This week’s pasture spore counts – Week ending 26 February 2021
Hastings Clinic Results
There is a big range in spore counts this week from 0 to 230,000 (highly toxic), whilst some farms remain low the district average counts have double from last week. One of the sites on Ocean Beach Road was 80,000, one on Omarunui road at 230,000. Spore counts are now slightly ahead of last year’s trend and district average counts are sitting on the “Take action level”. The first action to take is spore counts on your property so you can assess the risk.
Trend graph of 2021 spore counts compared with last year’s data.*
Spore counts have risen dramatically in some areas this week following the wide spread rain we have had, though there is a large variation that probably indicates varying moisture levels and overnight temperatures. The big concern is pastures contain a lot of dead matter. In a lot of areas the “bottom” is disappearing out of the sward, meaning when spore counts do rise stock will be grazing low in the sward and ingesting plenty of spores.
Now is a good time to devise an action plan if counts did rocket up at your place. If you need help with this call us at the clinic and speak to one of our vets.
If you’re putting the ram out in the next few weeks, consider treating rams and ewes with zinc capsules to protect sheep in case spore counts rise during the mating period, this will help prevent poor scanning performance. It doesn’t take much of a drop in lamb production to justify the $4.45 investment to protect a ewe during a critical time of the production cycle.
Waipukurau Clinic Results