Exile cattleworms, rotate crops

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, February 13, 2002

Deworming beef cattle is a common practice in the southeast; however, with so many different products on the market, the subject easily becomes confusing.

Remember a few of the "basics" about deworming when deciding what products to use and when to use them.

Deworming beef cattle stimulates eating and intake because worms depress appetite.

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In most cases, nursing calves that have been dewormed gain faster than ones that haven't been dewormed.

Dewormed weaned calves, especially those grazing as stockers, will benefit from deworming.

If these calves are placed on a pasture which has been grazed by cattle before, they likely will benefit from deworming more than once, or from the use of a product that has sustained deworming activity.

Cows that are nursing calves and have been dewormed generally produce more milk, which increases their calves weaning weights and may increase their pregnancy rates.

Dewormed bulls are in better health and condition for breeding.

Cattle will build up a resistance to worms, but this takes time.

Younger cattle have yet to develop this resistance and will benefit most from deworming.

By timing when you deworm your cattle, those animals will get the most benefit.

One should deworm grazing calves in early spring when pastures are beginning to green up.

Grazing calves pick up larvae which survived the winter and shed large number of eggs, multiplying the level of pasture contamination with worm larvae.

It's advisable to deworm again after fall frosts.

This removes egg-producing worms from the animal while cold and frosts will reduce larvae numbers in the pasture.

Deworming products that remove the inhibited larvae of the brown stomach worm are the most effective products.

Currently, this would include dewormers with these active ingredients:

ivermectin, moxidectin, doramectin, fenbendazole, oxfendazole and albendazole.

Deworming during mid-summer, although a stressful time to work cattle, is the best time to remove the "inhibited" brown stomach worm which may emerge in the fall.

An easy way to determine if your deworming program is working is to have your local veterinarian check a few manure samples from cattle both before and after deworming.

If the fecal egg counts are not being decreased, there may be a deficiency in your program.

Deficiencies can occur when products are not being used properly, such as an insufficient dose for the weight of the animal or improper administration of the product.

Other deficiencies may occur if animals are immediately reinfected after deworming.

This occurs if pastures contain high levels of worm larvae.

For more information about correctly deworming cattle, talk with your veterinarian or call the Butler County Extension Office.

Crop Rotation:

Important Part of Garden Planning

Many gardeners are already poring over seed catalogs deciding what to plant in this year's garden.

Others have already sketched the layout of this year's vegetable garden.

While planning a vegetable garden, remember to rotate crops to a different location and different soil than where they were planted last year.

Rotating crops can reduce the chances for problems with insects, nematodes and diseases.

Disease-causing organisms and nematodes slowly accumulate in the soil over time, but growing the same crop in the same location year after year may allow those organisms to reach levels that can cause infect plants.

Another reason to rotate is that some crops use more of certain nutrients than others.

By growing the same crop in the same spot, the soil will become depleted of those nutrients.

When deciding how to rotate plants in a garden, remember many vegetables belong to the same family.

For example, potatoes, eggplants, and tomatoes are all members of the nightshade family. Do not plant potatoes this year in the same location where eggplants were planted last year.

It's advisable not to plant anything from the same group (family) in the same location or soil two years in a row.