Tasmania worms, flies and lice update - January 2020

Tasmania WormBoss Worm Control Programs

Tasmania WormBoss Drench Decision Guides

Sheep

Goats

Sheep

Goats


 Perth: Paul Nilon, Nilon Farm Health (pandonilon@bigpond.com)

The muscle memory is not such that I can type 2020 without stopping to think, but welcome to the New Year. In the last 24 hours, wide areas of the state have received falls of 15–40mm of gentle rain. This should provide some green dust and rejuvenate some of the wilting, sickly Brassica paddocks. Of course, lucerne seems to revive after a good fog so sheep on dryland lucerne should look forward to a relative feast.

Late December and early January have not seen a lot of worm egg count tests through the laboratory. Weaning and strategic drenches obviate the need. The few reports suggest that the prolonged (by our standards) dry has reduced pickup after the weaning drench. That is to say, the double summer drench may actually work this year. So, plan to give the second summer drench sometime between now and the beginning of March. Use a trigger of about 100–150 eggs per gram (epg). Only those areas of the state that are truly droughted should avoid the second summer drench: the upper Fingal Valley, lower east coast, and some parts of the Derwent Valley. There is a simple test for the need for a second summer: all good vegemites store the drench guns with paraffin in the works. Stand your drench gun on a fence post for 12 hours: if it’s caked in dust and grime adhering to the barrel and plunger, you can probably avoid a second summer.

The Value of Green Dust: Within a few hours of rain, our lawns seem to change colour. Even tiny amounts of green (400 kilogram (kg)/ha (hectare) GDM (Green Dry Matter)) can make a difference to how much supplement needs to be fed. Parasitically, tiny amounts of rain can have at least two consequences: firstly, any residual scour worms will probably be activated. If you have not been monitoring, it’s a good time to start to pre-empt the need for a second summer drench. Secondly, our old friend Nematodirus (thin-necked intestinal worm) will have survived the dry summer quite easily. The rain will give it the “heads up”. Any count greater than 100–150 epg of Nematodirus, particularly with scouring, should send you to the drench gun.