BarnTender – Ashley Mergen

Quicker Composting, Better Fly Control: BarnTender Delivers Chemical-Free Solutions
It’s no secret that clean bedding is a key to raising healthy livestock. Depending on how you manage that bedding, however, you can reap some additional benefits—including better fly control. Just ask Ashley Christian, the calf manager at Tag Lane Dairy in Ixonia, Wisconsin.


“I want to stay on top of fly challenges, but so many fly control products involve chemicals,” says Ashley, who is the calf manager at Tag Lane Dairy in Ixonia, Wisconsin. “I wanted something more natural.”


As she looked for alternatives, she came across BarnTenderTM from ProfitProAG. With ingredients including diatomite (a naturally occurring, soft rock that can be crumbled into an absorbent powder) beneficial microbes, essential oil (peppermint), this granular product:

• Absorbs moisture
• Helps neutralize ammonia and odors
• Extends bedding life
• Enhances composting


“I was willing to try it, because it’s a safe, simple product without harsh chemicals,” Ashley says. “When you open the bag, it has a nice, peppermint smell.”


Ashley also liked the idea that BarnTender can contribute to fresher air quality in barns and may act as a deterrent to pests like mice, spiders and flies.


“It’s easy to use,” says Ashley, who spreads BarnTender on the animals’ bedding and the outside row where the Tag Lane Dairy team feeds the livestock. “We do this weekly, and it takes 10 to 15 minutes for us to spread it,” Ashley says. “It helps repel the flies so they don’t lay their eggs in these areas.”


Create a healthier environment
BarnTender is designed to offer an alternative to lengthy manure composting and allows manure to be recycled faster. Once composted, the manure can be used as a natural fertilizer for gardens or spread on crop land, reducing the need for artificial chemical fertilizers.


If you also want to control flies more effectively, Ashley recommends using BarnTender from spring through fall. “I like how BarnTender is versatile and is safe for calves, both outside their huts and inside in their bedding,” says Ashley, who applies the product from April to November.


While it’s impossible to get rid of every fly that infests your barn, you can strengthen your first line of defense, Ashley adds. “Sometimes I still have to use fly bait in addition to BarnTender, especially during periods of extremely hot weather or after a rain. Even then, we don’t have as many flies to deal with.”


“What you doing differently?”
It’s a plus that BarnTender pencils out economically at Tag Lane Dairy. “When we were only using fly bait, we’d pay about $400 a tub and would go through four or five tubs a year,” Ashley says. “The first year that we used BarnTender, we only went through three tubs, plus BarnTender is less expensive than the tubs.”


Others are taking note of Tag Lane Dairy’s management system. “Our nutritionist asked, ‘What have you been doing differently to manage flies? They are really under control,’ Ashley says. “This is just encourages me to keep using BarnTender, especially since my goal is use less fly bait going forward.”

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