Stress Less

When flies arrive on the farm, so does stress. Not only does the producer suffer as he or she wonders how much damage the flies will do to the herd, but, more importantly, the pesky insects create a stressful environment for cattle, which ultimately affects the bottom line.

As the cattle attempt to ward off the flies, their grazing is interrupted, and the results are often decreased weight gain and reduced milk production. A year-round fly control program built around Co-op minerals containing feed-through larvacide can effectively reduce the impact of flies on a herd.

There are three major species of flies with potential to afflict cattle: house flies, horn flies, and face flies. Of these, horn flies are by far the most costly. They are often confused with face flies. The horn fly however, is a small, black insect about the size of a grain of rice that spend the majority of its life on the back, shoulders, and belly of its host.

Stockdale’s specialists urge farmers to act now to get ahead of horn fly populations. The first flies will begin to emerge when daily temperatures reach 65 degrees for a period of two weeks, and as the spring and summer progress, limiting numbers becomes more difficult and less effective.

The best way to start your fly control efforts in early April is with Supreme Hi Mag Cattle Mineral with Fly Control (#96623) free choice for his cattle through May. In June, switch to Supreme IGR Fly Control Cattle Mineral (#96622) and continues using it into November.

Providing early spring to late fall access to the IGR mineral will produce optimum results. The insect growth regulator (IGR) prevents horn fly eggs from developing into adults by passing through the animal’s digestive tract unaffected and into the manure where it interrupts the life cycle of the fly. The extended timeline ensures the IGR is available during every stage of the fly’s lifespan — from egg to adulthood.

The best defense against fly populations is to implement a total fly control program that includes multiple products to prevent the buildup of fly resistance.

In addition to the fly control mineral it is recommended that you add other fly control methods like pour on sprays, insecticidal ear tags or back rubs to enhance coverage.

Don’t let flies rob you of bottom line profits, visit the folks at Stockdale’s and pick up fly control mineral and help design your complete fly control program.