At the time of writing, some of our contributing veterinary officers in New South Wales were involved in the fire response, so we have fewer reports. Our thoughts go out to all who have been affected by the fires, and also to those in Western Australia affected by floods.
Record high temperatures in New South Wales and Queensland, and light dusting of snow in Tasmania speaks to the huge diversity of climatic conditions faced by the sheep industry in this country. The inconsistent nature of the weather conditions even within districts emphasises the need for regular testing for worms.
With the inconsistent rainfall conditions across the state, worm activity is difficult to predict making a worm egg count and culture for worm type the only reliable way to assess what worms are in what mobs and if they are doing harm.
In the south west, all age groups, particularly young stock, are carrying increased worm burdens. High levels of ground cover and damp conditions will encourage heavy infections to build by mid-autumn.
There could a very early break to the season in areas where rain continues to fall, but in those areas where new grass has died off due to a return to hot and dry conditions, little increase to the worm risk is expected.
Rainfall in January and February has produced a higher worm risk than usual with worm egg counts elevated across all age groups. There could also be an early larval build-up on pasture going into autumn and winter.