Back to State Outlooks

South Australia worms, flies and lice update - May 2020

SA WormBoss Worm Control Programs

SA WormBoss Drench Decision Guides

Sheep

Goats

Sheep

Goats

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

This is one of those rare years when the much fabled ANZAC Day rains actually occured then, with 40–80mm falling over the ensuing week across most of the state. Seeding has proceeded with gusto and now follow-up rains forecast later in May will be welcome.

Recent worm egg counting indicates less than 20% of mobs need a drench and these are mostly heavily stocked lambs on short green feed in the south east. It would appear that the below average rainfall last year combined with a dry start to 2020 has rendered many properties with a relatively low worm risk. The good recent rainfall has potentially further diluted larval pickup with rapid grass growth while the soil temperature is still moderate. However, frosts are starting to occur and so this growth will slow down quickly as June approaches.

Scanning operators are reporting good conception and twinning rates to further boost the optimism with the season. Now we need the trade issue with China to subside and allow meat and wool prices to stabilise. Coinciding with the rising optimism is the gradual relaxation of COVID-19 restrictions allowing tourism to resume and give a shot in the arm to rural areas. The good seasonal break has also turned those districts blackened by bushfires in the Adelaide Hills and Kangaroo Island to a brilliant green and allowed grazing enterprises to begin to re-build.

Parasites have not received much attention given all the aforementioned events in recent months. However, a less familiar parasite of sheep, Sarcocystis, along with the disease Toxoplasmosis, are about to have their prevalence severely challenged with the launch of an eradication program directed at the principal vector, the feral cat, on Kangaroo Island. This has the potential to substantially improve the profitability of sheep businesses on the island by improving meat quality and lambing percentages.

For May 2020 state outlooks, please follow the links below:
Back to State Outlooks