Worm activity has been quiet due to the dry conditions, but even so, worms continue to cause problems on some farms. Scour worms of all varieties and barber’s pole are still active as has been Mycoplasma ovis, a blood parasite that also produces anaemia.
Autumn is a make-or-break time for worm control. Whether or not significant worm problems occur in the coming winter and spring will be dependent on the effectiveness of worm control strategies employed over the next few weeks. Significant rain in the south west in the last few days/weeks has producers monitoring for worms.
Sheep grazing dry perennial pastures are very safe for now as worm numbers are low with the dry weather, but finishing lambs grazing irrigated legumes and perennial pastures are at high risk as worm contamination builds under the increased moisture levels.
The hot dry weather in January/February would have killed worm larvae on pastures in some areas. Despite these adverse weather conditions, some parts of the state are reporting sporadic outbreaks of barber’s pole worm.