Tricia Veale, Benalla (email@example.com):
There was only 35 mm of rain last month, but the dams fortunately remain full from the earlier good falls in North Eastern Victoria. However it is still very dry in this area with only 4mm of rain in the last three weeks which has not eased the superficial drying out. Farmers are very concerned about these conditions and those who have planted crops report that they are not growing. Sheep and cattle now have to be fed in many places.
Worm egg counts in sheep, goats and young cattle have been steadily increasing, with moderate counts of 480-600epg of dung about the average.
Liver Fluke (Fasciola Hepatica) are also appearing again on those properties where they are present. There have been quite a number of positive Liver Fluke egg counts.
Some farmers have suggested that the fluke drench is not working in their cattle. In most of these cases a test has revealed that there are no Fluke eggs present but there are eggs of the Stomach Fluke (Paramphistomum sp). These flukes can cause scouring and poor condition in the tail of the mob. There have also been Stomach Fluke detected on a small number of sheep properties.
Low numbers of eggs of Moniezia spp., the sheep Tapeworm, are now being seen.These are not usually harmful to the sheep. High numbers of tapeworm eggs in young sheep - or when you see the animals passing whole worms like spaghetti on to the ground - may indicate the need for a tapeworm treatment.