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PEST AND PESTICIDE USE ASSESSMENT FOR DAIRY CATTLE PRODUCTION SYSTEMS IN NEW YORK STATE FOR 1991 (SUMMARY REPORT)


INTRODUCTION

New York ranks third, nationally, among the states in milk production. In 1991, there were 756,000 milk cows producing an average of 14,675 pounds per cow per year. The milk produced in 1991 was valued at over 1.6 billion dollars (New York State Agricultural Statistics, 1991-1992).

The overall assessment and effectiveness of pest control techniques for New York state dairy cattle production systems are an ongoing process for scientists at Cornell's College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. The most recent study of dairy cattle pest and pesticide-use in New York state was undertaken in 1986 (Specker, et. al., 1986). However, many of the pesticides cited in that report are no longer available for dairy cattle pest control.

In today's setting, the absence of pesticide-use information can create numerous misunderstandings associated with consumer concerns over food safety and health effects of pesticides. It is for this reason that this project was undertaken. This report summarizes pesticide-use data during 1991 for dairy cattle. Funding for this report was provided by the National Agricultural Pesticide Impact Assessment Program, United States Department of Agriculture.

Certain words and/or terms used throughout this paper are defined below:

RESULTS AND DISCUSSION

Table 1 shows the total number of cattle from each county where dairy cattle data were collected. One hundred and eighty-six of the 189 surveys collected indicated herd size. The surveys encompassed a total of 6,997 calves, 9,987 heifers and 20,473 milking cows (approximately 3% of the dairy cattle in New York). The total herd size represented was 37,457 cattle in 29 counties.

Table 1.  Collection locations for dairy cattle data
_____________________________________________________________________________
             No. of     No. of       No. of         No. in          Total
County       records    calves       heifers     milking herd     herd size
_____________________________________________________________________________
Albany          1         75           75            150             300
Allegany        7        104          444            501           1,049
Broome          9        230          357            694           1,281
Cayuga          3         85          145            246             476
Chemung         1         30           25            131             186
Chenango       24        956        1,410          2,779           5,145
Clinton         1         80           90            160             330
Cortland        8        546          416          1,101           2,063
Dutchess        3        195          255            575           1,025
Erie            5        143          157            719           1,019
Essex           3         82          195            185             462
Franklin        3         82          155            255             492
Genesee*       14        763        1,423          3,002           5,188
Lewis          23        533          669          1,642           2,844
Livingston      1         50           50             80             180
Monroe          7        341          462            818           1,621
Niagara         3         87           74            145             306
Onondaga        1         46          213              0             259
Orleans         1         50           65            280             395
Rensselaer      4        112          155            316             583
Saratoga        2         39           48            134             221
Schuyler        3        275          365            540           1,180
Steuben        12        404          570          1,045           2,019
Tioga          13        467          510          1,292           2,269
Tompkins       12        546          731          1,624           2,901
Washington     16        485          702          1,476           2,663
Wayne           1         15            8             47              70
Wyoming*        5        176          218            536             930
TOTALS        186      6,997        9,987         20,473          37,457
_____________________________________________________________________________
* 3 additional surveys were collected where the farmer did not indicate herd
size and were therefore not included in this table.  One was from Wyoming
County and the other two were from Genesee County.

Calves were most commonly housed in an indoor pen (59.9%); 76.6% of the heifers were housed using a combination of an indoor pen (or freestall) and pasture. Stanchion or tie stall was the method of housing used most frequently (47.6%) for the milking herd.

Table 2 shows the frequency of treatment for the 5 livestock pest types surveyed. The most common response to how frequently flies on pasture were treated was "rarely or never" (42.2%). Flies in and around the barn area were treated several times per week by 34.8% of the dairymen surveyed and once a week by 26.0%. Lice were most commonly treated once per season (49.2%) and mange, scabies or barn itch, and grubs were treated rarely or never (60.5% and 65.2% respectively).

