Good preparation now will save time and money come the winter
The nice spell of weather last week makes deepest winter seem far away. We all wish that were true, but prepare we must and now is the best time to do some chores.
Parasite levels on pasture will be at their height in September and as the grass slows in growth it will be grazed quite tightly. This means shorter leaf and more eggs and larva on each blade. Fluke is the biggest problem and will cause greatest loss. We have a further problem with a developing resistance to flukenides. We also have a narrow range of products, so prudent and focused use in encouraged.
Never be afraid to check dung samples. It's easy to collect a sample. A simple freezer bag can be used and a fresh dung just produced can be collected just like the 'pooper-scoopers' on the dog walks on our city streets.
Label the bag and bring it to your local vet for dispatch and instructions. Dung samples, for evidence of parasites, are relatively inexpensive and a very useful guide to the level of challenge on the farm. It will always lead to a discussion with your vet as to what wormer or flukenides to use and how best to use them.
Moving to other matters, the increase in the price of grain will make for dearer winter feeds this season. We have been spoilt over the past two years with an unnaturally low price for grain.
The trend this year will be for a higher cost of winter feed and this could lead to reduced use of these products.
Vitamins and minerals are usually included in the compound foodstuffs and reduced feeding will reduce mineral and vitamin intake.
One such casualty will be copper inclusion and this may lead to a deficiency.