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Ranching the Natural Way - Caring for our Environment
The following information is found at http://attra.ncat.org/attra-pub/dungbeetle.html
Dung beetles’ benefits to livestock and the pasture environment just might outweigh their somewhat disgusting choice of food. For example, manure is the breeding ground and incubator for horn flies (Haematobia irritans) and face flies (Musca autumnalis), two economically important pests of cattle. A single manure pat can generate 60-80 horn fly adults if protected from insect predators and competitors such as dung beetles. As dung beetles feed, they compete with the fly larvae for food and physically damage the flies’ eggs. Fly populations have been shown to decrease significantly in areas with dung beetle activity.
On a pasture-management level, dung pat removal is beneficial for forage availability. Most ruminants will not graze closely to their own species’ manure pats. Research has shown that the forage is palatable, but avoided because of the dung pile. Consequently, cattle manure deposits can make from 5% to 10% per acre per year unavailable. By completely and quickly removing the manure, dung beetles can significantly enhance grazing efficiency.
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Troy Platt: 850-948-6202 or 850-971-5806