Improper mosquito control on livestock can do more harm than good, expert warns

by Steve Byrnes, Texas A&M AgriLife

In an effort to save their livestock from the torment caused by the plague of mosquitoes in the wake of Hurricane Harvey, some producers are making the mistake of misusing chemicals to control the pests, said a Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service expert.

“The results can be potentially disastrous,” said Dr. Sonja Swiger, AgriLife Extension livestock entomologist at Stephenville. “Misuse of potent chemicals can quickly become an example of ‘the cure is worse than the malady,’ not only for the animals being treated but also to the environment. Continue reading

Feed the Future Innovation Lab For Livestock Systems: Call for Grant Applications

The Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Livestock Systems (LSIL) is based at the Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences <http://ifas.ufl.edu/> at the University of Florida, and it works in partnership with the International Livestock Research Institute <http://www.ilri.org/> (ILRI). The LSIL is funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) through a five-year Leader with Associates Cooperative Agreement Award No. AID-OAA-L-15-00003. Continue reading

Beware of livestock eating poisonous plants

A post in AgriLife Today about a workshop on managing poisonous plants in pastures motivated me to write a more general article about poisonous plants for livestock in the region. Poisonous plants typically grow in pastures, but during periods of normal weather, livestock usually leave them alone.

However, during periods of drought, as edible grasses wilt or dry up, plants that livestock don’t usually eat start to look promising. If you keep any type of animal that typically grazes, and you’re in an area that isn’t getting much rain, now is the time to start scouting for poisonous plants. Management techniques range from using herbicides to leading animals to areas away from the poisonous plants. If you’re not sure which plants are poisonous, the list of websites below may help with identification. Continue reading