Manure Matters: Sustainable Dung Ecology (Dairy Webinar Series, UVM Extension NWCS)

Throughout February and March 2022, the UVM Extension Northwest Crops & Soils Program will host the Dairy Webinar Series! The first of these webinars is on Friday, February 11, 11:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.Manure Matters: Sustainable Dung Ecology with Bryony Sands of UVM.

Bryony Sands is a postdoctoral research fellow studying the interactions between cattle pest and parasite management, beneficial insect biodiversity and pasture ecosystem function in livestock systems. She was at the University of Bristol in the UK for 11 years before coming to Vermont to work with the Gund Institute in October 2021.

For the webinar, Bryony will talk about her research in the UK, which has focused on the role of insect decomposer communities in suppressing livestock parasites on pastures, and the impacts of veterinary parasiticides on these processes. She will discuss Integrated Parasite Management (IPM) for cattle as a potential tool which can simultaneously reduce the risk of pest resistance to veterinary treatments and reduce off-target environmental impacts on beneficial pasture insects. Recent research in the Northern Great Plains supports the application of these principles in the US context, and Bryony is keen to discuss these ideas with farmers in the Northeast to develop effective and environmentally sustainable pest and parasite management strategies.

Bryony will talk about why maintaining a healthy dung ecosystem is important for soil health, productivity, and suppressing pests and parasites on grazed pastures. She will discuss how some pest and parasite treatments for cattle can result in reduced biodiversity of beneficial pasture insects such as dung beetles and predatory flies, and explore Integrated Parasite Management (IPM) as an alternative strategy to reduce environmental impacts and slow the spread of resistance.

The Zoom link to attend can be found on our Conferences webpage at, which includes additional webinars from eOrganic and UVM Center for Sustainable Agriculture.

Direct Zoom link here:

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