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Stackyard News Apr 06

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Worm Cattle For Economic Growth This Season

Cattle farmers currently considering their worming strategy for the 2006 grazing season must now put the emphasis firmly on maintaining economic growth, says Schering-Plough Animal Health.

"Worming strategy this season must put the emphasis on economic growth", says Autoworm manufacturer Schering-Plough Animal Health.
"Worming strategy this season must put the emphasis on economic growth", says Autoworm manufacturer Schering-Ploug Animal Health

With the removal of headage payments, it now makes financial sense to keep young grazing cattle growing as fast as possible towards an earlier finish - any first season growth setbacks due to worms will be costly, the company points out.

“It’s now crucially important that worming regimes keep the worm challenge low enough throughout the full grazing season to avoid growth checks,” stresses livestock veterinary adviser Paul Williams.

For optimum efficacy, he advises producers to make sure their wormer offers a uniformly long period of grazing cover for all the different economically-important worms, not just one species. “To be effective, worming regimes must also follow product manufacturer guidelines to the letter, deliver a financial return, be easy-to-manage and allow natural immunity to develop so that wormers are not needed for older cattle,” he maintains.

Schering-Plough, manufacturers of Autoworm - the only pulse product that automatically worms cattle every three weeks against all the important worm species - has developed a six-point effective worming plan for the 2006 grazing season. “The aim is to help farmers choose the right worming strategy for economic cattle growth,” Paul Williams says.

1. Make sure your wormer is effective against all the major worms that are a threat to UK cattle during the grazing season. It should kill all the common economically important gut worms (Ostertagia, Cooperia, Trichostrongylus and Nematodirus) and lungworm (Dictyocaulus).

2. Some wormers have different periods of protection for different worm species. Check that your wormer provides extended, uniform cover against all key worms known to cause problems on UK farms.

3. Make sure the wormer dosage frequency provides the optimum of a worming dose three weeks after turnout to prevent the re-cycling of worm larvae, followed by subsequent three-weekly doses to keep breaking the 21-day worm cycle and prevent the development of disease.

4. Ask your supplier if your usual wormer allows some level of exposure to worms so that the animal can develop natural immunity.

5. Understand the labour implications for your chosen worming system and make sure you can guarantee to administer all the required treatments when they are due. If you can’t, the worming regime will not maximise growth rates. If the system requires handling after turnout, make sure you will have the facilities available.

6. Unless you are truly set-stocking, your worming regime needs to be able to cope with flexible grazing systems and the introduction of new stock to pastures, which may increase the worm challenge.

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