problems. Rain rot and other skin irritations become prevalent during the rainy season.”

Lastly, bugs love Florida’s hot, humid weather. The article advises that “Different kinds of flies and insects aggravate and cause skin irritations in horses, cows and other livestock and also can transfer diseases.  West Nile virus, eastern equine encephalitis and St Louis encephalitis are a few of the diseases transferred by mosquitos in Florida. “

Options for helping your beef cattle to beat the heat, rain, and accompanying bugs, include:

  • “Monitor closely, ensure ample water supplies and shade, and avoid excess exercise during hot hours of the day.
  • “Provide dry land for horses and livestock to remain when the ground is saturated.”
  • Tend to rain rot or other skin problems to quickly to ensure the animal has the best chance of recovery.
  • “Prevention is key.  There are fly systems for barns, cattle back rubs, sprays and even oral medications available to assist with fly and mosquito control.”

Griffin Fertilizer is committed to helping both growers and ranchers make sound agronomic and economic decisions in order to maximize the health of their grove and pasture. As a full-service custom dry & liquid fertilizer blender and crop protection product distributor, we will continue our mission to further advance Florida agriculture. For questions or concerns about your farm or pasture, contact us and one of our team will be in touch.