Sustainable control of gastro-intestinal nematodes in organic and grass-fed small ruminant production systems

Final Report for LS08-204

Project Type: Research and Education
Funds awarded in 2008: $230,000.00
Projected End Date: 12/31/2010
Region: Southern
State: Arkansas
Principal Investigator:
Dr. Joan Burke
USDA, Agricultural Research Service
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Project Information

Abstract:

Integration of non-chemical control of parasitic nematodes in organic small ruminants was developed. These included use of sericea lespedeza (SL), copper oxide wire particles (COWP), FAMACHA and selective deworming, and forage systems. SL supplementation or grazing both led to reduced parasite infection and need for deworming; coupled with COWP, no chemical deworming was necessary. Annual forages may not fit in well with organic principles if a prepared seed bed is necessary; however, increasing the protein in the pasture through the use of legumes reduced the need for deworming. Rotational compared with continuous grazing also reduced the need for deworming.

Project Objectives:
  1. 1. Examine the use of sericea lespedeza and other condensed tannin-containing plants, as fresh or dried forage (hay, pellets), for gastrointestinal nematode control in sheep and goats.
    2. Examine alternative forage systems for organic and grass-fed small ruminants to decrease gastrointestinal nematode infection and increase weight gains.
    3. Test integrated, forage-based gastrointestinal nematode control systems for organic and grass-fed small ruminant production on-farm.
    4. Complete impact assessment of non-chemical gastrointestinal nematode control techniques on small ruminant producers.
Introduction:

Abbreviations used below: copper oxide wire particles (COWP); fecal egg counts (FEC; a measure of nematode infection); gastrointestinal nematodes (GIN); blood packed cell volume (PCV; a measure of anemia)

Prevalence of certified organic farms in southern US. There was more than an eight-fold increase in acreage of certified organic pasture and rangeland and more than a 10-fold increase in organic livestock production between 1997 and 2005. Organic animal production systems were certified in 35 states in 2005 with very few southern states included. Organic sheep and lamb numbers increased from 705 to 4,471 head between 1997 and 2005. Industry experts anticipate a continuing trend in increased number of organic livestock due to demand from producer cooperatives (Greene and Kremen, 2003). Southeastern pasture lands offer great resources for organic and grass-fed meat production. One-third of 2005 and three-fourths of 2007 participants at the USDA, ARS Sheep and Goat Field Day in Booneville, AR have expressed an interest in becoming certified. Others would like to produce organically, but lack of certified organic feed and processors means that ‘natural’ or grass-fed lamb or goat production is more feasible for now. However barriers exist that prevent organic production in these areas.

Problem for southeastern small ruminant producers. Gastrointestinal nematodes or internal parasites are the greatest health and production challenge for small ruminants in southeastern states. Haemonchus contortus or barber pole worm thrives in warm, humid climates and is a voracious blood feeder that can cause anemia and death to the animal if left untreated. Once an animal is treated with a chemical anthelmintic, organic premiums are lost because the animal must be sold in the conventional market. In addition, certified organic animal feeds are scarce and expensive, especially in southeastern states and importation from grain-rich states is unsustainable. Weight gains of lambs and kids on warm season grasses or tall fescue, common forages in southeastern pastures, without any supplementation in summer months are poor. To maintain a premium on organic meat products, producers will need to graze spring born lambs and kids on higher quality summer forages.

Background to the GIN problem. Organic lamb production in the southern US is limited because of the challenge of gastrointestinal nematode control, particularly Haemonchus contortus. These blood sucking parasites have a relatively short life cycle of approximately four weeks and thrive in warm, humid conditions. The infective stage larvae live on and near dew-covered grass, which is consumed by grazing ruminants. Once in the rumen the larvae continue development, travel to the abomasum, or true stomach, where they become imbedded in the stomach lining and mature to adults. The adult female can lay thousands of eggs, which are deposited in the feces, hatch on pasture and the life cycle begins again.

Accepted methods of control for H. contortus in organic production are good nutrition, rotational grazing, multi-species grazing, and use of resistant breeds (NCAT, 2004). Good nutrition helps decrease the level of gastrointestinal parasite infection (Coop and Holmes, 1996; Coop and Kyriazakis, 1999), but use of supplements is often necessary in animals grazing poorer quality forages or during seasons when forage growth is limited. Organic supplements are costly, difficult to find in remote areas, and not necessarily sustainable because of the need for fossil fuels to transport to farm. For multi-species grazing strategies, limited handling facilities may restrict the use of cattle in small ruminant facilities. And even the most resistant breeds may be challenged by gastrointestinal parasites during lambing, lactation, and growth phases of production. Finally, rotational grazing management promotes shorter forage (not overgrazed) that is more vegetative and nutritious, but the lower forage canopy exposes the animal to more infectious larvae. More research is needed on rotational grazing of animals not dewormed upon introduction to plots. Herbal dewormers could be used in an organic operation, but their efficacy is poor (OFRF grants Allen, 1998 and Exner, 1999; Wells et al., to be presented at Southern Section ASAS 2008; SARE grant OS07-039).

