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Victoria worms, flies and lice update - April 2019

Hamilton: Andrew Whale, Livestock Logic (a.whale@livestocklogic.com.auand Lexie Leonard, Livestock Logic (l.leonard@livestocklogic.com.au)

It has remained relatively dry over the last 4 weeks, and with no major rain events predicted coming into May, it looks like it will be a dry start to autumn. For most areas around south-west Victoria, the autumn break will not be definitive, but there will be some areas with sufficient moisture and green feed for faecal pellets to soften and allow the worm lifecycle to continue. Pasture assessments of individual paddocks across your property will give the best guide to which paddocks are high risk for worms.  Worm-risk may occur sporadically across the property depending on local Food-On-Offer (FOO) and moisture conditions.

Worm egg counts are not expected to rise significantly from now until late May given the rainfall outlook. Any worm egg count (WEC) monitoring done before this period should be followed up in early June to ensure WECs do not rise sharply as larval contamination of paddocks increases—especially for weaners and hoggets.

The last burst of warmer weather has led to a slight increase in fly activity over the past week, and small incidents of flystrike have occurred. With the arrival of cooler weather and the ongoing forecast of no major rain events, flystrike is not expected to remain an issue, but ensure sheep are checked for flystrike.

Fewer mature ewes required a 2nd summer drench after the autumn break this year compared to last year (see graph). This can most likely be attributed to the drier conditions over March–April this year compared to last year.