A Systems Approach to Control Gastrointestinal Nematodes (Gin) in Organic Small Ruminant Production
Dale Bumpers Small Farms Research Center
2013 Annual Report
1a.Objectives (from AD-416):
The objectives are to examine farm management systems for year round gastrointestinal nematode control, identify resistant animals to minimize problems with nematode infection, conduct on-farm studies on the feasibility of techniques developed from research studies, and educate outreach professionals and producers on adopting available organic gastrointestinal nematode control strategies in small ruminants by disseminating state-of-the-art knowledge and procedures.
1b.Approach (from AD-416):
The impact of continuous use of integrated methods that have been developed by these investigators previously will be examined using a systems approach in a long term experiment. Forage systems, including birdsfoot trefoil, will be examined to minimize parasite infection. Integrated approaches described above will be examined on-farm by producers who will submit information on the success of approaches employed.
An experiment was conducted in upper Michigan on a farm to examine the use of birdsfoot trefoil, a plant high in condensed tannins, in a pasture system for sheep to aid in the control of parasitic worms. Grazing birdsfoot trefoil resulted in a reduction in worm egg counts in sheep. Research on parasite control is widely disseminated through extension activities. An Integrated parasite management program was conducted with 3 sessions (Southeast, Southwest, and North Michigan) occurring with a total of 108 participants. A 6-hour program on parasite management also took place which placed emphasis on integrated approaches; including infection monitoring, chemical treatment strategies, grazing management, and understanding animal susceptibility. Students learned through lectures, discussion, quantitative fecal egg counting lab experiences and FAMACHA training on a local farm.