Grazing management for control of H. contortus. A comparison of goats grazing rotationally (10 paddocks grazed in a sequence for 3.5 days each) or continuously in the tropics indicated that FEC were markedly less in the rotational system and anthelmintic treatment may not have been necessary (Barger et al., 1994). We recently completed a similar study with lambs and showed few differences between the continuously and rotationally grazed groups with high FEC in both groups (Burke, unpublished; IOP grant 2005). However, number of dewormings may have been reduced on the rotational plots. Poor forage quality by mid-summer necessitated supplementation of all lambs to meet nutritional requirements. Annual legumes (cowpea and soybean) were introduced in 2007 and may have led to lower FEC and better weight gains in kids compared with warm season grasses, but longer grazing periods will provide more information on overall worm control (IOP grant 2005). A better understanding of how to balance forage quality for animal nutrition, stocking rates to remove forage without excessive larval build-up, and proper forage height to minimize larval consumption by the animal is needed.

Gastrointestinal nematode control using condensed tannin-rich plants. There are a number of condensed tannin-containing forages that grow well throughout the southern US (black willow, honey locust, smilax, leucaena; 2005 Capacity Building Grant), but most of these have not been tested for their potential anthelmintic properties. Not all forages containing condensed tannins will have bioactivity against H. contortus. Sericea lespedeza remains the biggest success story for a condensed tannin-rich forage that can control H. contortus. There is evidence that grazing or feeding of plants containing condensed tannins like those found in sericea lespedeza can reduce FEC, gastrointestinal larval development in feces, and adult worm numbers in the abomasum and small intestine (Min and Hart, 2003; Min et al., 2004; Terrill et al., 2007; Burke and Burner, unpublished data). We have determined that dried sericea lespedeza (hay and pellets) can be fed to sheep and goats and still reduce FEC (Lange et al., 2006; Terrill et al., 2007; SARE grants GS05-047, LS05-177). Long-term grazing of ‘AU Grazer’ or use of grazing sericea lespedeza in place of deworming has not been examined and merits further investigation.

In addition to its potential use in controlling GIN, sericea lespedeza is a high protein forage and a useful crop for limited resource producers in the southern US. It is adapted to hot, droughty climatic conditions and acid, infertile soils not suitable for crop production or growth of high-input forages, such as alfalfa. It can be overseeded on existing pasture (J. Mosjidis, personal communication). In South Africa, sericea lespedeza has been reported to increase profits for rangeland farmers by bringing poor, drought-prone, infertile land into useful production for sheep (H. Botha personal communication). The same is true in the southern US, which has a climate and soils ideal for growth of this plant. The potential for organic production of sericea lespedeza is high because of its tolerance to low fertility (Ball et al., 1996). We currently have 2.5 acres of organically grown ‘AU Grazer’ sericea lespedeza at the USDA, ARS Booneville location (2005 IOP grant).

FAMACHA for determination of selective deworming. Selective deworming treatment for H. contortus can be accomplished by the use of FAMACHA. FAMACHA was developed by a group of veterinarians and scientists in South Africa and was validated in the southern US for use with sheep and goats (Kaplan et al., 2004; Burke et al., 2007; SARE grants LS02-143, LS05-177). It is a tool used by farmers that consists of examining the color of the lower eyelid and matching the color to a chart that ranges from red or healthy to almost white or anemic. Anemia occurs as a result of infection with H. contortus, which removes more blood than the animal can replace. Animals with red color can be left untreated, whereas paler scores indicate that an animal should be treated. Research indicates that 20% of the flock carries 80% of the worms. Animals that are most susceptible can be identified and removed from the farm to improve the genetics toward resistance. FAMACHA is very useful in an organic farming system and will be used to determine which animals will be dewormed in the proposed experiments.

Results of the current proposed research will lead to better management practices for GIN control for certified organic and grass-fed small ruminants, which will impact not only farmers, but agricultural scientists employed in this area of research and extension agents educating small ruminant producers.

Literature Cited:

Ball, D.M., Hoveland, C.S., Lacefield, G.D., 1996. Southern Forages. 2nd ed. Potash and Phosphate Inst. and the Foundation for Agronomic Research, Norcross, GA.

Barger, I.A., Siale, K., Banks, D.J.D., Le Jambre, L.F., 1994. Rotational grazing for control of gastrointestinal nematodes of goats in a wet tropical environment. Vet. Parasitol. 53:109-116.

Burke, J.M., Miller, J.E. Evaluation of multiple low dose copper oxide wire particles compared with levamisole for control of Haemonchus contortus in lambs. Veterinary Parasitology 2006; 139, 145-149.

Burke, J.M., Miller, J.E., Olcott, D.D, Olcott, B.M, Terrill, T.H., 2004. Effect of copper oxide wire particles dosage and feed supplement level on Haemonchus contortus infection in lambs. Vet. Parasitol. 123:235-243.

