Back to State Outlooks

Tasmania worms, flies and lice update - December 2019

Tasmania WormBoss Worm Control Programs

Tasmania WormBoss Drench Decision Guides





WormTest with the Best

The following is the successful Tasmanian participant in the 2019 ParaBoss WEC QA and has demonstrated proficiency in worm egg counting.

Perth: Paul Nilon, Nilon Farm Health (

Season’s greetings to all our Tasmanian readers. Thank you for putting up with my humour, and for your feedback throughout the year.

There is no need for me to tell you that it is dry across the whole state. It’s unlikely that a late rain will give a second hay cut, so everybody will be relying on irrigation to see them through.

Parasitically, we are between the first summer drench and future actions, so the rest of this section will be given over to reminders:

  • Those who have not weaned their lambs should have their farming licence revoked. You should also seriously consider weaning calves. Sixty kilogram (kg) calves can be weaned onto grain. One hundred kilo calves can go onto pasture provided it’s green. If your cows have good body condition, you can run it down a bit to feed the calves. If the cows are already in a condition score of less than 2.5 (CS<2.5) consider weaning to make use of any residual green.
  • Early weaned calves should be drenched. They need every help.
  • The rules for additional summer drenches are:
  • Give a second summer drench to all sheep on perennial pastures once their mob reaches the trigger level of 100–150 eggs per gram (epg). This should not be necessary until mid-February.
  • Use a trigger of 200 epg for finishing lambs on crop or irrigated pastures/legumes.
  • Because it’s been cool and dry, flies have not been active. You can risk-manage flies (i.e. wait and see before treating) provided you have sufficient labour to act if the season changes.
  • Irrigators in the north of the state need to keep barber’s pole worm in the back of their minds.
  • Most importantly, summer rain, while most welcome, can change the fly and worm outlook overnight.

The Biosecurity Award: Readers may remember me writing about the possibility of importing liver fluke with untreated rams. Another column mentioned the discovery of a new snail (Pseudosuccinia columella) in northern Tasmania capable of transmitting fluke. It turns out that the producer who found fluke in his new rams also found the new snail. Kudos to him for having the biosecurity awareness to investigate the new snail.

So, if you see something unusual, get it investigated.

For December 2019 state outlooks, please follow the links below:
Back to State Outlooks