Worm Warning for NSW

Recent rains and green grass point to something more ominous in lush paddocks and Industry & Investment NSW has alerted graziers to watch out for worms.

I&I NSW State worm control coordinator, Stephen Love, said producers should keep an eye out for worms in sheep, goat, alpaca and young cattle, particularly in central and southern NSW.

“These animals will need good worm management during the next few months or they could run into serious problems,” Dr Love said,

“DrenchPlan for sheep in central and southern NSW calls for a second summer drench in February only if a WormTest calls for it to avoid unnecessary drenching and selecting drench resistant worms.

“However, if you have a lot of green grass this year it’s probably a good idea to go ahead with a second summer drench, especially for young sheep.

“Worms are doing well across NSW and while details may vary the principles are universal - do regular WormTests, check drench effectiveness and use grazing management to control worm pick-up particularly by susceptible stock.”

Dr Love said WormTest, a faecal worm egg count, gives graziers an indication of worm burdens and allows them to make informed drenching decisions.

“We recommend graziers do more than the usual number of WormTests between now and winter as significant production losses from worms arise before obvious clinical signs appear,” he said.

“Scouring, dags and death may occur, but the big economic losses will continue from subtle production losses.”

Following drenching Dr Love advises a DrenchCheck - a WormTest seven to 14 days after drench treatments.

“The most costly drench is the one that doesn't work and resistance to drenches, including the newer macrocyclic lactones or 'mectins', is common.”

For monthly updates on local conditions graziers can subscribe to WormBoss News, www.wool.com/WormBoss or get worm information from the I&I NSW livestock health site, www.dpi.nsw.gov.au

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