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Tasmania worm update - November 2013

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

What an ass-over-kite season we're having!  After prodigious rain in July, August and September, with the attendant worm problems October was cold, windy and dry, to the point that the hay mowers were going full tilt.  Little fodder was put down as November has been cold, windy and as wet as an Irish bog.

As this is written we are expecting 50-100mm over much of the midlands and east coast, with flooding and crop drowning the order of the day.

Egg counts have remained stubbornly high. Since the last missive, several clients have given salvage drenches at lamb marking, or between marking and weaning. With the cool weather and on-going egg output we must expect high larval availability well into the Summer.  

Advice is as follows:

  • Don’t delay weaning unless you have a real prospect of heavy suckers.
  • Monitor lambs closely and expect to drench more than usual.
  • This may be the year for a long-acting preparation at weaning.  This is a very rare rec so do not proceed without additional advice from a reputable, independent source (like Nilon Farm Health).
  • Ewes staying on permanent pastures must get a weaning drench.
  • Pay close attention to dagging to reduce the risk of flies.

In all, be prepared and monitor diligently.