In our pastures we are monitoring the carbon cycle and the readily available nutrients for our soil, grasses and cattle. This year, we noted seeing an abundance of a new fly on the cow dung. This new fly is called a Dung Fly. We are very excited to see this insect appear in our pastures and it is incredibly reassuring when Mother Nature shows up indicating we are headed in the right direction with our program.
The Dung Fly is very beneficial to our ecosystem. It breaks down and returns the nutrients to the soil from the dung and feeds on pest insects. The most exciting part of finding this insect on our farm is that Dung Flies are used to monitor the impact of cattle medications on the ecosystem. Seeing this fly is a good indication that our farm, where we raise your beef, is in great shape.
More information on the Dung Fly from Wikipedia: 'Recently, S. stercoraria was approved as a standard required test species for ecotoxicological testing. This included evaluating the residues of veterinary drugs in livestock dung. Yellow Dung Flies are a key part of decomposing waste in pastures, which is key to preventing the spread of endoparasites and returning nutrients to the soil. The species' diet also serves to reduce the abundance of pest flies. To test a chemical's toxicity, the chemical is mixed with bovine feces, to which yellow dung fly eggs are added. Then, endpoints, such as sex and number emerged adult flies, retardation of emergence, morphological change, and development rate, are measured and analyzed to determine toxicity. A great deal of research has been done on the effects of avermectins on populations of S. stercoraria. Avermectins are used to control endoparasites in livestock. The resulting dung contains drug residues that can have unintentional adverse effects on yellow dung fly populations, such as increased mutations and decreased offspring viability. If the use of such drugs in agriculture is not carefully monitored, considerable economic losses could occur.
Look after the land, and the land will look after you.