5/16/18: Understanding Fly Control Supplements

This time of year, we get a lot of inquiries and opportunities to position feed through fly control programs. It’s important to know the differences between fly control options, product intake, additive concentration and true cost per head per day.

Our CRYSTALYX® line has a wide array of fly control products to choose from, representing three different compounds that are available in the U.S.: Rabon® Oral Larvicide, Altosid® (IGR) and ClariFly®. Other companies that manufacture low-moisture block fly control options offer only Altosid, primarily. Both mineral and protein formulations exist with these compounds in CRYSTALYX, and they are labeled for a specific intake level according to animal body weight in relation to the concentration of fly control additive. It’s important to know the required intake levels of each of these formulas, especially when looking at cost and additive concentration. One item worth noting is that formulas that are offered primarily as a mineral supplement will cost more per ton but will also be consumed at a lower rate, so they will actually cost less to feed per head per day. The mineral formulas are our best-selling products for this reason and also because they are fed in the summer, when protein supplement demand is less compared to mineral.

Fly control additive concentration

When explaining CRYSTALYX fly control supplements, we often talk about the various compounds available, how they work to break the fly life cycle, what flies they control, etc. Another critical point is the concentration of fly control additives in these supplements and how that translates to intake and dosage requirements for various sizes of cattle. All this information and feeding directions are provided on the product label, and for good reason. This information is not hard to understand but can be easily overlooked when looking only at the price of a barrel.

A good example of potential confusion among competing products is with products containing Altosid. With CRYSTALYX, there are two products: IGR Pro and IGR MAX™. Both formulas are designed to supply the same amount of Altosid for every 100 pounds of animal body weight even though the concentration levels are different. The concentration of Altosid in IGR Pro is 0.005 percent, and for IGR MAX, it is 0.01 percent, or twice as much. The difference is that IGR MAX is labeled for an intake of 0.4 ounces for every 100 pounds of body weight, or 4 ounces for 1,000 pounds, and IGR Pro is labeled for twice the intake, or 8 ounces per 1,000 pounds.

Most competitive brands that offer an IGR tub delivering protein are designed for 8-ounce intake, as they should be. There are, however, some mineral products marketed that have the lower Altosid concentration of 0.005 percent and therefore need to be consumed at 8 ounces just like a protein supplement. These will cost much less per ton than a CRYSTALYX IGR MAX mineral formula because of their lower Altosid concentration, but they will cost more to feed, if fed properly, because of the higher intake needed.

I often receive phone calls in the spring from people wanting to know why the CRYSTALYX IGR MAX product costs a lot more than a competitor’s mineral fly tub. The answer is simple — IGR MAX is designed for 4 ounces of intake and has twice the concentration than a product designed for 8 ounces of intake.

Bioplex® organic trace minerals

Other formulation differences will result in varying costs as well. Nearly all CRYSTALYX fly control products contain the following Bioplex organic trace minerals: zinc, copper, manganese and cobalt. We feel this a great benefit, as feeding fly control coincides with breeding season in many parts of the U.S. and the demand for organic trace minerals is often higher during these periods. Many competing low-moisture blocks providing fly control do not provide organic trace minerals.

Additionally, there are other options for fly control within the CRYSTALYX family, including Rabon Oral Larvicide and ClariFly, which are considered superior by many, as they offer more broad-spectrum fly control. Altosid or IGR can claim control for only one type of fly: the horn fly. Rabon Oral Larvicide and ClariFly offer control for not only the horn fly, but also the face, house and stable fly. This season, we’ve also introduced two new products with ClariFly in our CRYSTALYX Blueprint® line. These products contain Bioplex, providing 100 percent organic trace minerals.

The main message here is that it’s important to know the differences between fly control options, product intake, additive concentration and true cost per head per day. Knowing this will allow you to make a wiser purchase and provide a supplement that is cost-effective and performs well. CRYSTALYX has the best options — the most on the market in feed through fly control delivery — of any low-moisture block brand.

Altosid® and ClariFly® are registered trademarks of Wellmark International.

Rabon® is a registered trademark of Bayer Animal Health.

Blueprint® and Bioplex® are registered trademarks of Alltech.



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