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Beyond the Bale : Feb - Mar 08 Supplement
ECO-TRENDS SUPPLEMENT BEYOND THE BALE 9 INTEGRATED PARASITE MANAGEMENT be significant mortalities -- up to 25 per cent in weaners or lambing ewes." Some of the approaches used at 'Woodlands' to minimise worms involve planning ahead, monitoring worm burdens in stock, using effective drenches strategically, grazing management to minimise infective pastures (particularly to prevent autumn contamination of subsequent lambing paddocks), quarantining bought-in stock and drench efficacy testing. "Luckily what's good for IPM is also good for the pastures. We used to set stock and our pastures didn't have much time to recover, but now we rotationally graze all our paddocks." The Swales have invested in fencing and stock water to manage rotational grazing -- no more than a third of paddocks are stocked at any time. "When our subdivision program is completed, we will aim for a minimum 60 days 'sheep-free period', which will make it easier to produce worm- free paddocks for lambing and weaning. "We either spell the lambing paddocks totally or graze them with cattle over April, May and June to reduce larval survival. We do the same from October to December with paddocks for weaned lambs. "Sometimes it can be a challenge spelling paddocks because feed is short over winter, so we supplement the ewes with grain or cottonseed pellets," he explains. All mobs are regularly monitored for worm egg counts using bulk samples and are drenched when they reach a 'trigger point', which ranges from 800 to1500 eggs per gram, depending on stock performance and pasture conditions. "By using worm egg counts we are able to minimise the use of the most effective moxidectin drench to only once a year and rely on narrow spectrum combinations at other times. The cost of the worm tests is a lot cheaper than giving a drench to stock that don't need it, or using a drench that doesn't work effectively." Under this regime, ewes and lambs are drenched about three times a year depending on the conditions, and the grown wethers are drenched twice. If the area returns to a more favourable rainfall, then dry sheep could need an additional narrow- spectrum drench during summer. The only bought-in sheep are rams, which undergo a strict quarantine protocol. They are given a combination drench and held in the yards for up to four days. "IPM-s isn't a silver bullet, but it has helped us bring a range of management strategies together." ú More information: www.wool.com.au/ipm "If you are not on top of the potential worm burdens, the result can be significant mortalities -- up to 25 per cent in weaners or lambing ewes." -- JIM SWALES
Dec - Jan 08
Feb - Mar 08