With warmer weather enabling a longer grazing season and milder winters leading to more parasite survival, farmers need to have some degree of knowledge about parasites on their farm and in their area. As well as monitoring parasite risks by using the Parasite Watch map, farmers should also be using faecal egg counts and monitoring growth rates.
Farmers will be able to get up to date parasite information in their local area thanks to the monitoring of worm, fluke and fly levels on 18 farms across the UK.
The Parasite Watch scheme run by Zoetis, is now in its second year. The 18 farms involved in the scheme will have faecal samples taken every two weeks, which will help detect major stomach worms and Nematodirus. Fluke will also be tested quarterly using copro-antigen testing, which will pick up immature fluke at six weeks of age, giving farmers the most advance warning they can. Flies will be monitored on the farm using fly traps.
How to use Parasite Watch
The aim of Parasite Watch is to not only inform the farmers involved in the project about parasite levels on their farm, but to alert livestock farmers to parasite risks in their local area by an interactive map, which can be found at www.parasitewatch.co.uk.
Parasite data on the interactive map from each of the farms will be updated regularly. This will allow farmers to see if there are spikes in certain parasites in their area and enable them to take appropriate action.
The results and stories from these farms will also be shared on Facebook (SheepFarmersUK) and Twitter (@Sheep_farmers), so make sure you follow us to stay up to date.