Reduced Pesticide Fly Control in Feedlots and Native Rangeland to Conserve Dung Beetles and Benefit Beef and Sheep Production

November 15, 2016

Linda Simmons is a beef and sheep producer in Twin Brooks, South Dakota. Beef and sheep producers in northeastern South Dakota depend largely on native rangeland, and there are several species of flies that can cause serious economic losses, including the horn fly. Simmons is concerned that dependence on pesticide use has resulted in pesticide resistance and a reduction in the populations of beneficial insects.

Together with the producers who are adjacent to her land, Simmons received a $21,287 NCR-SARE Farmer Rancher grant to experiment with various reduced-pesticide fly control systems that help to conserve beneficial insects, especially the dung beetle. 

The project is underway, and Simmons has begun to experimenting with fly traps, walk- through chutes that mechanically remove horn flies from cattle, and fly predator releases to performance requires a rescue pesticide treatment, she will use the most low impact chemical product and method that is practical. Simmons is looking forward to testing her sustainable and low impact practices that suppress fly levels in 2015.

“Adding additional ecosystem-friendly fly control practices instead of chemical controls could create a sustainable and economically effective package of practices that control pest flies without harmful levels of pesticides/ vermicides and without economic losses to the producers,” said Simmons.

View Linda's presentation on this project, from the 2015 Farmers Forum, through NCR-SARE's YouTube playlist. Visit for this and other videos.

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Topics: Animal Production, Pest Management
Related Locations: North Central