||Production Methods: The main housing options for dairy cows and their replacements are freestall barns, tie stall barns, loose housing or bedded-pack
barns, outside corrals or feedlots, and pasture. Housing facilities for young stock should include a clean, dry maternity area for birth, a hutch or pen,
and a weaning pen or super hutch which can hold 3-5 calves. A proper ventilation system is necessary in the barns to continuously exchange air. A
proper manure handling and storage system must be coordinated with cow numbers, cropland acres, crop nutrient needs, and weather.
Cornell undertook a survey of the diary industry in New York in 1997. New York state dairy producers, for the most part, managed their milking herds in stanchion barns with access to pastures. Scraping was the primary method of cleaning barns to remove manure. Manure removal was once or twice per day. Indoor pens with manure removal once per day were the primary method of housing and cleaning out calves. These practices were consistent with those reported in the 1991 survey (Partridge et al, 1992) of NYS dairy producers.
Flies on pastured cattle were indicated as the pests causing an economic loss to their operations in NYS. Flies in and around the barn were ranked second highest. These pests were also ranked as the most difficult to control with currently registered active ingredients. Presence of pest and animal discomfort were the main criteria for determining when to use pesticides on their dairy animals. The majority of survey respondents reported that past success, farm supply dealer, and veterinarian recommendations were their primary criteria for determining what pesticides to use against pests. Disappointingly, Cooperative Extension did not rank very highly as an information source that New York dairy producers were utilizing. This is a lower ranking than in the 1991 survey.
Fly baits were primarily used for fly control in and around the barn. Space sprays were the next most popular method of control. Products that contained permethrin or pyrethrins plus synergist were used against flies, lice and mites by a significant portion of respondents. Most producers did not use oral formulations or residual sprays for fly control in and around the barn. A number of survey respondents used pyrethrin plus synergist formulations in the milk room for fly control. Permethrin animal sprays were used the most for fly control on pastured cattle and for louse and mite control.
According to Geden and Rutz (1991), the house fly has developed very high levels of resistance to the insecticides available (registered) for its control. Therefore, dairy producers are in need of alternative methods for improved pest suppression. Fly control on farms using a combination of parasitoid releases, frequent bedding/manure removal and avoidance of insecticides that are harmful to the parasitoids has been shown to be twice as effective as on conventionally managed farms, while reducing insecticide usage by 80% (Geden and Rutz, 1991). In addition, cost to the dairy producer for increased frequency of removal of manure/bedding has been shown to be minimal while reducing or eliminating the cost of insecticides (Lazarus, et al., 1989).
New York dairy producers practiced some form of alternative, non-chemical pest control. Manure management was the most frequently indicated method used. A significant number of producers were also using fly ribbons and baited traps for control of flies. A comparison of data from the 1991 dairy survey to this survey indicated that producers still show an interest in the use of biocontrols such as predators and parasites, but use of these controls has remained the same. During 1997, most New York dairy producers spent between $100.00 and $299.00 annually for fly control and between $50.00 and $99.00 for other pests, such as lice, mange, cattle grubs, gnats and ticks. This cost is similar to the 1991 survey. Chemical fly control costs have remained the same, while cost for other pest control (i.e. lice, mange, cattle grubs, gnats and ticks) has increased.
Fed to calves.....................130 million pounds
Consumed as milk,
cream and butter...........17 million pounds
Sold wholesale..................11.5 billion pounds
Retailed by producers......12 million pounds