The importance of properly managing external parasites and tips on how to do so highlighted the August 13 KLA/Kansas State University Ranch Management Field Day near Plains. Nearly 80 ranchers attended the event, hosted by High Plains Ponderosa Dairy.
A.J. Tarpoff, K-State extension beef veterinarian, explained the most common external parasites found on cattle are horn, stable and face flies and ticks.
“Parasites cost the industry,” he said. “Horn flies alone cost the industry $1 billion in losses each year.”
According to Tarpoff, the loss is a combination of decreases in average daily gain, milk production, feeding patterns and treatment costs. To control fly populations, he advised to eliminate standing water, implement proper manure management, remove feed residue and control weeds. Tick control practices included cedar tree removal.
Additionally, he encouraged ranchers to consult their local veterinarian about different treatment protocols to eliminate parasites. Options to consider include feed-through products, insecticide-impregnated ear tags, pour-ons, sprays, oil/dusters, injectables or a vet gun.
Attendees at the field day also heard an update from CattleTrace Program Manager Cassie Kniebel on the traceability project. Kniebel noted CattleTrace has been successful in placing ultra-high frequency readers in all segments of the beef industry, including 11 livestock auction markets, 16 feedyards, two backgrounding facilities and three major packing plants.
Producers and industry stakeholders will have a chance to hear more updates and offer feedback at the CattleTrace Industry Symposium November 22 in Manhattan.
High Plains Ponderosa Dairy General Manager Greg Bethard rounded out the field day program with a discussion on the challenges of maintaining consumer perception and potential solutions to ensure the longevity of the industry. More in-depth coverage on this topic will appear in the October Kansas Stockman magazine.
Bayer Animal Health and the Farm Credit Associations of Kansas sponsored the field day.