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ParaBoss News - Nov/Dec 2021 - Feature Articles

Fast Fact

Its worming out to be a busy summer! 

Barber’s pole worm (BPW) otherwise known as Haemonchus contortus has been very common parasite this summer. The blood-sucking gastrointestinal parasite impacts sheep and goats and is highly fecund (lays lots of eggs) so it breeds and spreads quickly if uncontrolled. 

To win the fight against BPW a number of weapons are needed:  

  1. An effective drenching program - WormBoss Drench Decision Guide for Sheep.

  2. Resistant sheep genetics or Barbervax®.

  3. Clean paddocks for vulnerable sheep (pregnant ewes and weaners) Preparing low worm-risk paddocks

  4. Regular worm egg counts and larval differentials.

  5. Improved nutrition for resilience.

Check out WormBoss.com.au for more Wormderful parasite facts.

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Feature Articles

Do you have chemical resistant blowflies on your farm? 

Want to know what chemicals you should be using in the prevention of flystrike? 

Long term use and over reliance on just one chemical group for any type of pest control almost always results in resistance if good resistance management plans aren’t in place. Recent research conducted by Australian Wool Innovation (AWI) and NSW Department of Primary Industries (NSW DPI) found increased resistance to dicyclanil and cyromazine in blowfly samples which coincides with reports from woolgrowers of reduced protection periods from chemicals.

The following factors will impact the length of protection of your sheep: 

  • Sheep that are more susceptible to flystrike due to heavy dags, urine stain, yellow wool, fleece rot, dermatitis, lumpy wool or other characteristics.
  • Dags that make penetration of the chemical more difficult.
  • Correctly following the label instructions for application.
  • Persistent or heavy rainfall events following treatment, resulting in chemical wash out or increased fly pressure.
  • Treatment of struck sheep.
  • Application method, dosage, patterns of coverage, recommended applicator and whether the treatment is applied off-shears or to longer wool.
  • Efficiency and appropriate calibration of the applicator.

However, if you’re still concerned that you might have chemical resistance, find a range  resources available on FlyBoss.com.au.  

Remember, if you think resistance is an issue on your property, this doesn’t mean the chemicals have totally lost effectiveness. It most likely means that the period of protection may be less than what you previously expected. Even if you have only recently treated your sheep you should regularly monitor them for signs of flystrike.

Cattle worm resistance to common treatments

Managing worms in cattle can be difficult at the best of times, especially when problematic worm species and resistance come into play.

In a recent webinar hosted by Agriculture Victoria, veterinary consultant and managing director of DAWBUTS Animal Health, Matt Playford, identified the most significant and problematic intestinal worms impacting southern Australian cattle producers including the most common intestinal worm found in cattle in southern Australia. 

Resistance has been detected in several worm species with significant resistance appearing to mectin or ML drenchs in the Cooperia species (C. pectinata and C. punctata). The use of multi-active products with several different active ingredients will delay resistance evolving, however in the long term this may lead to worms developing resistance to multiple actives.

So, what are the best actions to take if you suspect worm resistance?

First, Test! A ‘before and after’ worm egg count (WEC) and larval culture test is currently regarded as the most effective way to test for resistance. Visit ParaBoss.com.au to learn more about WECs and Larval cultures.

Once tests have shown which worms are present and possible resistance issues in your cattle and you have identified the most susceptible animals in your herd, it’s time to choose which drench to use, in what form and when to use it.

Find advice on choosing and using products on the ParaBoss website here.

"It’s important to note that pour-on products are generally not as efficient as injectable or oral products as animals can lick each other or wipe the product off, causing under -or overdosing. Using oral or injectable products will also reduce the rate that resistance develops."

Find the full webinar Controlling worms in beef cattle here.

What are the cattle tick regulations in your state? 

Cattle ticks are one of the most costly cattle parasites in the world, with the estimated cost to the Australian cattle industry alone being around $160 million/year.

These little parasites are lovers of heat and humidity and are often found around the Australian northern coastal regions. However, modelling shows that without effective quarantine, cattle ticks could survive on the NSW coast as far as Bega and the south-west coast of WA around Albany, given changing climatic conditions.

In the 1950s, state and territory policies supported excluding cattle ticks from the areas where they were not endemic. Inspection and compulsory dipping were established at some state/territory border crossings’ to prevent the spread of ticks on cattle. Eradication was seen as unachievable and the best outcome deemed to be minimising economic losses.

Because of this, the three northern jurisdictions put in place ‘tick lines’ to control the spread of cattle ticks. Each state has varying regulations to protect cattle from potentially devastating outbreaks of cattle ticks and tick fever including guidelines for treatment, inspection and certification.

Tip: Know the tick lines and regulations in your state before transporting cattle or other 'tick carriers' across the tick line. 

Find the full article here.  

Parasite issues wool producers will face this summer

Parasite management is a key component of best practice production. Keeping your parasites in check allows for your sheep to be productive and profitable.

Practising vet in rural NSW, Dr Sophie Hemley, sat down with Dr Emily Buddle, an engagement specialist and SA based producer, to discuss what parasite issues wool producers should be on the lookout for this summer.  

Some findings from their Q&A, included:

  • With warm and wet conditions on the horizon, wool producers will be facing a wave of flystrike this season. 
  • Current ​shearer shortages will impact fly management and animal welfare, with a higher reliance on fly preventative chemicals and many producers looking to crutch more frequently to reduce their flock’s flystrike risk.
  • It is really important for wool growers to have a good working relationship with their local vet as they will be able to act as a sounding board for revisions to annual fly prevention plans and will be an integral part of your livestock management this summer. 

Find the three top tips for fly management in the full article here. 

For December 2021 state outlooks, please follow the links below:
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