Summer drenching and grazing program – start now | My Machinery
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Summer drenching and grazing program – start now

The Department of Primary Industries (DPI) is urging Victorian sheep producers to review their integrated worm management plan and give sheep their first drench now. DPI District Veterinary Officer Jim Walsh said internal parasites were a significant cause of lost production and welfare concerns in the sheep industry. “Rainfall earlier this year following on from last year’s wet summer has contributed to high worm burdens and deaths in ewes and lambs this season,” Dr Walsh said. “An integrated worm management program can help achieve lower burdens and associated deaths.” He said such a plan would incorporate grazing management strategies such as: – weaning lambs – ideally at 12 weeks onto low risk paddocks or the cleanest pasture available; – moving weaners onto low risk paddocks after their first summer drench; – preparing low risk paddocks for weaners next May/June when they need their late autumn drench; – preparing next year’s lambing paddocks by grazing with only low risk stock, including cattle, sheep with a low worm count or wethers (not alpacas or goats); – worm egg count testing to allow producers to monitor stock, check drench effectiveness and ensure drenching only occurs when necessary; – strategic use of drenches, i.e. minimise drench resistance by rotation of drenches and avoiding use of long acting products over summer; – talking to the field staff from your drench company or the laboratory where your worm tests are done as they may be the best independent person to assist with the development of this plan; – using rams known for worm resistance; and – in northern or dryer parts of the state, consider performing a Worm Egg Count monitor before the second summer drench. Dr Walsh said sustainable worm control involved more than just drenching. “Adopting an integrated worm management plan will give support to long-term success even in unseasonal conditions. “When drenching, follow all the chemicals label directions and record use. Consider the implications of withholding periods, particularly in lambs to be sold soon.”

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