Integrated pest management for blowfly, worms and lice is the topic of todays podcast, with our guest Alison Colvin.
Alison has published work on practices on farm and has also been involved in a lot of survey work. You can find more here
Alison runs us through the surveys, which had some interesting results about incidences of flystrike, treatment trends and the effects of drought on lice, fly and worm problems and much more.
You can read the results for yourself here:
The Australian Sheep Parasite Survey
Mark and Alison then run through Integrated Pest Management (IPM) for lice, worms and flies.
Starting with a hot topic at the moment, lice. The results of the survey confirmed what they have known for a while, that the prevalence of lice on Australian flocks is around 20% but it is decreasing slightly.
"Introduction through purchased and stray sheep was the most ranked reason for recurring lice infestations. The second was not completing the whole flock at the same time and incomplete mustering. So there are still areas for improvement on our on farm lice control." says Alison
"Rotation of lice products is theoretically good, you should be able to get rid of all of the lice and not have any surviving lice building up resistance. BUT that relies on us using the products properly for lice prevention. Dose rates...all sheep treated, shearing equipment is changed between sheds etc."
So, if the lice treatment is effective, and you have good boundary fences and biosecurity regimes then you might not have to deal with lice for a good period of time. It's just making sure you're paying attention to detail with lice.
Mark makes a great point. "Flies and worms turn up anyway, whereas lice you can win the battle and remove them from your property. "
Mark and Alison also run through the key parts of Integrated Pest Management (IPM) that are important for worms and flies too.
Alison highly recommends the website paraboss.com.au for information and tools for IPM. Although this is an Australian website, our listeners worldwide will definitely find something worthwhile on there.
There really is no avoiding these pests when sheep farming so this is a good podcast for anyone involved in your farming business.
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