Beef Buzz News
Horn Flies Are a Huge Economic Threat For Pasture Cattle But Can be Easily Controlled
Mon, 15 Mar 2021 08:29:57 CDT
As temperatures warm and the grass greens up this spring and summer, a producer has to realize horn flies are the biggest problem in terms of economic threat for their pastured cattle, said Mark Upton, director of sales for Central Life Sciences.
Ron Hays Beef Buzzes With Mark Upton
His company has a product called Altosid than can be easily added to the feed supplements many producers are already using.
Upton, who is based in Pauls Valley, said the insects can become resistant to many fly control products but that is not the case with Altosid.
The fly control product has the ability to mimic the juvenile hormone in the insect, Upton said.
Basically, Altosid prevents the insect from maturing, he said.
Horn flies only lay their eggs in manure, so we are using the cow as a mechanism to get the product through the body and out into the manure, he said.
When conditions are right, with plenty of green grass and moisture, it is not uncommon for a single cow to have three or four thousand horn flies, Upton said.
Flies, especially horn flies, are the number one economic problem for pasture cattle in North America, causing as much as $1 billion a year in damage, he said.
These flies are sucking blood and robbing weight gain so itís really important from an economic and disease standpoint to control them, he said.
We know these flies transmit disease in dairy and beef animals.
The product has always been competitively priced at 4 or 5 cents per head per day to feed the product but because of recent company innovations, they have cut the price in half, Upton said.
Itís good news for producers, he said.
Upton added producers really donít need any other fly control product besides Altosid, even though flies may appear to be a problem in late summer following a heavy rain, if producers are patient, the numbers will go down.
To learn more about feed-through fly control, click here.
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