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Agricultural News

OSU's Justin Talley Says Now is the Time to Start Considering Fly Control Options for Cattle

Mon, 06 Jun 2016 21:41:18 CDT

OSU's Justin Talley Says Now is the Time to Start Considering Fly Control Options for Cattle

Summer means fly season, and so it's time to get ahead of the problem before it creates a negative economic impact on your cattle herd. Dr. Justin Talley, a livestock entomologist at Oklahoma State University, says one level of fly control to strongly consider is insecticidal ear tags.                

Talley warns against putting ear tags in too early because the efficacy will wear out before fly populations begin increasing at a high rate in July and August.

“What we consider when you need to start implementing ear tags are about 200 horn flies per animal,” he says. “If that animal is in good body condition score, they can probably handle more than that, but at this time of year, we could have some animals at that 200 horn flies per animal rate.”

Talley says pour-ons and sprays are also fly-control considerations.

“When you’re putting a pour-on on the animals to control stable flies or horn flies in general, you’re going to get anywhere from about three to four weeks of control, where it’s keeping them below those economic threshold levels of 200 flies per animal,” he says. “So that means you’re going to have to reapply.”

Due to environmental challenges like precipitation and even heavy dew, Talley say sprays can be a challenge.

“You can essentially depend on reapplying that product anywhere from three to five weeks after that initial application,” he says.

If using a pour-on or spray, Talley recommends creating a monthly application schedule to maximize effectiveness.

And Talley says that it's important to rotate treatment chemical classes, not just similar products with different names, so that the flies do not build up resistance to the insecticides.

He says that rotation is more important when it comes to using ear tags.

“You can switch out products with sprays and pour-ons on a once-per-month basis, whereas with ear tags, it’s once a year,” Talley says. “So year one you start off with a organo-phosphate, year two you can go into a pyrethroid and then year three you can get into Ivomec-type tags.”

Hear Dr. Talley talk more about effectively controlling flies during the summer months during the latest Beef Buzz.

The Beef Buzz is a regular feature heard on radio stations around the region on the Radio Oklahoma Network and is a regular audio feature found on this website as well. Click on the LISTEN BAR below for today's show and check out our archives for older Beef Buzz shows covering the gamut of the beef cattle industry today.



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