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Beyond the Bale : March 2019
40 ON FARM WHAT DOES THE SURVEY EXAMINE? The survey aims to determine: what sheep parasite control options have been adopted by producers how chemical resistance has changed how producers monitor and manage their sheep parasite challenges how producers access information and make decisions about parasite control producer perceptions of what control methods are most effective; and differences in the above due to regional location and sheep type. YOUR CHANCE TO INFLUENCE PARASITE RESEARCH Help us to help you. Australian sheep producers now have the opportunity to influence the way the industry manages parasites such as worms, flies and lice. Simply complete the survey (available at www.wool.com/paraboss) to help researchers address the issues that are currently of greatest importance to you. Led by a team of researchers from the University of New England, the AWI- funded survey assesses the parasite control measures currently being undertaken by sheep producers across Australia, focusing on worm, liver fluke, blowfly and lice control. All sheep producers with 100 or more sheep are invited to participate in the survey. AWI General Manager for Research Dr Jane Littlejohn emphasises the survey results will enable the sheep and wool industry to identify the important parasite management issues impacting producers. “The results will also be used to update regional benchmarks for parasite control,” Dr Littlejohn explained. “The resulting benchmarks will be available to sheep producers to then compare their management practices and, if necessary, make changes to their enterprises.” Internal and external parasites combined comprise the major disease problem of Australian sheep, costing the industry an estimated $715 million per year. Queensland sheep producer and veterinarian Dr Noel O’Dempsey, who runs fine wool sheep and prime lambs at ‘Linallie’ in the Traprock country between Texas and Inglewood, is on the Steering Committee for the project and encourages all sheep producers to complete the survey. “This is a very important survey for producers to complete and it will ultimately help them increase their own business’s productivity and profitability,” he said. “By allowing industry to benchmark current parasite control strategies and identify what changes have occurred since the previous survey in 2011, the results will enable producers to refine their on-farm parasite control, be it for worms, flies or lice.” “The survey is available to complete right now. I encourage all producers to take the time to complete it as accurately as possible.” PAST SURVEYS This new survey follows on from similar previous surveys carried out by researchers for the 2003 and 2011 years, which both showed major changes to producers’ parasite management practices. The results of these previous parasite control surveys have proved very useful. For instance, they identified and confirmed the need for regional worm control programs and drench decision guides, which have been popular tools on the WormBoss website. The results also informed content for the FlyBoss and LiceBoss websites which contain valuable tools for managing flystrike and lice infestations. The average number of treatments for worms increased from 2.1 treatments/ year in 2003 to 2.7 treatments/year in 2011. The highest average number of treatments per year was in the New England (5.6 treatments) which is a region endemic to Barber’s Pole worm. There was a greater use of combination drenches used in 2011 (43%), however there were still a large number of single active drenches given (57%). In 2011, drench resistance testing was conducted by 29% of producers. Of those, 55% had resistance to benzimidazole drenches and levamisole, 28% to abamectin, 21% to moxidectin and 12% had resistance to ivermectin. 48% of farmers said they didn’t know their drench resistance status. There was a low use of genetic selection for resistance to worm infection (13%) in 2011 with paddock spelling, cropping and cattle/sheep rotations being the most utilised methods of worm control. Regarding lice, 23% of producers reported lice infestations in 2011, with 27% reporting rubbing. More than 50% of producers reported no evidence of lice. Lice prevention rated highly with sheep producers but 22% reported no treatment for lice. Backliner treatments were the most frequently used for both short wool and long wool treatments. HOW TO GET INVOLVED All Australian sheep producers with 100 or more sheep are invited to complete the new survey. The survey closes on 9 April, so please complete it soon. The survey is being conducted online. This means there is no limit to the number of participants and a broad range of Australian sheep producers can be represented in the survey. There are three ways to access the survey: 1. Online via the link on the AWI website at www.wool.com/paraboss. The survey is also available via the ParaBoss websites. 2. Via a link provided in an email sent to sheep producers. 3. Although the survey will be available online, producers who prefer to complete a paper version of the survey can still do so by requesting a version from the researchers: Dr Alison Colvin (alison. firstname.lastname@example.org) or Prof Stephen Walkden-Brown (email@example.com) of the University of New England. Phone (02) 6773 5152. The survey should take about 30 minutes to complete. Any responses to the survey will remain confidential and researchers will not collect any identifying data. We thank participants in advance for taking the time to help improve our efforts to control parasites in sheep. MORE INFORMATION www.wool.com/paraboss
In the Shops - March 2019