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Tasmania worms, flies and lice update - March 2020

Tasmania WormBoss Worm Control Programs

Tasmania WormBoss Drench Decision Guides





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

Demographers often comment on population spikes 9 months after a drought breaks. On that basis, we can expect a baby boom 9 months after March 5, whereon much of the state received in excess of 40 mm of rain. The population explosion expected in far flung places like Coonamble, Longreach and Charters Towers does not bear contemplation.

The only message this month is twofold: firstly, you can expect WECs to contain many Nematodirus. They will knock lamb growth rates around at quite low counts. Beware!

Secondly, those letting sheep out of drought lots and sacrifice paddocks need to do two things (everything comes in twos): keep the sheep contained until you have sufficient tucker to be self-sustaining, and do a WEC and drench at a low trigger (say, 100–150 epg). In essence, this is a second summer drench.

All the information—1: Sometimes, critical information is left out of the considerations. A client was surprised when I suggested that a grass seed paddock was likely not all that clean, as it had been grazed by 1-year old Merinos in the spring, and as the grass seed residues were high it’s unlikely that contamination deposited in the spring would have diminished so much over our cool summer. He was disappointed when I said no drench was necessary for low WEC lambs about to be given the pasture. The critical information not offered (but eventually extracted) was that the spring grazing 1-year olds were under protection from a long-acting drench. Thus, the paddock was effectively spelled (worm-wise) from late August until February. It would be as clean as a steam-blasted trumpet, and so the recommendation to drench was reinstated.

All the information—2: A client rang to say 2-year old sheep were losing weight on a grain ration. The supplement level seemed low, confirmed by a session on GrazFeed. So, when I rang back to offer a new feeding rate, he told me that the WEC had come in at greater than 1000. So, don’t forget that common things occur more commonly than uncommon things.