Table 2  Treatment frequency of livestock pests (187 records)
_____________________________________________________________________________
         (1 = Several times/week, 2 = once/week, 3 = two-three times/month,
          4 = once a month, 5 = once a season, 6 = rarely or never treat)
               1          2          3          4          5          6
              % of       % of       % of       % of       % of       % of
Pest type   records    records    records    records    records    records
_____________________________________________________________________________
Flies on
 pasture     16.8%       9.8%       8.7%       8.1%      14.5%      42.2%
Flies in
 barn area   34.8%      26.0%      15.5%       8.8%       3.9%      11.0%
Lice          2.8%       2.2%       3.4%      15.6%      49.2%      26.8%
Mange, scabies
 or barn itch 1.2%       0.0%       3.6%       3.6%      31.1%      60.5%
Grubs         1.2%       0.6%       2.4%       1.2%      29.3%      65.2%
_____________________________________________________________________________

Dairymen were asked to rank each livestock pest as to their difficulty of control, with "1" being the most difficult and "5" being the least difficult. One hundred and nineteen out of 174 records (68.4%) considered flies on pastured cattle to have a difficulty level of 1 or 2. A similar number (63.2%) was obtained for flies in and around the barn area. The most common response indicated for lice was difficulty level 3 (30.0%), while mange, scabies or barn itch, and grubs appeared to be easy to control with difficulty levels of 5 (30.7% and 41.2% respectively).

The pest category "flies in and around the barn area" was considered to cause the greatest economic loss (32.9%) followed by "flies on pastured cattle" (27.2%). The same sequence was followed for the response to "pests that appear to be resistant to the insecticides available for their control." "Flies in barn area" received 43.0% of the responses and "flies on pastured cattle" received 38.8% (Table 3).

Table 3.  Pests that appear to be resistant to the insecticides available for
          their control (128 records)
_____________________________________________________________________________
                                 Number of                 Percent of
Pest                             responses                 responses
_____________________________________________________________________________
Flies on pastured cattle            64                        38.8%
Flies in barn area                  71                        43.0%
Lice                                 6                         3.6%
Mange, scabies,or barn itch         12                         7.3%
Grubs                               12                         7.3%
_____________________________________________________________________________

Table 4 summarizes alternative methods used for the control of dairy cattle pests. The most commonly used method was manure management (42.8% of total responses and 83.7% of dairymen) followed by fly ribbons and sticky paper. Twelve of the 20 "other" responses (60%) were the drug Ivomec for the control of external parasites. Although only 2.2% of the dairymen surveyed used biocontrols - predators/parasites, 20 indicated that they would be interested in using them. Removal of manure/bedding for calves, heifers and cows occurred daily--48.4% for calves, 43.5% for heifers, and 94.5% for cows.

Table 4  Alternative methods for control of dairy cattle pests (184 records)
_____________________________________________________________________________
                                Number of       Percent of     Percent of
Alternative method              responses       responses       records
_____________________________________________________________________________
Manure management                  154            42.8%          83.7%
Electronic bug killers              46            12.8%          25.0%
Biocontrols-predators/parasites      4             1.1%           2.2%
Baited traps                        19             5.3%          10.0%
Fly ribbons, sticky paper, etc.    112            31.1%          60.9%
Other*                              20             5.6%          10.9%
None                                 5             1.4%           2.7%
_____________________________________________________________________________
*Other includes:  Ivomec for control of external parasites, birds, fly
swatter, fans to keep the air moving, filling in the barnyard with concrete
and screen doors.

Of the dairymen surveyed, 84.2% were certified pesticide applicators and 76.4% applied pesticides to cattle themselves . A very wide range of pesticide application methods were used by dairymen. The most common responses were fly baits, fogging/misting in the barn, and animal sprays which had been used by 73.5%, 68.1% and 61.6% of the dairymen, respectively. The least used methods (<40%) were ear tags and backrubbers. The type of application equipment used most often (which correlates with application method) was fogger (27.6%) followed by backpack or hand pump sprayer, and dust bags (both 22.5%). Dairymen indicated that 46% of them never calibrate their equipment . Of those that do calibrate their equipment, the most common response was once per season.

