Sheep farmers in Victoria are becoming increasingly concerned about flystrike with growing cases of chemical resistance after the wettest November in two decades.
Flystrike is a condition caused by flies laying eggs on another animal, which hatch into maggots and eat their 'hosts' flesh.
Risk mitigation is a central part of business planning for Julie McClelland, who, with her family, runs "Windarra" in the Mallee.
The fourth-generation 6,000-hectare family farm shears once per year from early September through to October to reduce the risk and severity of flystrike in the flock.
"Blow flies continue to be an issue for us on farm year after year and we are gearing up for a bad flystrike season as the conditions have been highly favourable for flies this year," Ms Mcclelland said.
"We shear our ewes in early spring to mitigate flystrike risk and this year treated them with AVENGE + FLY. The long protection period gives us confidence, knowing that our flock is protected for up to 14-weeks when our ewes are more susceptible to being struck.
"AVENGE + FLY is one of the newer chemicals to come onto the market, and it was after a conversation with our reseller that they suggested giving it a go."
Australian Wool Innovation and the NSW Department of Primary Industries (DPI) recently published one of the largest insecticide resistance studies ever undertaken.
The Australia wide study tested all the major blowfly preventative chemical groups to determine their resistance profiles.
Troy Animal Health Marketing manager Craig Lyons said resistance management is critical to ensuring effective fly control options are safeguarded.
"Studies like this one by AWI & NSW DPI are important to keep farmers informed of how the effectiveness of flystrike control products are changing over time and the importance of integrated pest control," he said.
"Findings from this study demonstrate that dicyclanil resistance is a major concern for the Australian sheep industry."
The research showed that with a resistant fly population, a significant reduction could occur in the protection period from dicyclanil based spray-on products, compared to their registered claims.
"We've seen widespread resistance develop to valuable chemicals, and this reminds us of the importance of rotating chemical groups used for fly prevention and ensuring producers are familiar with the different treatments for flystrike.
"Reductions in length of protection periods mean it's critical farmers are planning their flystrike management, keeping up to date with latest information and products, such as AVENGE + FLY, and incorporating chemical rotation into their management program."
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