Coop, R.L., Holmes, P.H., 1996. Nutrition and parasite interaction. Int. J. Parasitol., 26: 951-962.

Coop, R.L., Kyriazakis, I., 1999. Nutrition-parasite interaction. Vet. Parasitol. 84:187-204.

Green, C., Kremen, A., 2003. U.S. organic farming in 2000-2001: Adoption of certified systems. USDA, Economic Research Service, Resource Economics Division, Agriculture Information Bulletin No. 780.

Kaplan, R.M., Burke, J.M., Terrill, T.H., Miller, J.E., Getz, W.R., Mobini, S., Valencia, E., Williams, M., Williamson, L.H., Larsen, M., Vatta, A.F., 2004. Validation of the FAMACHA© eye color chart for detecting clinical anemia on sheep and goat farms in the southern United States. Vet. Parasitol. 123:105-120.

Lange, K.C., Olcott, D.D., Miller, J.E., Mosjidis, J.A., Terrill, T.H., Burke, J.M., Kearney, M.T., 2006. Effect of sericea lespedeza (Lespedeza cuneata) fed as hay, on natural and experimental Haemonchus contortus infections in lambs. Vet. Parasitol. 141:273-278.

Littell, R.C., Milliken, G.A., Stroup, W.W., Wolfinger, R.D., 1996. SAS System for Mixed Models. Cary, NC, SAS Institute Inc.

Min, B.R., Hart, S.P., 2003. Tannins for suppression of internal parasites. J. Anim. Sci. 81 (E. Suppl. 2), E102-E109.

Min, B.R., Pomroy, W.E., Hart, S.P., Sahlu, T., 2004. The effect of short-term consumption of a forage containing condensed tannins on gastro-intestinal nematode parasite infections in grazing wether goats. Small Rumin. Res. 51:279-283.

Moore, D.A., Terrill, T.H., Kouakou, B., Shaik, S.A., Mosjidis, J.A., Miller, J.E., Vanguru, M., Kannan, G., Burke, J.M., 2007. The effects of feeding sericea lespedeza hay on growth rate of goats naturally infected with gastrointestinal nematodes. J. Anim. Sci. (In Review).

NCAT, 2004. NCAT’s Organic Livestock Workbook. A Guide to Sustainable and Allowed Practices. Distributed by NCAT’s ATTRA Project.

SAS. 1996. STAT® Software: Changes and Enhancements through Release 6.11. SAS Inst., Inc., Cary, NC.

Shaik, S.A., Terrill, T.H., Miller, J.E., Kouakou, B., Kannan, G., Kaplan, R.M., Burke, J.M., Mosjidis, J.A., 2006. Sericea lespedeza hay as a natural deworming agent against gastrointestinal nematode infection in goats. Vet. Parasitol. 139:150-157.

Sooby, J., Landeck, J., Lipson, M., 2007. 2007 National Organic Research Agenda, Soils, Pests, Livestock, Genetics. Organic Farming Research Foundation (www.ofrf.org).

Terrill T.H., Mosjidis, J.A., Moore, D.A., Shaik, S.A., Miller, J.E., Burke, J.M., Muir, J.P., Wolfe, R., 2007. Effect of pelleting on efficacy of sericea lespedeza hay as a natural dewormer in goats. Vet. Parasitol. 146:117-122.

Wells, A., Casey, P., Burke, J.M., Miller, Kaplan, R.M., 2008. Herbal dewormer fails to control gastrointestinal nematodes in goats. J. Anim. Sci. (Abstr. to be presented at Southern Section ASAS in Dallas, TX, Feb. 2008).

Whitlock, H.V., 1948. Some modifications of the McMaster helminth egg-counting technique apparatus. J. Coun. Sci. Ind. Res. 21:177-180.

Cooperators

Click linked name(s) to expand
  • Paul Casey
  • Linda Coffey
  • Margo Hale
  • Ray Kaplan
  • James Miller
  • Jorge Mosjidis
  • James Muir
  • Thomas Terrill
  • Ann Wells

Research

Materials and methods:

Objective 1. Examine the use of sericea lespedeza and other condensed tannin-containing plants, as fresh or dried forage (hay, pellets), for gastrointestinal nematode control in sheep and goats.

Objective 1A: Establishment of organic forages containing condensed tannins. Organic methods of establishing sericea lespedeza (SL) were examined, including use of cover crops to increase soil fertility and annual grasses to suppress weed growth and provide protection for developing legume seedlings. Experiments on establishment of SL intercropped with grasses (grasses and SL seeded in spring) or overseeded on stubble of grasses (grasses seeded in fall, cut in spring before overseeding) were initiated at Auburn University in 2006 and Fort Valley State University and Texas Agrilife in 2007. The experiments used 5 x 20 ft plots with treatments (ryegrass, oats, wheat, or rye, plus a tilled control; 4 reps of each) planted with ‘AU Grazer’ SL (30 lb/acre). SL and weed biomass, SL stand and height were measured. Larger plots were planted at AU and USDA-ARS (2.5 acres of SL planted in 2006 on tilled soil at 25 lb/acre, that was managed organically). Number of legume plants/ft2, forage DM yield and nutritional quality were determined from small plots at the end of the growing season during Years 1 and 2.

