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Hassle-Free Fly Control


Feeding a mineral mix with a unique insect-growth regulator stops horn flies cold.

Pete Henderson and Southern States' David Baber check out mineral feeders in Henderson's pastures. The feeders are stocked with Fly Stop Beef & Dairy Mineral with Altosid throughout the horn-fly season.
Pete Henderson and Southern States' David Baber check out mineral feeders in Henderson's pastures. The feeders are stocked with Fly Stop Beef & Dairy Mineral with Altosid throughout the horn-fly season.

The first priority of Pete Henderson's time is overseeing the family-owned heavy construction business that his father founded at Williamsburg, Va. But his happiest moments are spent with his wife, Connie, on the couple's Edgewood Farm just up the road near West Point.

There's no question that their herd of 80 registered Angus cows is a great source of pride and joy. So they become understandably upset when their prized animals are harassed by horn flies.

"We've tried about everything: fly tags, back rubs, and sprays with varying degrees of success," Henderson reports. "But this past summer was the first time we obtained complete control."

Success came from feeding Fly Stop Beef & Dairy Mineral with Altosid® from Southern States. Henderson feeds it free choice from feeders in each pasture.

"We kept Fly Stop out for the cows from about mid-May until mid-October," Henderson says. "We started out with one feeder per 25 acres. When fly populations began building up in August, we put out two or three feeders per pasture.

horn flyWe also put fly ear tags on the cows in August for insurance's sake," he admits. "But I'm not sure the tags were needed."

David Baber, Southern States Feed Sales and Tech Rep, explains that Fly Stop Beef & Dairy Mineral with Altosid is a unique product. Unlike insecticide sprays, it doesn't kill adult flies. Instead the Altosid, which is an insect-growth regulator, passes through the animal's digestive system with the manure in which horn flies deposit their eggs. The eggs hatch, but the IGR disrupts the natural development of the insects so that they never reach adulthood.

Henderson points out that the area where he farms near the coast is notorious for its horn-fly populations. They are a severe problem every summer. They bother the cows to the point where the animals don't eat.

"[The cows] are constantly moving around and swatting with their tails," he reports. "Since we calve in October, this obviously affects the cows' condition. And in turn, it has an impact on the size and health of their calves."

Henderson's cows love the taste of the Fly Stop Beef & Dairy Mineral with Altosid, so he has no problem getting them to eat enough to be effective.


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