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Beyond the Bale : February 2010
Get up to scratch with lice FAST FACTS l AWI is helping woolgrowers combat the increasing problem of lice infestations with a new extension program, LiceSense. l The LiceSense program includes a handy guide for woolgrowers on managing sheep lice. l In association with Landmark, Elders and RuralCo, AWI is assisting with the cost of training growers, farm supply merchandisers and woolbrokers in the full range of options available for controlling lice. 14 WOOL PRODUCTION February 2010 BEYOND THE BALE Landmark animal health officer and farmer Dycinta Schultz says lice control messages are being well received by farmers. Dycinta Schultz has a double insight into the increasing problem of lice, given she is both a sheep producer and Landmark animal health agent at Naracoorte in South Australia. Running sheep and cropping properties in south-east South Australia with her husband Tim, Dycinta has had personal and professional experience with lice. "Lice are not the social disease they once were. When I explain to producers that we inadvertently imported lice three years ago and got over it, people seem to relax and are more open about discussing how to eradicate the problem on their farm," she says. After finding lice, Dycinta and Tim used a dipping contractor and carefully found and treated every animal as part of a two- year program, spending $4 a head to get rid of lice. Landmark Naracoorte has now held two successful LiceSense breakfast sessions for farmers in the region. Dycinta says local farmers have responded to the simple but effective messages about controlling the parasite. "There is no silver bullet for the issue and generally you have to spend $1 to $1.50 per head on effective treatment," she says. "But, just as importantly, you have to do the basics: work with neighbours, maintain good fencing, make sure you get a clean muster and quarantine new stock. "We also need to be stating at sale what lice treatments the sheep have had, and be careful not to overuse certain products, because I think we have relied too heavily on the growth regulators over the years and hence the increasing resistance to some products." Growers who attend a LiceSense information session through Landmark, Elders or RuralCo receive a free LiceSense manual and calendar, complete with a series of light-hearted cartoons that get the messages of lice control across. "They are a great tool and will be very well received as they are precise, not too detailed and very easy to read," Dycinta adds.
September November 2009