Horse college offered to area farmers

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The Northern Kentucky area counties participate in horse college—a four-week program that focuses on horse nutrition, horse health, facilities, tack, and many other horse-related topics.

Dr. Bob Cole-man, Univer-sity of Kent-ucky equine Extension specialist, will lead the series.  Dr. Coleman will be physically present at the Boone County Extension Office, but his classes will be broadcasted live at the Gallatin County Extension Office, U.S. 42 West, Warsaw.

Classes will be held at 6:30 p.m. each Thursday in March — March 7, 14, 21 and 28.  If you would like to attend the classes in Gallatin County, please call (859) 567-5481.

Fly control using ear tags

Insecticide-impregnated ear tags are a popular means to control pasture flies, especially the horn fly. Tags are inserted in late spring or early summer, and the fly control program travels with the animal.

However, using tags containing the same class of active ingredient for several consecutive seasons can select for populations of the horn fly that are resistant to a whole class of related insecticides. This shows up in the form of a shorter-than-normal period of fly control, but lab testing would be needed to confirm resistance.

To cloud the issue more, other things could cause reduced fly control. Some examples:

• The 12- to 15-week “fly control clock” starts when tags are inserted.  Hanging them too early in the spring can mean protection “runs out” before fly season is over.

• Horn flies moving in from untreated nearby herds can keep pressure high and make control seem less effective.

• Above normal rainfall can keep manure wetter longer and more suitable for horn fly breeding than during hot, dry summers when manure dries quickly and may be less hospitable for horn fly maggots.

Here are some ways to get the most out of your ear tag-based pasture fly control program in 2008.

Rotate insecticide classes annually. Currently there are three chemical options—organophosphates, pyrethroids, and chlorinated hydrocarbons—but dozens of brand names. Check the label for the name of the active ingredient in the tag to be sure you know what you are using and record the choice each year.  “The Insecticide Recommendations for Beef” (UK Publication, ENT-11) lists the tags by insecticide class, making it easier to establish a rotation.

This spring, apply tags after horn fly numbers reach about 100 per side per animal.  This will keep them from being applied too early.  It takes more than 100 flies per side to have an impact on weight gain.

Supplement fly control with dust bags, oilers, sprays or pour-ons, if needed.

Staying on a pro-active program will keep resistance problems at bay.

Dates of Interest

March 6: Carroll County Agricultural Development Council meeting, 7 p.m., Carroll County Extension Office.

March 12:Control Overhead through Business Energy Management, noon, Carroll County Extension Office.

March 14:BQA Certification, 6:30 p.m., Carroll County Extension Office.

March 19:Extension district board meeting, 5 p.m., Carroll County Extension Office.

March 19: County Extension council meeting, 7 p.m., Carroll County Extension Office.


Christin Herbst is the Carroll County Extension agent for agriculture and natural resources. Call her at (502) 732-7030 or send e-mail to Christin.Herbst@uky.edu.