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Working Ranch - November/December 2017

BRENDA LEAL, USDA-ARS MIX A RATION BEFORE SERVING. SERVING UP UNIFORM TOTAL MIX RATIONS FOR 20 YEARS. www.NDEco.com | 888.336.3127 Process and mix bales, long stem forages and alternative feed sources into a balanced total mix ration, ultimately reducing your feed costs. • 330 to 1700 ft³ Capacity • 24" curved Carbide Knives • Largest Door in the industry • Adjustable/Replaceable Scraper • Suspended 42" wide Conveyor produce efficiently. • Step Floor • Overlapping Augers “Our biggest concern is to not let the species reestablish itself because the more that appear, the more chances of the protozoan returning,” Swiger says. “In addition, these ticks can be so numerous on animals that they actually cause major health concerns from feeding. Even though we don’t have the protozoan now, it’s still not good to have ticks in such large numbers on a host.” Cattle fever ticks are smaller than brown dog ticks and instead of living on several varieties of hosts, the fever tick spends its three life stages, larva, nymph and adult, on cattle and more recently, on wildlife. After females drink a blood meal, they drop to the ground to lay as many as 4,000 eggs. Eggs hatch into larvae, attaching to nearby cattle or deer, repeating the cycle. These ticks have unique, short mouthparts allowing USDA or TAHC inspectors to easily roll or scratch them out of the skin. These critters gather in soft tissue along the dewlap, brisket, forearm and fl ank. They also move slowly when removed, another way ranchers can identify them. PROTECTED BY QUARANTINE Texas quarantine zones are one tool used to control this pest. The Permanent Quarantine Zone runs 500 miles along the Texas — Mexico border, ranging from two hundred yards to 10 miles wide. The USDA Tick Force patrols this area, inspecting each animal. When ticks are found on livestock or wildlife, the property is designated as an “infected premises”, and placed under quarantine. If these ticks are discovered outside of the Permanent Quarantine Zone, that area becomes a Control Purpose Quarantine Area. Tick control also includes gathering and treating cattle with scheduled dipping in Co-Ral every seven to 14 days for six to nine months under the supervision of a USDA or TAHC inspector. The preferred treatment is injecting doramectin on a 25 to 28-day schedule for six to nine months, reducing the number of times cattle must be gathered. Horses are usually sprayed if ticks are found on them. A third option starves ticks by removing cattle for nine months. This more economical approach begins by dipping cattle on a 7 to 14 day schedule. After two consecutive tick-free inspections, the herd moves to a new tick-free pasture. Donald Thomas, Research Entomologist with the ARS Cattle Fever Tick Research Lab, says that USDA-APHIS pays for spray treatments, while the state of Texas pays for vaccines. Counties maintain dipping vats. “The main cost to producers is the expense of gathering these animals,” Thomas explains. “Producers can receive a $5 per head, per roundup allowance from the Emergency Livestock Assistance Program (ELAP) available at their county Farm Service Agency FSA at the end of the year, if they keep track of how many times animals were gathered and the number of animals that were treated.” NOVEMBER / DECEMBER 2017 I WORKING RANCH I 91


Working Ranch - November/December 2017
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