Your top Purina® Wind and Rain® Fly Control Mineral questions answered.
Q: When should I stop feeding fly control mineral this fall?
Feed Purina® Wind and Rain® Fly Control Mineral with Altosid® Insect Growth Regulator (IGR) through summer, until 30 days after the first frost in the fall. Keeping fly control mineral out long enough in the fall is just as important to control flies as providing it early enough in the spring (30 days before the last frost).
Q: Why keep feeding if fly populations are declining?
Keeping it out 30 days after the first frost in fall gives you a head start on controlling next year’s fly populations. Horn flies overwinter (hibernate) in the pupal stage which can jump-start adult populations in the spring. Using it longer in the fall decreases the opportunity for flies to overwinter below manure patties because Altosid® IGR stops horn fly development. That means those eggs can’t develop into adult flies. If you don’t keep fly control mineral out for 30 days after the first frost, you also risk temperatures bouncing back and allowing more fly generations to survive.
Q: How do I transition cattle off?
Switching between mineral formulas is simple – just fill the feeder or set out a tub of the new mineral once it’s gone. All Wind and Rain® minerals feature a special formulation to help cattle consume mineral at target intake levels. At the same time, the weatherized mineral’s large particle size holds up to mother nature for a smooth transition, anytime
Q: Will it negatively impact cattle if I feed too long?
Wind and Rain® Fly Control Mineral functions via Altosid® IGR passing into the manure to stop horn fly development. Cattle do not absorb IGR into their bloodstream, so they’re not negatively impacted by continual consumption. However, depending on your location, it might not make economic sense to feed the mineral after cattle no longer need it. Alternately, if you live in a southern state, consider offering it year-round since fly season lasts so long. Using the same mineral all year can also simplify your mineral program.
Q: How can I make the most of fly control mineral through fall?
Ensure cattle are consuming mineral at target levels. If cattle aren’t consuming enough of the mineral, they won’t get the full benefits. Consider these tips if consumption is off, and work with your Purina rep or dealer to troubleshoot:
Use enough mineral feeders or tubs. A good rule of thumb is one tub or mineral feeder for every 25-30 cows. Always review manufacturer recommendations.
Strategically place mineral feeders and tubs to encourage consumption. For example, cattle will likely cover more grazing ground as the weather cools off. Consider repositioning mineral closer to high-traffic areas, like water sources, which cattle return to regularly.
Check mineral tubs or feeders every week. Make sure feeders are full and tubs still have enough product, so cattle don’t miss a day of fly control mineral.
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article thanks to Elizabeth Belew, Ph.D. and Purina. Get more expert advice to beat the buzz at purinamills.com/fly-control.