All of you will be aware of the moves by AHVLA to put the provision of OV services, and particularly TB testing, out to competitive tender. This is progressing and the country has been divided into regions with interested parties being invited to tender for the provision of testing, to include clerical infrastructure, training and quality audit and assurance and contingency planning, within these areas. We now know that the testing that we currently carry out will be split between two areas. Farms with holding numbers starting with 45 (Wiltshire holdings) or 11 (Dorset holdings) will be included in area 2 (Wessex) and farms with holding numbers starting with 15 (Hampshire holdings) will be included in area 3 (the South-East).
Many thanks again to Henry Edmunds and Cholderton Estate for hosting a very successful farm walk on June 11th. Thank you also to Mike Hardcastle from Dairy Co and Ian Wilkinson from Cotswolds Seeds to sponsor the event. We enjoyed a great turnout, great demonstrations and presentations from Henry and Ian, engaged discussions, fantastic weather and a delicious lunch provided by Cholderton Farm Shop. Especially sainfoin, but also lucerne and vetches are still highly underrated, and it was impressive what yields and feed values can be achieved using these forages, even on low input systems.
We are now well into the time of year when the level of worm eggs on the pasture has begun to rise, creating a potential disease risk for grazing animals. However, while all such animals are likely to be exposed to the same worm larvae and eggs throughout the season, control strategies for different ages of cattle differ substantially. Pharmaceutical companies and merchants can often be quick to push their products to farmers; always be sure that what you’re being sold is the right product for your animals, and that treatment is actually necessary at all! Here are the facts about two of the most important worms- Ostertagia (Brownworm) and Dictylocaulus (Lungworm).
Ostertagia Ostertagii is a roundworm which lives in the abomasum (4th stomach) of cattle. It’s almost identical to the equivalent parasite in sheep, and was for some time thought to be the very same species. Heavy infestation with the worm leads to destruction of the glands in the stomach wall, impaired digestive capability and leakage of protein from the blood into the digestive tract. The resulting symptoms are pronounced weight loss and diarrhoea, most commonly seen in first season grazing cattle aged 7 – 15 months. With a well managed first grazing season, cattle will develop a good natural immunity to this parasite, meaning that in subsequent seasons it is unlikely to be production limiting and treatment for it should be unnecessary. Immunity is strengthened after further exposure to the parasite in the second season.
We’ve been asked a lot recently regarding which products we would recommend for routine footbathing of dairy cows with regard to the control of Digital Dermatitis – so we’ve put together a review of the peer-reviewed literature to hopefully try and allow you to make an informed decision! You can find it on the link below:
Review of Footbathing Strategies for the Treatment of Digital Dermatitis
As always please feel free to contact us if you have any questions – we’re aiming to follow up with a summary of products available on the market locally and how they fit with this evidence.
EVG Farm Team