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Australia's resource for control of worms, flies and lice in sheep,
and worms in goats

Duddingtonia flagrans fungi preying on a nematode larva. Source: Brock University Wiki Server
Duddingtonia flagrans fungi preying on a nematode larva. Source: Brock University Wiki Server

Fast Facts

There’s more than one way to catch a worm

Imagine using soil-dwelling fungi to provide worm control. These fungi naturally exist and form complex webs in faeces, which ‘catch’ larvae and prevent them emerging onto pasture. Unfortunately, the natural level of these nematode-consuming fungi is too low to be useful. When fungal spores were fed to sheep in one trial, they reduced the number of infective larvae emerging from sheep faeces by over 90%, but their effectiveness has been variable. Fungal ‘spores’ would need to be fed to livestock to provide the necessary effectiveness, but there isn’t a product available, although there’s been plenty of science. It's a tantalising prospect for the future with some considerable challenges to overcome.

State Outlooks for May 2017

Given the moist and warm autumn conditions over much of the sheep-rearing regions, worms are expected to continue to increase in numbers until mid-winter, with monitoring for flies, lice and liver fluke remaining appropriate. Many regions are preparing low worm-risk paddocks for either the spring lambing season, or weaning.

New South Wales
>> full report

Many farmers have been surprised by significant parasite burdens in pre-lambing ewes. Weaners are also at risk. Flies are still very active in some areas and reports of lice infested flocks are starting to come through. 

>> full report

Those farmers who conducted a good summer drench program are now being rewarded by relatively low worm burdens in stock.

>> full report

Preparation of low worm paddocks for lambing in spring should be well underway.

Western Australia
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The absence of green pasture does not always mean that worms are not an issue.  

>> full report

Slow finishing lambs are denying ewes access to better pastures and contaminating the ground with worm eggs.

South Australia
>> full report

It’s now time to prepare low worm risk paddocks for weaning given that worm larvae will survive on pasture for several months over winter.