Colin Trengove, Sheep Health Lecturer, UA Roseworthy campus:
A drier than average lead up to spring has been less than encouraging to graziers and croppers alike. Pasture growth has been good despite the limited soil moisture, and it helped to discourage worm burden development. Worm egg counts (WEC) have continued to be moderate to low, with limited need for drenching. Even the chance for drench trials at or before weaning will be limited given recent low WECs.
Seasons like these highlight the value of WECs in deciding on the need for a drench. A producer was about to drench two mobs of ewes last week when I happened to call in. The one and two-year-old mobs were looking fit without a dag! I collected faecal samples and found WECs of 35 and 25 respectively, i.e. background worm burdens. It made me wonder how much drenching could be avoided if farmers spent 15 minutes collecting samples and posting them off.
Ask your local sheep health advisor or check the WormBoss website if you have any queries on how to go about this.