Objective 1B: SL included as a complete supplement for kids/lambs on pasture. The objective was to determine the impact on gastrointestinal worm infection in goats fed a pelleted sericea lespedeza leaf meal diet for 112 days. Kiko doe kids from three private farms were weaned and transported to USDA, ARS, Booneville, AR in mid-July. Goats were naturally infected with gastrointestinal worms. Goats were blocked by body weight (determined within 48 hours after arrival) and randomly assigned to a commercial goat supplement (NobleTM Goat Grower, Purina Mills, LLC, St. Louis, MO; 16% CP; n = 15) or SL leaf meal pellet (Sims Brothers, Union Springs, AL; 16% CP; n = 16). Each dietary group of goats grazed a 0.4 ha tall fescue pasture of moderate to poor quality and received 500 (first 70 d) to 750 (d 70 to 112) g dietary supplement/goat daily. Free choice trace mineral (NutraBlend Goat Mineral, custom mix, Joplin, MO) and water were available. Feces and blood were collected every 14 d for FEC and PCV analysis, and body weights determined every 28 d. Goats were dewormed with copper oxide wire particles if FAMACHA score was 4; goats were dewormed with a combination of moxidectin and albendazole if FAMACHA was 5, PCV did not increase in response to treatment with copper oxide, or body condition was less than 2 (1 = emaciated; 5 = fat). Data were analyzed using the mixed model procedure of SAS and included a repeated statement for day of sampling (d 0 = first day of feeding supplement). A compound symmetry (FEC) and an autoregressive covariance structure (PCV, BW) were used. A square root transformation was used for FEC analysis. General linear models were used for number of dewormings per goat.

At Fort Valley State University in GA, an 8-wk study was completed in which 3 supplemental complete rations (75 and 95 % sericea lespedeza leaf meal pellets and a 16% crude protein commercial pellet) were offered ad libitum to goats (Spanish, 9 months old, male, n = 10/treatment) grazing grass pastures during September and October, 2010. Fecal and blood samples were taken from individual animals weekly to determine FEC and PCV, respectively. The data were analyzed as repeated measures using SAS, with FEC data log transformed.

The objective was to examine the influence of sericea lespedeza consumption (hay, pellet or grazing; pellets had not been obtained before the study began, thus any form of sericea lespedeza available was used) on gastrointestinal worm infection in ewes and infection of their offspring at weaning. At USDA, ARS, Booneville, AR, late pregnant ewes were supplemented with corn/soybean meal (16% crude protein; control; n = 27) or sericea lespedeza hay/pellets/grazing (n = 24) in early January. Exposure of the sericea lespedeza ewes to some form of sericea lespedeza occurred 7 days before lambing was due to begin in a 28 day lambing period, and continued through weaning at 120 days post-lambing. Control ewes had access to grass pasture and bermudagrass hay and sericea lespedeza ewes had access to grass pasture and sericea lespedeza hay until mid-April at which time they grazed sericea lespedeza. Fecal samples were collected at start of study, 30, 60, and 90 days post-lambing for FEC analysis. Weaned Katahdin lambs naturally infected with gastrointestinal worms grazed grass pastures post-weaning (120 days of age; starting June 2010; lambs remained on same treatment as dams) and were supplemented with approximately 2% of body weight per day of a 16% crude protein (dry matter basis) corn/soybean meal mix or a pellet containing 75% sericea lespedeza leaf meal (leaf meal supplied by Sims Brothers from at least two different cuttings; ground leaf meal and 13.25% cracked corn, 6.75% cottonseed meal, 5% liquid molasses processed at USDA, ARS, El Reno, OK; 90.6% DM, 16% CP, 68% TDN) (n = 20/treatment). FEC and PCV were determined at 90 and 120 days of age (weaning), and thereafter every 14 days for 12 weeks, along with number of deworming/treatment determined by the FAMACHA system. Body weights were determined every 4 weeks. Feces were cultured for recovery of larvae and species of worms were determined.