Insecticides used for fly control on cattle on pasture are summarized in Table 5:

  1. Animal sprays were the most popular type of insecticide used for fly control on cattle on pasture (30.3% of responses and 57.7% of records) Of the animal sprays, permethrin was used most often (56%) followed by dichlorvos (28.4%)
  2. Backrubbers accounted for 12.5% of the responses. Permethrin (33.3%) and coumaphos (Co-Ral) (31.1%) were the most widely used insecticides for backrubbers.
  3. Hand dusting received 10.0% of the responses. Rabon and permethrin were the most popular (38.9 and 33.3% respectively).
  4. Ear tags and impregnated wicks were used the least (6.9 and 5.2%).
  5. Dust bags were the second most popular type (13.1% of the responses or 24.8% of the dairymen). There was no "favorite" dust to use; all 4 insecticides received between 21 and 31% of the responses.
  6. Oral formulations were used by 16.4% of the dairymen. Rabon Oral Larvicide was the most popular (77.4%).
  7. Forty-eight of the 189 dairymen surveyed (25.4%) indicated that they used no insecticides to control flies on cattle on pasture. This was the third most popular response.
Table 5.  Insecticides used for fly control on cattle on pasture
(189 records)
_____________________________________________________________________________
                                  Number of       Percent of     Percent of
Insecticide                       responses       responses       records
_____________________________________________________________________________
Animal sprays                        109            30.3%          57.7%
  Crotoxyphos (Ciodrin)                7             6.4%
  Dichlorvos (Vapona,Ciovap,
   Dual Stock Spray)                  31            28.4%
  Malathion                            7             6.4%
  Permethrin (Atroban, Expar,
   Ectiban, Permaban, Permectrin II)  61            56.0%
  Pyrethrins                           3             2.8%
Backrubbers                           45            12.5%         23.8%
  Coumaphos (Co-Ral)                  14            31.1%
  Crotoxyphos (Ciodrin)                2             4.4%
  Dichlorvos (Vapona, Ciovap,
   Dual Stock Concentrate, Ravap)      5            11.1%
  Malathion                            3             6.7%
  Methoxychlor                         4             8.9%
  Permethrin (Ectiban, Permectrin II) 15            33.3%
  Other                                2             4.4%
Hand dusting                          36            10.0%         19.0%
  Coumaphos (Co-Ral)                   6            16.7%
  Crotoxyphos (Ciodrin)                4            11.1%
  Permethrin (Permectrin)             12            33.3%
  Rabon                               14            38.9%
Ear tags                              25             6.9%         13.2%
  Fenvalerate (Ectrin)                12            48.0%
  Permethrin (Atroban, Ear Force,
   Permectrin, Ectiban)               13            52.0%
Dust bags                             47            13.1%         24.8%
  Coumaphos (Co-Ral)                  10            21.2%
  Crotoxyphos (Ciodrin)               10            21.3%
  Permethrin (Permectrin)             12            25.5%
  Rabon                               15            31.9%
Oral formulations                     31             8.6%         16.4%
  Diflubenzuron (Vigilante bolus)      7            22.6%
  Rabon Oral Larvicide                24            77.4%
Impregnated wicks                     19             5.2%          10.0%
  Permethrin (Liquiduster)            19           100.0%
No insecticides used                  48            13.3%          25.4%
_____________________________________________________________________________

Insecticides used for fly control in and around the barn area are summarized in Table 6:

