Diatomaceous earth is a valuable mineral for agriculturists to improve farm life for animals and for themselves. This unique mineral has a high porosity, is inorganic, and has an impressive absorptive capacity. Here are a few ways to use diatomaceous earth on the farm:
There are many difficulties we must face when farming and growing crops. These issues come at us in many ways, each often requiring their own type of remedy. One of the biggest problems we face is with pests. Whether it is fleas on your barn cat or bugs in the garden, there is simply no place for pests on the farm. Rather than purchasing various products to get pest problems under control, there is one option that has proven useful in the war on pests. That product is food grade Diatomaceous Earth, also known as DE.
Diatomaceous Earth exists as a result of the death of microscopic sea organisms known as diatoms which, upon dying, sink to the seafloor and fossilize, then becoming a part of the nutrients present on the seafloor. Diatoms are essentially a common type of algae, or phytoplankton, with cellular walls made of hydrated silicon dioxide, also known as silica. It is through the harvesting of these organisms that DE is produced.
So what good is a bunch of dead algae on the farm? Well, diatomaceous earth has properties that make it a successful ally against pests. Specifically, DE repels fleas, ticks, mites, spiders, ants, cockroaches, and other crawling insects that can be harmful to produce pets, and people. The way it works is by penetrating the exoskeleton of pests and making their protective exterior useless. Pests are then dehydrated and their respiratory system can no longer function, resulting in death. All it takes is for a bug to come into contact with DE and the deed will be done; ingestion is not necessary for it to take effect.
Here are a few ways to use diatomaceous earth on the farm:
- Repels flies
- Treats Mice
- Reduces Parasites
- Use in Chicken Coop
- In Animal Feed
- Livestock Health
- Protects Crops
- Cleans up Chemical Spills
- Controls Fleas and Ticks
- When shopping for DE, look for the “food grade” quality.
- Sprinkle bands of DE around the plants you are trying to protect. It’s important that the ring of DE does not have any gaps for pests to sneak through.
- If pests are eating the leaves of your plants, you can dust the leaves with DE
- When using DE, it’s recommended to wear eye protection and a dust mask, as the small particles can be irritating.
- DE works best in dry conditions. It clumps together when wet, so reapply after it rains.
- Sprinkle on the floor of chicken coops and stalls.
- You can apply DE to pet beds, carpets, and furniture. Leave for a few days and then vacuum.
- Feed as a supplement to cattle, and horses.
When purchasing Diatomaceous Earth, be sure to always purchase it in food grade. Take care during application to minimize inhalation as it can irritate nasal passages and sometimes irritates skin as well. Be sure to read labels and follow all instructions prior to handling.
Supplements for Livestock:
You can incorporate DE as a supplement into livestock feed. Moreover, it has been found to be beneficial as a supplement.
- Internal parasite control,
- Improve digestive health, and
- Shinier, healthier coats
- Natural preservative to feed
The standard ratio for feeding animals DE is roughly 2% of the feed’s weight, which is roughly 3 oz. of DE for every 10 lbs. of feed, or 2 lbs. of DE for every 100 lbs. of feed.
Diatomaceous Earth is just one more useful item to aid us in meeting the many demands present on the farm. Whether it is battling insects in the barn, in the garden, on the animals, or even in the house, it is an easy go-to that enables you to restore comfort and reduce the damage done by pests. It also keeps going where other insecticides fail as pests do not become immune to it over time.
Ocala Breeders’ Feed and Supply strives to provide a knowledgeable, friendly staff that knows customers by name! Although we have grown over the years, a steadfast commitment to customer service remains. Product lines that meet the needs of our clientele make OBFS your one-stop shop for your farm and pet needs.
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