Objective 1C: Grazing SL as a deworming paddock. At USDA, ARS, Booneville, AR, Katahdin ewes were blocked by age and number of lambs reared and randomly assigned to graze BG (n = 14 ewes; n = 21 lambs) or SL mixed with TF (SLG; similar plot as SL used in Experiments 1 and 2; n = 11 ewes; n = 22 lambs) with their offspring 125 days post-lambing for 14 days in early June (early summer; Figure 1). This was considered the pre-treatment period for lambs (Days -14 to 0). There was no feed supplementation during this time. Lambs then were weaned. Lambs that grazed with dams from the BG group were randomly assigned to graze BG (n = 7) or SL mixed with TF (SLG; n = 14); lambs that grazed with dams on the SL plot were randomly assigned to graze BG (n = 7) or pure SL (SLP; n = 15) for 56 days (Figure 1). Hence, there were 14 BG, 14 SLG, and 15 SLP lambs during the treatment period. Lambs were returned to the BG pasture on day 56 and fecal and blood samples collected on day 70 (post-treatment). The objectives of this design were to determine 1) whether lambs exposed to SL with their dams would consume SL and reduce FEC (pre-treatment BG vs. pre-treatment SLG), 2) if a FEC reduction occurred during the pre-treatment period, it would also occur in SL naïve lambs without their dams during the treatment period (BG vs. SLG), 3) the effect of long term grazing of SLP on lambs (BG vs. SLP), and 4) whether there were advantages of grazing mixed SL compared with pure SL forages (SLG vs. SLP). During the treatment period, lambs were fed a corn/soybean meal supplement based on NRC (2007) requirements using estimated forage quality of pastures, so that 454, 389, and 200 g/lamb was fed to BG, SLG, and SLP, respectively. During the post-treatment period (days 56 to 70) all lambs were fed at the highest level. A pooled fecal sample was collected from all lambs for culture on Day 0 and from forage treatment groups on day 42.

At Louisiana State University, 42 lambs (12 Suffolk/Gulf Coast Native, 15 Gulf Coast Native, 15 Katahdin) were randomly allocated into two experimental groups. Each group had an equivalent number of each breed. The Control group had 14 animals and grazed a 1.5 acre bermudagrass pasture. The SL group had 28 animals and had the free choice of grazing either bermudagrass (1.5 acres) or SL (1.5 acres). The study period was 16 weeks. Individual animals in both groups that had a PCV of 15 or less were dewormed with levamisole and albendazole. Fecal and blood samples were collected from all animals weekly. FEC and PCV were determined every 7 days. Body weight was determined at the beginning and end of the study.

At USDA, ARS, Booneville, AR, Spanish doe kids (113.8 ± 1.9 d of age) were randomly assigned to graze BG (n = 12), SL plus grass pasture (SLG; n = 13), or pure SL (SLP; n = 13) for 84 days. Animals were supplemented with a commercial goat feed (NobleTM Goat Grower, Purina Mills, LLC, St. Louis, MO; 16% crude protein) based on NRC (2007) requirements and estimated forage quality of pastures, so that 454, 300, and 150 g of supplement/goat was fed to BG, SLG, and SLC, respectively. All goats grazed BG between days 84 and 98 (post-treatment). During the post-treatment period, goats were fed at the highest level. A pooled fecal sample was collected from each group for culture on Day 0 and from forage treatment groups on days 0, 14, 56, and 70.

Objective 1D: Use of black locust trees/branches to control GIN in goats. In a preliminary experiment conducted at the Booneville site, FEC of mature does fed black locust leaves and branches was reduced by 74% within 28 days while grazing tall fescue. A pen trial was conducted to determine whether leaves or bark led to the effect on GIN. In late July, spring born, naturally infected kids were fed 1) a control diet of bermudagrass hay and grain supplement, 2) a similar diet with black locust leaves, or 3) the same with leaves and branches. Diets were fed for 21 days. PCV and FEC were determined every 7 days. In a second study, performance of mature goats will be examined while browsing on black locust in late summer. Black locust shoots were planted spring 2008 on tall fescue pastures in four 1.2 acre locations, including two plots within the transitional organic pasture. These trees failed to establish. Therefore, a plot with black locust on mixed grasses and legumes was used. Spanish does had access to black locust (n = 20/acre) or grazed mostly bermudagrass pastures (n = 10/acre) for an eight week period pre-breeding.

Objective 1E: Use of Desmodium paniculatum to control GIN in goats. Desmodium paniculatum (panicled tickclover; PTC), a native North American herbaceous legume, has been determined to have up to 20% condensed tannins (Muir, et al., 2008). Condensed tannins (CT) from SL have proven effective in suppressing H. contortus, but this legume cannot be grown in some edapho-climatic conditions or situations in which aggressive exotics are not ideal. The search for native legumes that contain equally effective CT while still providing crude protein continues. At Texas Agrilife in Stephenville, alfalfa, SL and PTC were pelleted into a complete feed that contained 3.94% CT, 18% crude protein and 2.8 Mcal/Kg digestible energy and fed to goats at 3.5% of their body weight. FEC were determined every 7 days for 28 days.

Objective 1F: Continuation of screening for forages high in condensed tannins. Forages were screened from several southeastern U.S. locations that were high in condensed tannins and preferred by sheep or goats. Leaf litter of Quercus and Ulmus spp. and others were included which can be a major component of goat diets during late winter. Wooded areas offer good nutrition for goats with great potential for organic production. Condensed tannin analyses will occur at TAES with cooperation from the FVSU.

