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Deworming before Turnout Makes Good $ense - "Raining on the Parasite Parade"

Jerry Bertoldo, Dairy
Northwest New York Dairy, Livestock & Field Crops

Last Modified: June 25, 2013
Deworming before Turnout Makes Good $ense  -

Infestation with internal "worm-like" parasites (nematodes) can be a significant drain on growth rates for young stock and milk production particularly in first lactation heifers. Totally confined livestock are rarely bothered with nematodes. Newborns left on bedding packs infrequently bedded and previously occupied by shedding adults, however can be at risk of infection at an early age.

I
nternal parasites are economically the most important. Nematodes and coccidia have by far the most important economic impact of all parasitic diseases in the Northeast. Coccidia, tiny single-cell organisms, unfortunately are not controlled by any wormers. Coccidial control products such as Corid®, Bovatec®, Deccox® and Rumensin® must be used. Coccidiosis is a serious parasitic problem in young animals, but usually not after six months of age when resistance normally develops.

The most damaging part of the life cycle of nematodes occurs in the abomasum and intestines. As a result, diarrhea and poor feed efficiency can be seen. Deficiencies in energy, protein and micronutrients (vitamins and minerals) can occur depending on the severity. Mild cases may only affect the level of milk production a pound or so or the growth of young stock by a tenth or two of a pound of weight gain per day. Heavy infestation leads to poor body condition, faded rough hair coats, sickness, infertility and possible death in younger animals. Some nematode species create problems in the respiratory tract leading to coughing and sometimes pneumonia.

Subclinical infection not easy to see. Subclinical infection, with subtle health problems and progressive loss of productivity, is the biggest issue. By far, internal parasitism is the most difficult to judge as far as the risk and need for action. Ironically, it is generally the most costly form occurring on the dairy.

What factors need to be considered in evaluating the threat of infection and potential economic loss from "worm-like" parasites?

1. Age. The younger the animal the less resistance it has.

2. Stage of milk production. Fresh heifers (<100 DIM) are the most heavily impacted (reduced milk and body condition loss) of early lactation cows carrying significant worm loads.

3. Pasture contamination. 99% of all pastures supporting cattle for grazing or exercise are contaminated. Period. Intensity of contamination is the only question! Any lot with edible vegetation can be a source of infection. Frequent (<3 days use per lot) pasture rotation with a return after 10 days or more allows for the maximum destruction of infective larvae by a combination of sun, dung beetles and drying. Winter freeze-kill cannot be taken as 100% effective.

4. Stocking rate. Worm eggs and larvae have lower survival rates when manure is distributed over a larger area. Heavy manure build up assures greater infective larvae numbers and exposure to cattle.

5. Weather. Warm and dry increases kill rates over damp and cool.

6. Nutrition. Parasites prefer animals that are undernourished.

7. Immune status. All animals have a limited ability to build resistance against internal parasites. This never approaches the degree acquired against viruses and bacteria, however. Poor nutrition, stressful times, the calving period and coincidental diseases lower the immune status.

8. Grazing environment. Grazing during lactation and rotational grazing of all ages present the highest risk of infection. Grazing during the dry period and access to an exercise lot with some grass offers moderate risk. Cows on dirt dry lots without grass are at low risk. Total confinement and concrete dry lots have very little contamination potential. Dew covered grass holds the most infective larvae (in the water droplets) of any vegetation in the pasture.

Deworming strategies should vary by age.
There are two deworming strategies for adult cattle: the individual cow and the seasonal herd approach. Both require monitoring by fecal exam to determine contamination levels in the environment. Low contamination levels may require minimal or no treatment. Unfortunately, this cannot be judged by just looking over the animals.

The individual approach. (This strategy includes first calf heifers.)

  • Cows in high and moderate contamination situations are treated at freshening and again 6 weeks into lactation. 
  • Low contamination level cows are treated only at freshening. 
  • Environments with little or no potential risk require no treatment only monitoring. 

