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Tasmania worm update - January 2014

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

After a (relatively) dry month and with some high temperatures in the last few weeks, it’s hoped the rate of larval pickup will slow.   However, it’s still green and moist at ground level so pickup will continue for some time. Monitor weaners closely and expect to give the second summer drench earlier than usual.  The first of the grain crops are off and provide fairly safe grazing, but do not overestimate their nutritive value.   

Ewes are mostly as fat as seals on fish and chips.  Although they will suffer few ill-effects from worms make sure they are not contributing excessively to contamination.

Just this morning a client had counts greater than 600epg in merino ewes that are rudely fat and were drenched at weaning in early December.  

This level of contamination will deliver high larval uptake in the autumn after some rain.   Aggressive worm control now will surely pay dividends later.  

This advice applies to ewes grazing permanent pastures or paddocks likely to be grazed by weaners later in the season.