Parasite Pressure

High Nematode Levels in Pasture May Be Monitored Online

Herd health issues attributable to parasite infections include lower weaning weights and a stressed immune system. (DTN/Progressive Farmer photo by Dan Miller)

A new parasite pressure tool will allow cattle producers to monitor pressure in pastures, making them aware of conditions that could threaten herd health. The tool, developed by Merial, is free and can be found on the company's website.

Steve Vandeberg, director of endectocide marketing for Merial, explains the tool allows producers to be one step ahead of parasites by knowing when and where they are prevalent.

Using a pasture's zip code and forage type, the parasite pressure tool calculates a custom Grass Growth Index (GGI) and a Nematode Suitability Index (NSI). A scale of 0 to 100 indicates how favorable or unfavorable conditions are for grass growth and parasite infection. The higher the number on the scale, the more favorable the conditions are for parasites.

Parasite infections can lead to a number of herd health problems, including negative effects on the immune system, decreased appetites, lower weaning weights and reduced conception rates. Producers who find conditions are favorable for parasite infections are urged to contact their veterinarian to choose the best course of treatment.

The free online monitoring tool is available at:…