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It’s Time to Think About Fall Deworming

University of Minnesota Extension, Stearns County News
September 24, 2014        
Source:  Emily Wilmes, Extension Educator-Livestock
University of Minnesota Extension
Stearns, Benton & Morrison Counties


It’s Time to Think About Fall Deworming
By Emily Wilmes, University of Minnesota Extension

ST. CLOUD, Minn. (09/24/2014) —It’s fall, and on top of everything else farmers need to be thinking about and planning for, beef producers should be thinking about deworming their cattle.  Deworming is of course a smart and economic decision for any producer--parasites can lead to a depressed immune system, decreased appetite, decreased weaning weights, and lower conception rates.  For effective parasite control, consider deworming both in spring and fall. 

To better justify the costs of beef cattle deworming and handling, it is important to understand when deworming is most effective. Cattle usually get infected with parasites from the pastures they graze. Larvae from worms live and thrive in the pastures and infect cattle when they ingest this grass. The grass has to be wet from either rain or dew, and the soil temperature has to be above 55 degrees for the larvae to reach the grass blades. Larvae numbers decline significantly when the sun dries the pastures for several weeks, so there is reduced danger of worm infestation at this time and consequently reduced benefit from deworming. Timing is critical for strategic deworming programs. If you effectively deworm cattle in the fall coming off pasture, they should remain clean all winter.

Age of the animal may impact parasite loads. Older cows are not as susceptible to worm infections as they gradually develop immunity. Nursing calves on the other hand are at high risk of internal worms and it is vital to deworm them at the appropriate time.

So, how should we deworm?  Many effective products are available including pour-on, feed through and injectables. Consult with your veterinarian to set-up a deworming program that fits your production and management goals. Cattle prices today allow additional management like deworming to pay significant dividends. Don’t miss your opportunity to cash larger cattle checks by deworming!

Have additional questions about deworming your cattle?  Call Emily Wilmes at the Stearns County Extension Office at 320-255-6169.


Emily Wilmes
Extension Educator, Ag Production Systems - Livestock
(320) 255-6169
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