Submitted to: Journal of Agriculture of the University of Puerto Rico
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 4/20/2004
Publication Date: 4/1/2005
Citation: Cortes, M., Pantoja, A., Robles, W., Pantoja, J. 2005. importance of ticks in management on milking cows in Puerto Rico. Journal of Agriculture of the University of Puerto Rico.
Interpretive Summary: Milk production represents 27% of the farm gross income in Puerto Rico. The incidence of tick in milking parlors is one of the principal problems affecting cattle farmers in the island. In addition to be vectors of piroplasmosis y anaplasmosis, ticks causes anemia, weight reductions, and affects milk production. Due to high incidence of tick related deaths we initiated a study to determine the extent and damage by tick in the Puerto Rican cattle industry. Over 70% of the animals were found to be infected with tick. Tick incidence causes cattle, reduces milk production and increases production costs. The average farmer spends about $28.00 per cow per year to manage tick in the herd.
Technical Abstract: Tick incidence, control mechanisms, and the economic losses due to the presence of ticks on dairy herds were evaluated. Data from 261 dairy herds were collected; it represents 85% of all dairies in Puerto Rico. Seventy one percent of the interviewed mentioned tick infestation. Ninety percent used to fumigate animals, 8% fumigate structures to control tick infestation. The most common method for pesticide application was fumigating animals with pumps in their chutes, 73%. The tick incidence in dry cows was, 72%. Poisson statistical analysis didn't show significant differences in mortality rates among northeast and northwest zones. Differences were finding among municipalities. The average cost of the tick control program that farmers maintained amounts, $28.09/cow/year.