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Australian Wool Innovation Limited
Emily King
Manager, Woolgrower Education & Capacity Building
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AWI 2012 Flystrike R&D Technical Update

Posted by Bestprac on Sep 05 2012

Andrew Miller, Bestprac PAP, member attended the AWI 2012 Flystrike R&D Technical Update on behalf of Bestprac.

The update was held in Sydney at the National Australian Maritime Museum. A number of speakers such as Daniel Brown, Johan Greef and John Larsen spoke about recent developments and research into fly strike. A few key points for pastoral producers are listed below. 

  • The highest cause of flystrike is dags.
  • Breech strike is highly heritable. This places more importance in selecting rams with higher resistance and culling struck ewes. Fly strike is highly repeatable. 
  • Breech wrinkle is highly correlated with breech strike.
  • Key targets for indicator scores are: 2:2:3. Wrinkle score 2, Dag score 2 and Breech Cover score 3. 2:2:3 can provide equivalent protection to mulesing and relatively quick progress can be made when breeding for this.
  • The influence that dags have on breech strike emphasize the critical need to control scouring through worm control, culling and genetic selection.
  • It is an advantage to select for low dag and low WEC.
  • Ewes with higher breech wrinkle, face cover and breech cover wean fewer lambs.
  • Less wrinkles = more lambs
  • You can select for low wrinkle and still increase productive traits.
  • Important to use correctly applied chemicals at the right time as part of your fly strike management strategy. 
  • They discussed that three palpable joints for tail length is still the best.
  • In regards to clips, no new developments. Unmulesed sheep have higher rates of breech strike than sheep using clips, which have more breech strike than mulesed sheep.
  • There is still a lot of money being spent on skin traction research but this is a while off being commercially available and financially justifiable for the average producer.

More information can be found on the AWI website.

Last changed: Sep 06 2012



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