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South Australia worm update - July 2013

Colin Trengove, Sheep Health Lecturer, UA Roseworthy (trengovet@icloud.com):

Rain has continued at regular intervals since the opening in late May which has kept most involved with agriculture in a good mood. The preceding long dry also appears to have minimised pasture worm larval contamination as it has been difficult to find sufficient worm egg counts in young sheep to do drench trials recently. Hopefully producers have been doing their WEC monitoring and saving on drench as a result.

Recent WECs indicate most mobs monitored across SA have relatively low worm burdens. This combined with good pasture growth up until the last month plus a few frosts should ensure most sheep get through winter without the need for a drench. The exception is lambs at weaning unless they have a zero WEC. Weaners and hoggets need to be monitored monthly to ensure worms are not handicapping their growth potential, especially during winter and spring.

If weaners do have an egg count over 200 it is an opportune time to do a drench trial and establish your best options for drenching in the next 3 years. Seek advice from your animal health expert if you need guidance on how to do this.