27 June 1997

Watch out for worm infection

RISKS of worm infection could be high as heavy rain and warm temperatures create ideal conditions for worms to thrive.

Parasitologist Gordon Graham explains that worms need warmth and moisture to enable them to survive and develop in grass.

"This years weather, therefore, will enable high numbers of worms – which cause parasitic gastroenteritis, husk and fluke – to develop to infective stages.

"The current pattern of short, heavy bursts of rain will also break down dung pats and release worms to spread across pasture," says Mr Graham.

Youngstock in their first grazing season are at greatest risk and must be watched carefully for symptoms such as reduced growth rates, loss of condition and for lungworm infection, the typical cough.

A wet June is also ideal for the development of liver fluke and producers on units which have a history of fluke should be prepared to treat stock in the early autumn, adds Mr Graham.n