The seasonal treatment approach.

All springers and cows in high and moderate contamination situations are treated in late November to early December and again 6 weeks after turnout onto grass.
Low contamination level cows are treated in the late fall only.
Environments with little or no potential risk require no treatment only monitoring.

Approach to young stock.
  •  Less than 300-400 lbs.: treat 3-4 weeks after turnout and again 3-4 weeks later
  •  Between 400 and 800 lbs.: treat at turnout, again 3-4 weeks later and a third time 3-4 weeks later
  • Greater than 800 lbs.: treat at turnout and 4-5 weeks later
  • NOTE: Any heifer treated in the late fall does not need deworming at turnout

Young stock under 300-400 lbs in the spring are not considered to have been exposed to parasites. The cycle of nematodes varies with the age of the animal. In younger heifers the cycle is 3-4 weeks as opposed to 6-7 weeks in the adult. This explains the timing differences between treatments by age.

Egg shed does not begin until about 40 days after normal spring turnout and usually slows dramatically by July 1st in our climate. This explains the treatment recommendation weeks after turnout. This deworming is designed partly to keep pastures from further parasite build up.

Whether you have your own adult cattle or young stock on pasture or just raise heifers utilizing some grazing, there is a good deal of trial work to show the benefits of a strategic deworming program. It is important to note that pastures will never clean up from worm contamination while in use if these programs are not used.



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Upcoming Events

Beginning Farmer/Hobby Farmer Workshop $5/pp, class size is limited, so pre-register by April 15th!

April 27, 2019
9:00 am - 1:00 pm
Canandaigua, NY

This hands-on workshop is for beginning or part-time farmers who would like to improve their farm machinery skills, learn to properly and safely maintain their equipment to protect their investment. If you have been thinking about buying a tractor, new or used, two-wheel or four-wheel drive, compact or utility or more come join us. Topics include: selecting the right size/type tractor for the job; basic maintenance; staying safe around tractors and equipment; attaching implements properly; and information about ROPS and SMV's. There will be time for questions.

Pre-registration requested by April 15, 2019 email Amy with your name, address, and phone number or call 585-394-3977 x 429.
Fee: $5.00/person. Class size is limited.

2019 Pastured Poultry Seminar, lunch included so please register by May 10th! $25/person

May 18, 2019
Registration begins at 8:00 a.m.w/ coffee & donuts with the Program running from 9:00 a.m. - 5 p. m.
Attica, NY

The main speaker this year is Eli Reiff of Mifflinburg Pennsylvania. Eli raises broilers, turkeys, sheep, and beef, all on pasture. Topics to be covered will include the pasture, feed and nutrition, marketing, costs, and much more. As we grow as farm operators and get bigger, we may not pay as much attention to the basics as we should. So those areas are where we will start, and then expand to cover the group's interests.

Mike Badger, Director of the American Pastured Poultry Producers Association will also be available for a round-table discussion. Plans are to have representatives from Farm Bureau, NYCAMH for farm health and safety, Wyoming County Chamber of Commerce, and Cornell Cooperative Extension of Wyoming County, as well as others.

Calling all 9th-12th graders! 4th Annual Precision Agriculture Day at Genesee Community College

May 21, 2019
9:00 am - 1:30 pm Register by Friday May 10th! $15/per person includes lunch
Batavia, NY

Calling all 9th-12th graders!  We have an exciting new program for students interested in technology, science, engineering, and agriculture!
Would you like to:
  • Learn about how Drones collect information
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Announcements

Producers Previously Enrolled in the LGM Program Now Eligible for MPP

Dairy Producers Previously Enrolled in the Livestock Gross Margin Program Now Eligible for 2018 Margin Protection Program
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) today announced that dairy producers who elected to participate in the Livestock Gross Margin for Dairy Cattle Program (LGM-Dairy) now have the opportunity to participate in the Margin Protection Program for Dairy (MPP-Dairy) for 2018 coverage. Sign-up will take place March 25 through May 10, 2019.
Eligible producers can enroll during the sign-up period at their local USDA service center. To locate your office, visit farmers.gov.


