Sheep, beef and dairy farmers may need to rethink their drenching strategies amid novel drench supply issues over the next six months, warns Animal and Plant Health NZ.
New Zealand’s manufacturers of the innovative products are warning their customers that supplies will be constrained until at least March 2024, creating challenges for farmers experiencing resistance issues during this lambing and calving season.
Worms are detrimental to the health and wellbeing of animals, and cause production losses, but there are four actions farmers can take – managing pastures, monitoring for parasites, evaluating the efficacy of available drenches, and making sure there is a population of susceptible worms not exposed to drench treatment, known as refugia.
Animal and Plant Health NZ said the long-term strategies for managing worms are explained by Wormwise, a not-for-profit charitable trust providing advice to farmers on managing worms and minimising drench resistance issues.
There are two families of novel drenches in NZ, and both are affected by supply issues due to increasing regional and global demand. They were introduced to manage increasing levels of resistance to traditional drenches in some farms.
They are an example of the types of innovations farmers need to manage pests and diseases to benefit agriculture and help manage the environment by ensuring productivity with fewer resources.
It is critical that NZ keeps developing and introducing tools to benefit animal and crop health so farmers and growers are not left high and dry, Animal and Plant Health NZ said.