Although New York is not a major poultry meat production state, there are broilers and turkeys being grown and processed in New York for niche markets.
About 8 million, high value Kosher broilers are processed in the state, of which 25% are grown in New York. In addition, another million broilers are grown to be
sold live to processors in Canada and a few hundred thousand are sold live in New York City. There are also 12 million pounds of turkey grown and processed
in New York. The turkey and broiler meat grown and processed in the state are worth more than $8.9 million.
Responses from the last industry survey undertaken in 1998 indicated that "Over half (68%) of the producers felt that flies were one of the most important
pests affecting the industry, followed by lesser mealworm and other destructive beetles (40%), and northern fowl mites (21%)." Most felt that flies were one of
the most difficult pests to control as well.
Many poultry producers feel they are losing the war against flies in their houses due to pesticide resistance. Over time, the percentage of resistant flies
has increased and the insecticide that was once effective now provides only partial control for a short time. Resistance to chemicals spreads rapidly among
farms by fly migration. This has been demonstrated using the insecticide permethrin (Ectiban, Atroban). When it was first introduced, permethrin controlled
flies for 4-8 weeks. Now control only lasts a few days. Resistance problems are further compounded by the fact that dairy farms and other animal production
facilities use many of the same insecticides that poultry producers use. Pesticides that were available and effective to poultry and livestock producers six years
ago (when the last pesticide impact assessment survey was undertaken) have become ineffective due to resistance or have been removed from the marketplace.
In the absence of the above mentioned products and techniques, it is essential to determine what control measures (chemical, cultural, and biological) are
being utilized to combat pests of the poultry industry. In addition, it is important to determine the efficacy of current pest control practices as well as the
economic results brought about due to the changes in pest control strategies.
In the future, pesticides will undoubtedly continue to play a major role in pest management programs, but their true impact and significance must be
broadly examined. Metcalf (1980) has reviewed the changing role of insecticides in agriculture. Croft and Brown (1975) examined the impact of insecticides on
natural enemies of insects and mites. Turpin and Maxwell (1976) reported on pesticide use surveys conducted among Indiana growers. Pesticide use surveys
are available for New York (Roberts, 1981; Stark and Ackerman, 1988; Partridge et al., 1992; Harrington et al., 1998) and the northeast (Specker et al., 1986; USDA,
Current pest management techniques rely heavily on pesticides. Today, pesticides and their cost of application are a significant production expense for
producers. Over 7 million pounds of pesticides (herbicides, insecticides, and fungicides) are annually applied in New York agricultural production systems. If
pesticides are used as a single tactic, this approach, although often effective, can have serious drawbacks including the development of pesticide resistance
and destruction of natural enemies of these pests. The data generated from use surveys allows researchers and others to evaluate and assess the use/need of
agricultural chemicals in the poultry industry.
A systems approach to pest management utilizing optimal integrated pest management practices [chemical (least toxic), cultural and biological] and best
production practices would greatly benefit the poultry industry in New York State. Although such a system continues to be developed at Cornell University by
the Veterinary Entomology Program in colaboration with the NYS Integrated Pest Management Program, additional information on the use and effectiveness of
current control practices is necessary to aid in the assessment, evaluation and planning of this effort.
In 1998, Cornell undertook a survey of NYS poultry producers. New York State poultry producers for the most part housed their flocks in high-rise caged-
layer houses with concrete floors. The tractor was the primary method of manure removal from poultry facilities. Manure removal was done semi-annually or
annually. This practice has not changed much from the 1992 survey (Partridge, et al, 1993) of NYS poultry producers.
Rodents were indicated as the pest causing greatest economic loss to poultry operations in NYS, followed by flies and lesser mealworm/hide beetles.
Poultry producers felt that both flies and rodents were the most difficult pests to control with currently registered active ingredients. Presence of pest and
personal discomfort were the main criteria for determining when to use pesticides in their poultry facilities. The majority of survey respondents reported that
past success with a product, Cooperative Extension, and chemical salesperson recommendations were their primary criteria for determining which pesticides to
use against pests. Interestingly, Cooperative Extension was utilized much more than indicated in the 1992 survey (33.33% versus 9.4%, respectively).
A small group of respondents used herbicides for weed control around their poultry facilities. Products that contained glyphosate, dicamba, and paraquat
were used. In addition, rodenticides were used by the majority of respondents. Products that contained bromadiolone, brodifacoum, and difethialone were used
most often. The percentage of users for both herbicides and rodenticides remained similar to the 1992 survey.
Residual sprays, space sprays and baits were most commonly used for fly control in and around poultry houses. Products that contained permethrin,
cyfluthrin or methomyl were used against flies by a significant portion of respondents. Most producers did not use feed-through larvicides or manure
Ninety-three percent of New York poultry producers indicated that they were using manure management as an alternative to pesticides. Use of beneficial
insects accounted for 41% of respondents. As indicated in the results, this percentage of use has doubled from the 1992 survey. According to Scott et al. (2000),
the house fly has developed very high levels of resistance to the insecticides available (registered) for its control. Therefore, poultry producers are in need of
alternative methods for improved pest suppression. Fly control in poultry facilities using a combination of parasitoid releases, manure management and
avoidance of insecticides that are harmful to the parasitoids has been shown to give excellent control (Axtell, 1970).
During 1998, an equal amount of New York poultry producers spent between $300 and $499, as well as between $1000 and $1999 annually for fly control. A
majority also spent between $10 and $49 on herbicides and over $700.00 on rodenticides. Chemical fly control and rodent control costs have increased
substantially since the 1992 survey. Herbicide use and costs have remained the same.
Most poultry producers are disposing of empty containers properly. Also, unused pesticides are being stored for the following season. The most popular
place for storage of unused pesticides is still in an area within the poultry house.