Horn flies are costing the cattle industry billions of dollars every year. Controlling horn flies with chemical insecticides is not working because horn flies have been able to develop a resistance to all of the chemical insecticides that have been used in the last 80 years. Consequently, the horn fly problem continues to get worse every year!

The only way to truly solve the horn fly problem is through genetics. Today, I am going to tell you how you can solve the horn fly problem on your farm or ranch. When you go through your cows, you will notice some cows have a heavy fly load while others have very few flies. There are scientific reasons for this difference – but that doesn’t really matter. All you need to know is that some cows are much more fly resistant than other cows.

NOTE: You must do this BEFORE any chemical insecticides have been used. Once the cowherd has been treated with an insecticide, you will not be able to identify your best or your worst cows.

When horn flies are getting bad, go through your cowherd and identify the cows with the heaviest fly loads. Keep in mind, as the day warms up the flies will relocate from the back to the belly. Try to identify the worst 25% of the cows in your herd. These cows will most likely be your lowest producing and least profitable cows.

Cull those cows as soon as possible. With cow prices as high as they are, there has never been a better time to get rid of your least-profitable, fly-infested cows. If you are unwilling to sell those cows at these record-high prices, you are essentially buying them at these record-high prices.

Replace your herd bulls with low-input PCC Solar Bulls that have been bred for fly resistance. In the last 18 years, we have evaluated and scored over 15,000 bulls for genetic fly resistance. While other seedstock producers continue to use toxic chemicals to cover up their inferior genetics, we have the ability to help you solve your horn fly problem.

I suggest you go through your cows every summer for another three or four years to identify the cows with the worst fly resistance. There will always be a bottom 10 to 20 percent. Get rid of those cows and replace them with heifers that have some bred-in fly resistance.

You will never get to the point that you have fly-free cows. You just need to get to the point that the horn flies no longer have a negative economic impact on your bottom line. There is a BIG difference between a fly load of 50 to 100 flies and a fly load of 1000 to 2000 flies!

The heritability of fly resistance is very high! Therefore, you should be able to solve your horn fly problem in four or five years – if you follow the above suggestions. Because cow prices have never been this high before, NOW is the best time to get started! What are you waiting for?

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