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Tasmania worm update - January 2013

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

We have gone from a good spring to a very dry summer in a matter of weeks, as evidenced by the number of major fires in the last 3 weeks. Parasitically, this should be the best summer for good strategic control since 2008. The first summer drench should be long finished, and so monitor to refine the timing of the second. Despite the dry season most areas of the state still have plenty of residual ground cover and late-deposited contamination will survive through to the autumn. Limit that contamination with a second summer drench at a trigger of 100–150epg.

Some clients commented to me that the good thing about sheep was that they can be used to reduce fire risk by close grazing. This is tantamount to ‘smart grazing’ and this year is ideal to give it a go. Why so keen on the idea? Because it plugs the holes left by deficiencies in Trich control from summer drenching. In Tasmania, summer drenching is always problematic, even in a year like this. You can expect good Ostertagia control from the strategic drenches but less effect on Trichs. Contact me if you wish to discuss smart grazing.