The damp and mild weather conditions over the previous few months have functioned to provide suitable breeding conditions for many parasites.
In order to support farmers with this risk during lambing, the Sustainable Control of Parasites in Sheep (SCOPS) body launched an interactive map on 2nd March to predict peak parasite hatching. The ‘Nematodirus Forecast’ predicts the hatching date of the roundworm, Nematodirus battus, by using climatic data from 140 weather stations across the UK - 14 of which are in Wales - and maps the areas on a risk scale.
N. battus hatch en masse and this hatching is influenced by environmental conditions. This causes large numbers of larvae to emerge at the same time and this poses a significant disease transmission risk. Parasites mainly infect younger lambs and the Nematodirus Forecast, when used in combination with grazing history, can help predict the most effective time to treat for worms. On-farm factors such as grazing history and previous anthelmintic use must be considered before treating.
To view the interactive map and seek further information and advice for treating worms, please click here to visit the SCOPS website.