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Tasmania worms, flies and lice update - January 2017

Tasmania WormBoss Worm Control Programs

Tasmania WormBoss Drench Decision Guides





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

Greetings for a prosperous New Year to all subscribers. Here’s hoping that the “record” wool prices (ABC, no less) result in a head-long rush back to superfines from which we can spin angel’s underpants.

As I write it is raining over most of the state. A major weather event is predicted for the East Coast, but it may be more wind than rain. Since the last missive there have been a few rain events, but the weather has been dominated by incessant wind, which has comprehensively jiggered the fishing and (coincidently) dried pastures very quickly. While 75% of people have tattoos (for individual expression) I opted for body piercing when an errant puff of wind disturbed the forward cast and a #16 parachute dun lodged in my left ear. Would have left it there, except there were fish rising everywhere and it was the only copy of that pattern in the box.

Editor’s note: Unfortunately our Tassie correspondent did not think to take a selfie, but here’s a shot of a fly similar to the one adorning Paul’s ear.

Worm Egg Counts (WECs) in adult sheep remain low. No surprise. Lambs are a different story. Lambs grazing paddocks with even modest contamination are successfully recycling worms and their counts are creeping up. So the advice (as always) is to monitor diligently and drench when approaching the triggers (say, 300 epg for Merinos on perennial pastures and 200 epg for prime lambs on fodder).

Everybody has cut hay this year. The paddocks are still green so use them for weaners. In the next month many farms will harvest grass seed, and then grain. These paddocks are also genuinely low worm status. Be realistic about the value of grain stubbles, although the windy summer may have spilt more grain (particularly oats) than in some years.

Because perennial pastures have dried so quickly we have not seen any major outbreaks of Trichostrongylus vitrinus (black scour) parasitism. Today’s rain event increases the risk, so be on the lookout for manky weaners with hock staining.

There’s been some fly activity, but the wind has kept a lid on it. Moreover, dicyclanil and cyromazine sales have been high. Rain equals flies. Treatments applied at weaning may be running out so re-treat, crutch or shear as appropriate.