Friday, 04 February 2022 06:55

Keeping flies at bay a big challenge

Written by  Staff Reporters
The best and most effective approach to preventing flystrike is to use a combination of strategies known as Integrated Pest Management (IPM). The best and most effective approach to preventing flystrike is to use a combination of strategies known as Integrated Pest Management (IPM).

It is turning out to be almost the perfect summer for flystrike.

Recent high temperatures and humidity have created textbook conditions for flystrike in parts of the country. However, there are steps farmers can take to make sheep as unattractive to flies as possible.

Will Halliday, Beef + Lamb New Zealand's senior advisor biosecurity and animal welfare, says the best and most effective approach to preventing flystrike is to use a combination of strategies also known as Integrated Pest Management (IPM).

Halliday says IPM aims to keep pressure on the pest throughout its lifecycle by using a combination of chemical and non-chemical tools.

"It's about attacking maggots and flies from different angles, at different times."

For example, weekly monitoring for the four blowfly species that cause flystrike (Australian green blowfly, European green blowfly, Brown blowfly and Hairy Maggot blowfly) using small offal-baited fly-traps will detect when these flies are active which can then trigger a management response.

This could include shearing, crutching, dipping and/or moving sheep to higher ground with cooler temperatures and higher wind speed.

During high-risk periods, Halliday says that intensive grazing shoud be avoided if possible and hot-spots on the farm identified and avoided. These could include sheltered, scrubby gullies, patches of thistles, bush lines and the lee of shelter-belts.

He adds that while chemicals play an important role in the prevention and treatment of flystrike, over-reliance can lead to resistance.

"It is important to only use chemicals known to be effective on individual farms and use different chemicals to treat an active flystrike lesion than those used for flystrike prevention."

Halliday points out that the Managing Flystrike and Lice publication - put together by Beef + Lamb NZ, Merino NZ and Sheep and Beef Cattle Veterinarians - explains the lifecycle of pests, helps decipher chemical product labels and applications.

"It is an excellent resource to help farmers put together a management plan for the prevention and treatment of both flystrike and lice."

See the Managing Flystrike and Lice Guide for Farmers factsheet: https://beeflambnz.com/knowledge-hub/PDF/managing-flystrike.pdf

More like this

Perfect conditions for fly and FE

Warm wet weather in many areas of the country creates the perfect conditions for the production-limiting diseases flystrike and facial eczema (FE).

National

FMD scare puts NZ on watch

A recent outbreak of Foot and Mouth disease (FMD) in Indonesia has the NZ agriculture sector and its officials on…

Public round up on glyphosate

The country's environmental regulator agency has released the public feedback it has received on the glyphosate weed killer - commonly…

New bee Guy!

Former Agriculture Minister Nathan Guy will take over as the independent chair of Apiculture New Zealand (ApiNZ).

Machinery & Products

A new approach to apprenticeships

By taking a new approach to its apprenticeship programme, agricultural equipment supplier Norwood says it is ensuring farmers’ machinery will…

Buck-Rake does the job

With many self-propelled forage harvester manufacturers offering machines hitting 1000hp, the bottleneck in any harvesting system is always likely to…

» The RNG Weather Report

» Latest Print Issues Online

The Hound

Yeah, right!

OPINION: Your old mate reckons recent ‘research’ carried out by consultants PWC – claiming that ‘actively managed carbon forestry’ creates…

All Claas!

OPINION: Your canine crusader - like many in the sector probably would have - raised an eyebrow when he heard…

» Connect with Rural News

» eNewsletter

Subscribe to our weekly newsletter