Objective 2: To examine alternative forage systems for organically or grass fed-produced small ruminants to decrease GIN infection and increase weight gains.

Objective 2A: Identification of annual forages suitable for organic system. Two one-acre (0.4 hectare) replicates of 1) cowpea, pearl millet; 2) chicory, cowpea, pearl millet; 3) chicory, cowpea, soybean. Mixed forages were planted at 25 pounds seed/acre in spring 2008 (did not establish due to lack of rainfall after planting) and 2009 (pearl millet did not establish; good establishment of chicory and moderate to poor establishment of cowpea and soybean occurred). Pastures used for evaluation of parasite control of lambs was a mix of chicory and volunteer crab grass compared with bermudagrass (n = 18/forage treatment). Lambs on chicory were rotationally grazed among three one acre plots compared to a continuous grazing of bermudagrass. FEC, PCV, and FAMACHA scores were determined every 14 days between June and August. Animals were dewormed with 1 g COWP on an individual basis as needed for anemia (FAMACHA ? 4 or PCV ? 16%). If FEC were not reduced in response to chemical dewormer, levamisole was administered the following week. Lambs were weighed every 28 days. Feces will be cultured for recovery of larvae and proportion of H. contortus. A similar study occurred at Heifer Ranch.

Objective 2B: Rotational grazing systems. Predominantly grass forage systems are typically used throughout the southeastern U.S., but are inadequate for nutritional needs of growing goats, and encourage problems with gastrointestinal nematodes (GIN). Browse predominant forages would be preferable, but are not always available. Selection of high quality protein forages is desirable by goats. The objectives of this experiment were to examine tolerance to GIN and growth of kids grazing mixed forage systems. At the USDA, ARS, in Booneville, AR, weaned Spanish kids (136 ± 1.6 d of age) of mixed gender were randomly assigned to graze a mix of 1) sunn hemp (Crotalaria juncea L.) and chicory (Cichorium intybus L.; SC), 2) sunn hemp and pearl millet (Pennisetum glaucum; SP), or 3) chicory and pearl millet (CP; n = 15/treatment). The sunn hemp grown was the experimental population AU SelPBU adapted to temperate climates. The chicory cultivar used was an equal mix of ‘Puna’ and ‘Oasis’ and the pearl millet cultivar was ‘Tifleaf 3’. Kids were dewormed if FAMACHA score = 4 (1 g copper oxide wire particles; COWP) or 5 (moxidectin). A pooled fecal sample was collected and initially Haemonchus contortus was the predominant GIN (63%). Fecal egg counts (FEC) and blood packed cell volume (PCV) were determined every 14 d between D 0 (first day of grazing treatment) and 84, and BW every 28 d. Data were analyzed using the mixed models procedure of SAS with a repeated statement for date; forage treatment and interactions were included in the model. FEC were log transformed.

Objective 2C: To develop a forage system for sheep to improve lamb growth throughout summer months, support pregnancy during cooler months and minimize need for deworming. At USDA, ARS, Booneville, AR, 20 acres of mixed forages transitioned to a certified organic plot. Forages (warm season perennials: SL, chicory, bermudagrass; warm season annuals such as cowpea, pearl millet; and cool season annuals: clover, vetch, ryegrass, small grains, tall fescue) were selected for quality and potential adaptability for this site. Forages that have been typically considered weeds, such as curly dock that is high in protein, were encouraged. Production and quality of forages were determined by cutting forage at 1 inch stubble height from four replicated quadrats, determining dry matter weight and samples were submitted for nitrogen and energy analyses. Katahdin sheep grazed these pastures throughout the year. This system was compared with an adjacent plot of primarily endophyte-free tall fescue (Kentucky-31), also transitioned to organic, with very few inputs. Labor, seed, fertilizer requirements and lamb production was compared between the two sites. This is a long term study that will occur in each of the three years of this project.

Objective 3: Test integrated, forage-based GIN control systems for organic and grass fed small ruminant production on-farm.

Technology developed from completed experiments was implemented at Heifer Ranch in Perryville, AR. Establishment of SL and sunn hemp and rotational forage systems were used for sheep. Improved forage systems were combined with routine examination of animals using the FAMACHA system, collection of feces for FEC, and use of COWP as needed for non-chemical suppression of parasitic nematodes in infected animals. The success of the forage system and integrated control methods were evaluated.

Another study was to be conducted on-farm in AR and GA to include use of supplemental pelleted feed containing SL. The pellet machine to process sericea lespedeza is not yet operational; thus this study was not completed.

Objective 4: Complete impact assessment on non-chemical GIN control techniques on small ruminant producers.

The objective was to determine the impact of integrated parasite management training conducted in the US from 2003-2008 on sheep and goat producers’ ability to control gastrointestinal parasites on their farms. Surveys were mailed or e-mailed to over 2000 producers who had previously attended Integrated Parasite Management (IPM) training (including FAMACHA©) across the U.S. including a link to the survey online at SurveyShare©. Multiple responses were appropriate for some questions. A total of 729 surveys were returned. Respondents were from the Southern (42%), Northeastern (18%), Midwestern (39%) and Western (1%) U.S. This study was conducted by North Carolina A&T State University (partnered through another SARE grant), University of Georgia, and NCAT.

