Tricia Veale, Benalla (firstname.lastname@example.org):
Most areas of western and southern Victoria and southern NSW have now received decent rains. In this area of north eastern Victoria we have had 84mm so far this month. Local farmers are happy as this is really bringing on the crops!
Liver Fluke (Fasciola hepatica) have been cycling on those properties where they are present. Recently quite a few "flukey" properties have had positive test results but some places that experienced very dry summer conditions have found that Fluke are not active.
Increasing numbers of farmers are now testing first to see if drenching is really needed. With ongoing difficult conditions this saves the expense of drenching unnecessarily and animals being exposed to chemicals that they don’t need.
There are still, however, large numbers of farmers that don’t test first!
Now that it has rained, it’s important to be vigilant as worm egg counts in sheep, goats and young cattle will be steadily increasing, especially the Brown Stomach worm, Ostertagia spp. Test your animals if you see a "tail" appearing in the flock.
To be sure which species of worms are active on your property, suggest that you get a worm egg count and then ask for the eggs to be hatched out to determine their type…a larval culture.
It's also a good idea to test lambs at marking time.