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Queensland worm update - July 2013

Arthur Le Feuvre, Warwick (arthur@vetspets.com.au):

There is one thing you can say about Queensland rainfall characteristics.  It is supposed to be a Summer rainfall zone, but, everyone knows that this means that in a “normal” season most of the rain falls between November and March.  Everyone also knows that it also means summer rain, winter rain, both or none.

Smart money assumes the “normal” scenario and starts lightening off if there has been insufficient rain by the end of March to carry feed through until November.

The eternal optimists hope for rain.

So, in western pastoral regions, worms are not an issue right now – too dry and a lack of hosts.

Further east, scattered and sometimes useful falls are keeping the worms ticking over and sometimes becoming a big issue for individual properties that do not monitor.

Next month (August) is the big one for preparing for Spring and Summer. If there is any chance at all that sheep might be carrying even a modest worm population over Winter, you should be doing Worm Egg Counts on at least 2 – 3 mobs.

The “do nothing” option will carry severe consequences if good rains come early and the weather becomes a bit warmer – meaning production losses and deaths by November, if not earlier.