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ARTICLES >> Livestock Articles

FlyBoss – valuable information for the flystrike season

Posted by Bestprac on Feb 06 2012

Record recent rains through inland Queensland, NSW and Victoria - and the forecast for more rain over summer - has the sheep industry on a flystrike watch.
 

 

While farmers and graziers are experienced in dealing with this issue, there is a new resource available which draws together all the proven methods and latest information to help minimise flystrike problems.

Known as ‘FlyBoss’, the website also allows farmers to plan an approach to reducing flystrike risks working within day-to-day management constraints, using best practice for chemical application timing, and optimising animal welfare.

Developed by the Sheep CRC with partner organisations - AWI and the state departments of primary industry - ‘FlyBoss’ has already had several thousand users since its launch in June 2010.

Sheep CRC Industry Training Leader, Lu Hogan, says the website is a tool that is easy to access and use, and can provide localised information.

“Importantly, FlyBoss can help develop a plan and schedule for any sheep enterprise in any location.”

It draws on the successful experiences of producers and the latest research findings on:

  • Susceptibility
  • Flock management options
  • Treatment methods
  • Interactive tools to predict outcomes
  • Breeding and selection

“Sheep can be affected by breech strike and/or body strike; reducing the overall risk of flystrike requires regular monitoring in tandem with an informed, integrated and planned approach - rather than ad hoc, one-off decisions such as crutching, jetting or shearing,” she says.

The information in ‘FlyBoss’ is supported with training workshops that are being delivered; see the ’More information-Industry Training’ section of FlyBoss.

Flystrike has been a major concern for sheep producers for many decades, ever since the Lucilia cuprina blowfly arrived in Australia in the early 1900’s. Recent estimates are that each year treatment costs and lost production associated with flystrike cost the industry $280 million. As the number one research priority at Australian Wool Innovation, more than $25 million has been invested in flystrike prevention technology since 2005.

Fact file:

  • Blowflies thrive in warm, humid conditions
  • Lucilia cuprina is the primary sheep blowfly responsible for initiating most blowfly strikes
  • Under current and forecast weather conditions, the risk of bodystrike increases
  • Chemical type and application method are important considerations in planning flystrike control

 

Last changed: Feb 07 2012

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