Maxine Lyndall-Murphy, WormBuster Lab, Brisbane, (Maxine.Lyndal-Murphy@deedi.qld.gov.au):
We are currently experiencing a record dry period that is having adverse effects not only on worm larvae on pasture but also on the pastures themselves. Feed quantity is still good but quality is low due to frequent frosts in the last 4 weeks.
Some high counts have been identified in lab submissions from western areas but if the dry continues, worm egg counts will fall.
Falls of rain in the next few weeks will facilitate a rapid build-up of larvae on pasture developed from over-winter pickup. Further build-up in worm burdens is expected from the pre/lambing Merino ewes experiencing a relaxation in immunity to worms but this seems less likely because the SOI is turning negative.
Producers should have already allocated fresh paddocks for lambing.
Continue to monitor stock when it rains and night temperatures warm to over 18°C.