Don't Let Parasites Suck All the Profits Out of Your Beef Cattle Herd - Get Rid of Them at the SourceFri, 24 Feb 2017 14:47:54 CST
It may not be a new topic of discussion, but it is an important one - dealing with external parasites in our beef cattle herds. Radio Oklahoma Ag Network Farm Director Ron Hays spoke recently with Dr. Justin Talley, a livestock entomologist at Oklahoma State University, who says producers ought to start thinking about how they will manage pests this year as peak population months in spring and early summer approach.
“When we have a lot of flies feeding on those animals, it impacts the performance of that animal,” Talley said. “The thing we have to think about is how are we going to not necessarily get rid of them - but how are we going to control them to the level where it doesn’t impact beef performance.”
Parasites have a dramatic economic impact, draining almost $1.5 billion from the beef industry each year, according to Dr. Talley. And while the truth is, you’ll never be able to completely rid your operation of flies, the key to managing loss, he says, is to at least keep fly populations down. This has become increasingly more difficult to do with widespread resistance to insecticides. However, Talley suggests striking at the source of the problem.
“The things we have to think about is where are those stable flies coming from - and it’s usually when we’re feeding our hay,” Talley said. “If you’re feeding hay and not cleaning it up, that’s probably where your stable flies are coming from.”
Logistically, though, your best bet to controlling fly populations is probably with insecticide. Talley suggests working with your animal health provider to figure out the best solution to fit your needs.
Listen to all of Dr. Talley’s tips on managing external parasites in your beef cattle herd with Ron Hays, on today’s 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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