Research results and discussion:

Objective 1A: Establishment of organic forages containing condensed tannins.

A 2.5 acre plot of ‘AU Grazer’ sericea lespedeza (SL) has been established and maintained organically at USDA, ARS, Booneville, AR. Approximately 2,400, 1,600, and 4,200 kg/acre of hay were produced in 2008, 2009, and 2010 respectively. Phosphorus and potassium were low in 2007 and poultry litter was incorporated in 2008. Two of four 1-acre plots of ‘AU Grazer’ used for grazing appear to be productive with very few weeds, while the other two are less productive with contaminants of nutsedge, ragweed, and other forbs. Dodder (Cuscuta), a parasitic plant, was found in several small locations within plots and promptly removed.

In a study at Auburn University, AL, and Fort Valley State University (FVSU), GA, SL was established alone, with oats, rye, annual ryegrass or wheat in 2006 without or with herbicide application. The SL alone was treated with one application of Post herbicide to eliminate narrow-leaf weeds; the other plots remained untreated. By the end of the growing season, plots were evaluated for SL stand, SL dry matter and weed dry matter. In 2006, results indicated that SL alone had a higher stand and dry weight of SL compared to the other treatments; however, this stand was closely followed by SL established with rye or with wheat and without herbicide application. SL dry matter production was much higher when planted alone/herbicide. The dry weight of weeds was lower in SL alone/herbicide, but was not significantly different from the other treatments.

Evaluation in 2007 indicated that SL established with rye or wheat had a forage yield that was 58 and 47%, respectively, of the SL established alone/herbicide. Ground cover in SL established with rye or wheat was 89 and 79%, respectively, whereas SL alone/herbicide had 100% ground cover. This indicated that SL established with rye or wheat had the potential to produce nearly as much as SL alone/herbicide. Establishment over grass stubble in spring of 2007 suffered major plant losses due to drought conditions. SL establishment mixed with grains failed due to heavy rain immediately after planting followed by dry weather. Experiment plots were planted in 2008 but they were lost again due to weather conditions.

Results from Stephenville AgriLife Research showed no benefit to the use of a nurse-crop during SL establishment, a difficult feat in a marginal (<700 mm rainfall) climate for this species. In addition, autumn seeding had lower establishment rates than did spring trials, the latter successful regardless of herbicide use or presence of nurse-crops.

Objective 1B: SL included as a complete supplement for lambs/kids on pasture.

In the USDA, ARS goat experiment, the population of gastrointestinal worms was 94% and 72% H. contortus on d 42, and 80% and 24% H. contortus on d 98 in control and sericea lespedeza supplemented goats, respectively. Remaining worms were mostly Trichostrongylus spp. FEC were reduced in sericea lespedeza compared with control goats on d 28, 42, and 70 (diet by time interaction, P = 0.007). PCV was greater in sericea lespedeza supplemented than control goats (P = 0.02). Incidence of deworming was greater in the control than sericea lespedeza supplemented group (1.76 greater than 1.07 +/- 0.22 dewormings/goat; P = 0.03). However, based on PCV greater than 19%, 52% and 78% of deworming was unnecessary in control and sericea lespedeza goats, respectively. Body weights were similar between dietary groups (15.1 +/- 0.7 kg on d 0; 19.3 +/- 0.8 kg on d 112). Supplementation of sericea lespedeza leaf meal pellets to weaned goats on pasture offers control of H. contortus but not Trichostrongylus. The latter is often not life threatening, but may reduce weight gains in goats. Only 17% of sericea lespedeza supplemented goats required deworming compared with 84% of control goats leading to conservation of dewormer and potentially slowing dewormer resistance.

In the FVSU experiment, there was no difference in FEC between goats fed the 75 and 95% sericea lespedeza leaf meal pellets, but both groups had lower FEC than the goats fed the commercial pellets during weeks 5-8. The PCV values were not affected by the dietary treatments. Feeding supplemental sericea lespedeza pellets may be a useful tool for reducing gastrointestinal worm infection in grazing goats.

In the experiment at USDA, ARS in peri-parturient ewes, FEC were not different between groups. This was not unexpected because FEC in ewes peak at lambing (around the time when the treatment began), then decrease in this resistant breed of sheep (Katahdin sheep lose their resistance around the time of lambing and as lambs before the immune system matures). After lambs were weaned, 8 control lambs compared with 2 sericea lespedeza lambs required treatment for coccidia. The consistency of the feces from sericea lespedeza lambs was more solid, suggesting more efficient digestion, especially in the face of the coccidia exposure. Further studies will need to be conducted to examine this phenomenon. FEC were lower in the sericea lespedeza lambs, but PCV was similar. Unexpectedly, the gastrointestinal worm infection was predominantly Trichostrongylus, which is not known to be reduced by sericea lespedeza supplementation. Only two controls and one sericea lespedeza lamb required deworming throughout the study. The sericea lespedeza lambs weighed more in June and July compared with the control lambs, but body weight was similar between groups by August.