  1. "Space sprays applied with a mist blower and/or foggers" was the most popular response (29.4% or 78.8% of dairymen). Permethrin and pyrethrins plus synergist were most widely used (36.2 and 34.2% respectively).
  2. Residual sprays were used by 30.2% of the farmers. Permethrin, again, was popular (64.9%).
  3. Manure treating or larviciding was used by only 16.4% of the dairymen. Rabon was the most widely used (71.0%).
  4. Baits were indicated by 61% of the farmers, as was "fly control in the milkroom." The most popular bait was methomyl (Lannate) (71.8%), and pyrethrins plus synergist was the most common response (65.5%) for fly control in the milkroom.
  5. Rabon Oral Larvicide was used by only 22 (11.6%) of the 189 farmers surveyed.
  6. In contrast to "fly control on pastured cattle," only 7% of the records indicated that no insecticides were used to control flies in and around the barn area.
Table 6  Insecticides used for fly control in and around the barn area
         (189 records)
_____________________________________________________________________________
                                 Number of       Percent of     Percent of
Insecticide                      responses       responses       records
_____________________________________________________________________________
Space sprays applied with
  mist blower and/or foggers        149             29.4%         78.8%
  Crotoxyphos (Ciodrin)               7              4.7%
  Dichlorvos (Vapona, Ciovap,
   Dual Stock Spray)                 37               35.1%          45.0%
  Coumaphos (Co-Ral)                    44            51.8%
  Crotoxyphos (Ciodrin)                  7             8.2%
  Permethrin (Permectrin, Expar)        14            16.4%
  Rabon                                 20            23.5%
No insecticide used                     63            26.0%          33.3%
_____________________________________________________________________________

Dairymen used "presence of pests" (28.2%) and "animal discomfort (22.0%) most often as the criteria for applying pesticides. Pesticides were selected based on "past success with a product" (33.6%) and "recommendation from a farm supply dealer" (23.8%). Most (43.0%) dairymen spent between $100 and $299 in 1991 on insecticides for fly control and between $10 and $49 (37.8%) on insecticides for external parasite control.

The most common pesticide storage site was in an area within the barn (57.4%) followed by a separate storage facility (20.5%). The majority of dairymen indicated that they did not dispose of unused pesticides, but carried them over to the next season (63.8%). The most popular method of disposal of empty pesticide containers was to send them to the landfill after triple rinsing (51.0%).

CONCLUSIONS

Flies in and around the barn area are the major pest problem facing dairymen in New York state in terms of control and economics. Permethrin is used most often for their control. Permethrin is also the most commonly used insecticide for the control of flies on pastured cattle, lice or mites. Dairymen are treating their cattle when pests are present or when the comfort of their cattle is affected.

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, dairymen 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 dairyman for increased frequency of removal of manure/bedding has been shown to be minimal ($0.016-0.033 per cow per day) while reducing or eliminating the cost of insecticides (Lazarus, et. al.,). New York dairymen are using alternative methods of pest control, especially daily removal of manure and bedding and show an interest in the use of biocontrols - predators/parasites.

Disposal of empty containers is being done properly and unused pesticides are being stored for the following season. Additional concerns expressed by dairymen related to pesticide storage and temperature conditions that promote product freezing and thawing. Most dairymen requested information about storage conditions that could be implemented to prevent this problem.

REFERENCES

Geden, C. J., and D. A. Rutz. 1991.
Current and Future Prospects for HouseFly Biocontrol. Fifty-third Annual New York State Pest Management Conference Proceedings, p. 5.

Lazarus, W. F., D. A. Rutz, R. W. Miller, and D. A. Brown. 1989.
Costs of Existing and Recommended Manure Management Practices for House Fly and Stable Fly (Diptera: Muscidae) Control on Dairy Farms. Journal of Economic Entomology. Vol. 82. No. 4. pp. 1145-1151.

New York State Agricultural Statistics, 1991-1992.

Specker, D. R., D. A. Rutz, W. G. Smith, J. K. Waldron, R. I. Carruthers, and K. S. Goh. 1986.
Pest and Pesticide Use Assessment in Dairy Cattle/Field and Forage Production Systems in the Northeast. Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 140 pp.