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Thursday, 03 December 2020 09:55

Worm resistance genetics

Written by  Staff Reporters
WormFEC Gold chair Allan Richardson WormFEC Gold chair Allan Richardson

Sheep farmers should be investing in proven, worm resistant genetics this breeding season to future proof their businesses’ bottom lines.

That’s the claim of new WormFEC Gold chair Allan Richardson. WormFEC is a group of 15 breeders – with 18 flocks – representing all the main sheep breeds and based throughout NZ. 

“The majority of farmers still continue to put all their trust in a drenching strategy to combat internal parasites,” the West Otago sheep farmer says.  “Clearly that is failing at alarming rates with increasing resistance found in combination drenches (43%) and triple drenches (15%) in the latest NZ study completed by a Dunedin company Techion”.

Richardson says the rate of drench resistance increase has been dramatic, with some drench families recording over a 100% increase in resistance compared to four years ago.

“The Beef + Lamb NZ Genetics low input trial has clearly shown that WormFEC Gold rams with high performance and resistance levels still performed under high worm challenges,” he claims.  “This is a big saving in time, labour and expenses.”

“We are keen to work with farmers and vets to improve on farm knowledge and get the best medium to long term solutions for internal parasite management,” Richardson adds.

His take home message to farmers is to use this time wisely, get resistant genes into your flock.

“It will future-proof your farm, cut costs and reduce your long-term reliance on regular drenching,” Richardson says.

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