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Beyond the Bale : June 2018
Through an AWI-funded extension project, two producer groups are putting WormBoss into practice to particularly reduce weaner morbidity and mortality. Monaro Farming Systems is based in southern NSW. Although it’s in southern Australia where scour worms predominate, the Monaro region experiences a rainfall pattern that causes barber’s pole worm to be an annual challenge. The ASHEEP group is in the Esperance and Ravensthorpe shires of southern Western Australia with country from the coast to about 150km inland. Again, both scour worms and barber’s pole worm (for those close to the coast) present a problem. This project supports participants to conduct two very key practices, DrenchTests and Worm Egg Counts, as the basis for tactical drenching decisions. To get double the value, the DrenchTests are also part of another AWI-funded project. Dawbuts laboratory is conducting the DrenchTests two ways: using the standard method plus an alternative laboratory method called Mini-FLOTAC. This method is more sensitive and is being assessed to see its usefulness for conducting DrenchTests at lower worm burdens. In Western Australia, Drench Tests are best done at weaning time. With the ASHEEP group joining the project more recently, members will conduct their tests at the end of this year. Already, ten of the planned fifteen properties from the Monaro Farming Systems group have conducted DrenchTests; the result averages are presented in Table 1 right. Tests for resistance to flukicides will be conducted in winter. Monaro Farming Systems Executive Officer, Nancy Spoljaric, said, “Many of our producers have long suspected some level of drench resistance in their flock, but doing an actual drench resistance test on their property has now shown the extent of the resistance problem. “With this information, group members are PUTTING WORMBOSS INTO PRACTICE Awareness of WormBoss among sheep producers is very high, but sometimes, getting started can be helped with motivation from other producers. Monaro Farming Systems members have seen the DrenchTest results at their field days and in the MFS newsletter. Sheep in a DrenchTest with coloured marks showing which drench they received. PHOTOS: Nancy Spoljaric, Monaro Farming Systems. now able to make a much more effective choice of drench and make significant savings in cost and time by avoiding ineffective drenches. “Barber’s pole was a major challenge on the Monaro for many producers last spring and summer with average worm egg counts in the thousands for many properties. The test results showed it accounted for 51% of the total worm burdens on the 10 participating properties.” Deborah Maxwell, ParaBoss Executive Officer, said, “DrenchTests are one of the most valuable activities managers can do to improve worm control as they tell you what works, against which worm, on your property. The MFS results show that even within a region, drenches vary in efficacy, not only against specific worms, but from property to property. “It’s great news to see that one of the most recently-released drench actives, monepantel, is still fully effective across all worms. The triple also has great results here, but that’s not always the case in other districts.” Ms Spoljaric added, “MFS members have found it especially useful to know that levamisole – the cheapest drench – was essentially 100% effective against barber’s pole worm on all the properties tested.” Dr Maxwell has conducted DrenchTests in New England over the past few years and emphasised that in the summer rainfall region the story is quite different with widespread resistance of barber’s pole worm to all but the two newest drench actives, monepantel and derquantel, and the organophosphate drench, naphthalophos. The message is quite clear, said Dr Maxwell: “You’ll only know what works on your property by doing a DrenchTest on your property.” More information For more information on DrenchTests see www.wormboss.com.au/tests-tools BLACK SCOUR WORM BROWN STOMACH WORM BARBER'S POLE WORM Average Range Average Range Average Range BZ (white) 62 0-100 45 0-100 82 51-100 LEV (clear) 69 0-100 78 0-100 100 99-100 Moxidectin (ML) 100 100 89 57–100 82 35-100 Closantel 91 42-100 Monepantel 100 100 100 100 100 100 BZ/LEV (double) 91 72-100 89 62–100 100 100 BZ/LEV/ML (triple) 100 100 98 92–100 100 100 Table 1: Efficacy (% reduction in worm egg count) of tested drench actives against the three most common worms: black scour worm, brown stomach worm and barber’s pole worm, across ten properties in the Monaro Farming Systems group, tested in 2017-2018. “You’ll only know what works on your property by doing a DrenchTest on your property.” Dr Deborah Maxwell, ParaBoss Executive Officer ON FARM 45