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Queensland worm update - March 2013

Maxine Lyndal-Murphy, WormBuster Lab, Brisbane, (Maxine.Lyndal-Murphy@daff.qld.gov.au)

My sincere thanks to all who used the WormBuster Laboratory and extension services over the last twenty years. It was our pleasure to help, albeit in a small way.

Just a few final words.....In normal seasons:

  • The short term imperative is to ensure you use a drench that contains at least 2 active ingredients and kills at least 98% of the worms;
  • When you drench you need to achieve 2 things—kill at least 98% of the worms, and ensure the drench works next year. So use the best combination product you can;
  • Keep checking drench efficacy—a drench that works today may not work so well next season!

For the medium and longer term....look to genetics:

  • Most producers are using this tool to improve wool micron or increase muscle on meat sheep, so why not also add in some resistance to worm infections. It is not unreasonable to expect sheep to control their infections. Barber’s pole develops explosively during the wet summer months but some good worm resistance genetics will dampen down peak infections.

And finally, the Haemonchus vaccine will (cross fingers) be released by the end of this year but … it will be just another technology in the fight against barber’s pole.

Everyone, producers and WormBoss colleagues alike have been fantastic to work with— country people are the nicest people and sheep rock!

Best wishes from the WormBuster team—Judy, Wayne and Maxine.