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Monday, 9 April 2018

Don’t let your drenching program rob you

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Autumn’s favourable pasture growing conditions give farmers a great opportunity to maximise growth rates in beef cattle post-weaning. Cattle that are set up well in the autumn are going to be better placed to make full use of the growth opportunities that come in spring. However, this time of year is also favourable for parasite development and survival leading to significant increases in pasture worm challenges.

Left uncontrolled, these seasonal worm peaks have the potential to significantly reduce animal health and performance and rob you of your productivity gains. A good preventative worm programme is critical to ensure worm infections are kept under control and growth rates are not limited to weaners going into winter. With levels of drench resistance increasing, especially to single active endectocides, farmers will need to ensure their worm control programmes are not only effective but that they are also sustainable into the future.

The important action farmers can take this autumn is to ensure that the drench treatments they are using are actually being effective. Failure to successfully remove the parasites from stock can lead to reduced animal performance and increased levels of drench resistance on their farm. Testing their drenches’ effectiveness using post drench faecal egg counts and larval cultures will help determine if there is a need to change treatment plans.

The next important change is to increase the use of oral combinations as the primary drench treatment in weaner cattle. A range of triple and double combination drench treatments are now available to farmers for control of parasites in weaner cattle this autumn. Removing worms not only minimises production losses but also reduces the build-up of drench-resistant worms. It’s about getting the right combination for your farm this autumn and developing a sustainable preventative worm programme that allows you to farm into the future with confidence.

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