Smart Farming Team Technical Assistance Grant Application

The Labor Ready Farmer Project is offering grants to provide up to 12 hours of Technical Assistance (TA) consulting services to farms who want to make improvements to their farm's processes in hiring, training, managing or evaluating employees. Applicants will choose from one of the following four areas for TA assistance and identify a specific project. If selected they will be matched with a "Smart Farming Team" of consultants who will provide one on one technical assistance.
  • HIRING EMPLOYEES 101 - GETTING OFF TO A GOOD START
  • ONBOARDING & TRAINING EMPLOYEES QUICKLY AND EFFECTIVELY
  • FINE-TUNING & IMPROVING THE WORKING ENVIRONMENT
  • H2-A READINESS
Please complete this application and send to Nicole Waters, Beginning Farm Project Coordinator for the Cornell Small Farms Program. The form can be submitted by email, mail or in-person at the address listed below. Please feel free to call or email with any questions.

Nicole Waters - Beginning Farmer Project Coordinator
Plant Science Building, Room 15b
Tower Road, Cornell University
Ithaca, NY 14853
Phone: 607-255-9911
Email: nw42@cornell.edu

Applications accepted on a rolling basis.



USDA Announces January Income over Feed Cost Margin Triggers First 2019 Dairy Sa

WASHINGTON, March 6, 2019 ? The U.S. Department of Agriculture's Farm Service Agency (FSA) announced this week that the January 2019 income over feed cost margin was $7.99 per hundredweight, triggering the first payment for eligible dairy producers who purchase the appropriate level of coverage under the new but yet-to-be established Dairy Margin Coverage (DMC) program.

DMC, which replaces the Margin Protection Program for Dairy, is a voluntary risk management program for dairy producers that was authorized by the 2018 Farm Bill. DMC offers protection to dairy producers when the difference between the all milk price and the average feed cost (the margin) falls below a certain dollar amount selected by the producer.

Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue announced last week that sign up for 
DMC will open by mid-June of this year. At the time of sign up, producers who elect a DMC coverage level between $8.00 and $9.50 would be eligible for a payment for January 2019.

For example, a dairy operation with an established production history of 3 million pounds (30,000 cwt.) that elects the $9.50 coverage level for 50 percent of its production could potentially be eligible to receive $1,887.50 for January.

Sample calculation:
$9.50 - $7.99 margin = $1.51 difference
$1.51 times 50 percent of production times 2,500 cwt. (30,000 cwt./12) = $1,887.50

The calculated annual premium for coverage at $9.50 on 50 percent of a 3-million-pound production history for this example would be $2,250.

Sample calculation:
3,000,000 times 50 percent = 1,500,000/100 = 15,000 cwt. times 0.150 premium fee = $2,250

Operations making a one-time election to participate in DMC through 2023 are eligible to receive a 25 percent discount on their premium for the existing margin coverage rates.

"Congress created the Dairy Margin Coverage program to provide an important financial safety net for dairy producers, helping them weather shifting milk and feed prices," FSA Administrator Richard Fordyce said. "This program builds on the previous Margin Protection Program for Dairy, carrying forward many of the program upgrades made last year based on feedback from producers. We're working diligently to implement the DMC program and other FSA programs authorized by the 2018 Farm Bill."

Additional details about DMC and other FSA farm bill program changes can be found at farmers.gov/farmbill.


New Guidance for Mortality Disposal Issued

NYS Department of Ag and Markets has posted guidelines on disposal of livestock carcasses, in response to reports that some rendering companies have halted pickups from farms.

https://nwnyteam.cce.cornell.edu/submission.php?id=761&crumb=dairy|1