Maxine Lyndall-Murphy, WormBuster Lab, Brisbane, (Maxine.Lyndal-Murphy@deedi.qld.gov.au)
Across southern Queensland everyone seems to be banking on mid January as the time when rain will fall. It has certainly been very hot and dry - not good for worm stages on pasture, except perhaps those on green pick protected by long dry grass.
Typically, summer storms have dumped rain over narrow strips through most regions.
Despite the dry weather, high worm burdens of above 1000epg have been identified from Inglewood, Paroo, Balonne shires. This picture is typical of a season drying out when sheep crowd onto any feed and parasites take advantage of availability of hosts to infect. With continued dry, burdens should fall but sheep will lose their immunity to worms becoming very susceptible to worm attack. When it does rain again, hibernating worms in adult sheep will awaken and continue with the cycle of infection and re-infection.
Serious rain in January usually means a big spike of barber's pole infections in weaners in February/March.
The WormBuster lab will close Friday December 21, 2012 and reopen Monday January 7, 2013. Larval cultures will not be available during the week starting Monday December 17 2012. Judy, Wayne and I would like to wish you all a happy and relaxed time over the Christmas break.