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Tasmania worms, flies and lice update - April 2019

Tasmania WormBoss Worm Control Programs

Tasmania WormBoss Drench Decision Guides

Sheep

Goats

Sheep

Goats


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

There’s been enough rain in the north to kick off the season. The northern midlands (say, north of Campbell Town) has received sufficient rain in bits and pieces to have a good start to autumn, whereas, the southern midlands, Derwent Valley and Fingal Valley, are tight to very tight.

Egg counts under pivots everywhere (particularly grass dominant ones), and on dryland pastures in the north, have taken off. Lambs will struggle to finish if they have burdens as high as we have been seeing (greater than 500 eggs per gram and scouring). Monitor carefully using WormTest and drench as needs be.

Most mobs of cross-bred ewes are as fat as seals and should not need a drench (even if it is convenient because of shearing; no point setting rabbit traps unless you have rabbits). Merino ewes are a mixed bag. Because they are run in drier areas, their body condition is lower than that of most cross-breeds, and indeed, it’s common to see drought-lotted sheep (or sheep in sacrifice paddocks) and grain carts as you drive around these areas. These guys (girls) may be picking up worms due to nutritional stress impacting immunity, and the cooler weather with moisture is providing larvae for pick-up. Monitor closely.

More on Barber’s pole: Haemonchus contortus (barber’s pole) has been confirmed (or strongly suspected) on 10 places. The most southern place is at Campbell Town. Worryingly, one of the properties has abamectin resistance in their barber’s pole population. It’s unknown if the resistant worms were imported or home-bred. Most of these places have few cattle, so grazing management involving cattle for producing low worm-risk paddocks becomes problematic.  Nevertheless, there is a range of pasture management options to keep the spring multiplication under control, but they need to be tailored to individual properties, rather than making carte blanche recommendations. Contact me if you wish to discuss these.