Benefits of Fly Control

The days are longer and the temps are rising, which means it's time to break out those warm-weather favorites! But wait, we're not talking about breaking out the shorts and sandals; we're talking about fly control. 

One of the most convenient and consistent fly control methods for cattle is to use loose mineral or mineral tubs with Altosid®. Altosid® works by breaking the life cycle of the horn fly and leaves the cow herd unharmed.  It will take at least 2-3 weeks to break the horn fly's life cycle, so we must get ahead of the fly population as quickly as we can. For this reason, Mid-West Fertilizer carries the Purina® Wind and Rain® Fly Control Mineral that contains a Hi-Mag with Altosid®.  

It is good to note that horn fly larvae can overwinter in manure piles, so it is essential to feed at least two weeks past a hard frost. 

Consistent consumption is key! In the summer, we sometimes get feedback that cattle aren't eating as much mineral with the fly control as they did to start with. If that is your issue, let's be sure to talk about consumption and feeder placement. It is also a good idea to couple the fly control mineral with a topical to target adults. 

The most commonly asked question we get is: "If my neighbor isn't feeding fly control, isn't it just a waste of my money to feed it?" The answer is no. Horn flies leave their host animal only long enough to fly down and lay eggs in the manure. The flies physically cannot fly very far, so if your neighbor is not feeding fly control, you will still see results in your herd, even if it's right across the fence.  

Another common question is about the cost. It is about a bag per head for the fly control season with simple math, which equates to about three additional cents per day. If we really pencil it down, the fly control doesn't add that much extra input costs and certainly reduces the cow herd's stress as much as possible. 

Now is the perfect time to lock in your mineral needs, including fly control, by taking advantage of our Spring Mineral Promotion through April 16, 2021. Contact your nearest Mid-West Fertilizer location or me at (417) 321-2651 if you have any questions. 

On behalf of Whitney Shaw, Mid-West Fertilizer purina livestock feed specialist