Mild March sees increased spring parasite risk for sheep

A mild March saw much of the UK experience above average temperatures and mixed rainfall, which has lead to an increased spring parasite risk for sheep.

The NADIS parasite forecast, sponsored by Merial, recommends sheep farmers plan and target their parasite control for the coming months.

In sheep, severe outbreaks of nematodirosis can often to occur in May, and a cold late-spring followed by a sudden rise in temperature can trigger a synchronised mass hatch of infective larvae.

If susceptible, six to 12-week-old lambs that are grazing then scouring could result in severe production losses, and sudden deaths may follow.

As a result of the mild average temperatures in March the NADIS and SCOPS nematodirosis forecast predicts an early spring hatch.

This will spread from south to north, posing a moderate to high risk to early lambing flocks with susceptible grazing lambs.


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