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Beyond the Bale : December 2015
32 ON FARM 32 ON FARM CHOOSING AND USING DRENCHES • In Australia’s moderate and high rainfall areas, drenching is an essential practice to maintain health, productivity and good animal welfare. • Choosing the right drench for the right occasion is critical to achieve the benefits of effective control of worms and of keeping each drench group working on your farm for as many years as possible. • Unfortunately, on many farms, drench resistance has already developed, making it more difficult to control worms. With good choices, you can greatly slow further development of drench resistance on your farm. KNOW THE EFFECTIVENESS OF YOUR DRENCHES The most important step for correct drench choice is to know how effective each drench is on your property because it’s unlikely to be the same on the property next door. A drench resistance test is not expensive—about 20c/head/year if you have 2,000 sheep and cheaper per head the more sheep you have; that’s generally less than the cost of giving one drench to your flock. The steps are not hard, but it is a two-person job – if you don’t have help on the farm, buddy up with a neighbour and help each other to do a DrenchTest. Simply test specific single actives alongside a non-drenched group, and your laboratory can calculate the effectiveness of any drench combination you might choose to use in the coming few years. Step-by-step instructions are on WormBoss. WHETHER OR WHEN TO DRENCH Aside from quarantine and strategic drenches (which differ between regions), such as the ‘first summer drench’ and the pre-lambing and weaning drenches, use your regional WormBoss Drench Decision Guide combined with a WormTest to decide when other drenching is needed. CHOOSING DRENCHES Each time you need to drench, there are five principles that should be integrated into your drench choice: 1. Use drenches most effective on your property as shown by a DrenchTest or DrenchCheck-Day10. The more effective a drench is, the fewer drench- resistant worms will remain in the sheep after treatment. 2. Use a combination of two or more drench groups, as the chance of a worm being resistant to all drench groups in the combination is much lower than for each individual group on its own. 3. Use short-acting treatments and restrict the use of persistent products to specific purposes and high worm-risk times of year. There is little need to use mid-length or long-acting treatments if sheep are being moved to low worm-risk paddocks. 4. Rotate* among all effective drench groups each time a mob is drenched (and for each paddock). An effective drench from a different group may kill worms that were resistant to the last treatment. These may be worms that survived treatment in the sheep or were picked up from the paddock. Using drenches wisely is an important part of a sustainable and effective worm control program and with careful use you can slow down the development of drench resistance on your property.
In the Shops - March 2016