At FVSU, feeding hay of SL to small ruminants has been shown to reduce GIN infection, but length of feeding time required to achieve the effect is not known. Intact male goat kids (9-mo-old, n = 17) were fed either SL leaf meal or ground bermudagrass (BG) hay; all were given 5000 larvae of Haemonchus contortus a week after initiation of feeding, and then slaughtered on day 28 post-infection to determine effects on worm establishment. Another group of kids (n = 17) were fed the BG diet and infected with 5000 larvae each. On day 35 post-infection, kids were randomly allocated to two groups, fed either the SL or BG diet, and then groups from each treatment (n = 4) were slaughtered on 7, 14 and 28 days post-feeding. Feeding SL reduced (P = 0.05) establishment of H. contortus and total GIN, had no effect on number of mature (established) worms, but reduced (P = 0.05) fecundity (number of eggs per female) of the mature GIN by day 28. The SL diet reduced (P = 0.05) FEC and increased (P = 0.05) PCV on days 7, 14, and 28 post-feeding in kids with a mature GIN infection.

Objective 1C: Grazing SL as a deworming paddock. To determine the effectiveness of the condensed tannin containing forage, SL, as a deworming paddock to decrease H. contortus infection in lambs, lambs (n = 42) at Louisiana State University (LSU) grazed SL or a control paddock of mostly BG for 16 weeks. At the start of the study, FEC and PCV for the Control and SL groups were 6367 and 6133 eggs/g and 25.1 and 22.9, respectively. FEC decreased and were similar in both groups through week 4. Subsequently, FEC increased in the Control group and SL group FEC remained consistently and significantly (P = 0.05) lower than the Control group through week 11. On week 11, six Control animals required deworming. Subsequently, the FEC decreased to the level of the SL group FEC and remained similar to the end of the study. The PCV for both groups were similar throughout the study. Individual treatments for the Control and SL groups were 28 (2/lamb) and 39 (1.4/lamb), respectively. Weight gain for Control and SL groups, respectively, were 8.5 and 9.7 kg. Lambs given free choice grazing SL may take up to 4 weeks to reduce H. contortus infection, which then led to fewer required dewormings per animal and increased weight gain.

In two studies conducted at USDA, ARS, Booneville, Katahdin lambs (n = 43) grazed BG, SL plus grass pasture (SLG), or continuous SL (SLC) for 56 days. Spanish doe kids (n = 38) were randomly assigned to graze BG, SLG, or SLC. Lambs and kids were supplemented corn/SBM (16% CP) to meet nutritional requirements and supplementation was greater for the BG than SL animals. Initially, H. contortus was the predominant nematode, but the population shifted to other species in the SL groups by the end of the study. The mean number of dewormings/lamb was 0.71, 0.20, and 0.21 +/- 0.13 for BG, SLG, and SLC groups, respectively (P = 0.01). FEC were reduced in SLC compared with BG lambs on all days and reduced in SLG compared with BG lambs on day 56 (forage x day, P = 0.001). PCV was greater for SL than BG groups on most days (forage x day, P = 0.02). Body weight was similar among groups. COWP may have been more effective in reducing FEC in SL compared with BG groups (BG, 35.4 +/- 11.6; SLG, 53.4 +/- 12.3; SLC, 93.1 +/- 17.3%; P = 0.05). There were fewer false positive and negative FAMACHA scores in the SL than BG groups (BG, 80.0 +/- 3.8; SLG, 90.0 +/- 3.8; SLC, 94.7 +/- 3.7%; P = 0.01). The mean number of dewormings for doe kids was 2.1, 1.0, and 1.7 +/- 0.3 for BG, SLG, and SLC groups, respectively (P = 0.02). FEC were lower in both SL groups compared with does that grazed BG (P = 0.006). PCV tended to be lower in BG does before day 28, but higher after day 42 (forage x day, P = 0.06). The BG does were lighter than both SL groups of does on days 28 and 56, but groups were similar by day 84 (forage x day, P = 0.001). COWP was not effective in reducing FEC in these does. Even though weight gains were similar, more inputs (feed, dewormer) were required for BG than SLG or SLC lambs and does. Because H. contortus was not the predominant nematode, the integrated approaches were only partially effective in controlling GIN in doe kids.

Objective 1D: Use of black locust trees/branches to control GIN in goats. Seven month old doeling goats were fed whole black locust branches, chipped branches, or a control diet without condensed tannins in August 2008. There was no reduction in FEC in goats fed the black locust. However, the trees had undergone severe heat stress and the condensed tannins may have become bound and unavailable to the animal. Pregnancy rate was similar in mature goats grazing black locust in a mixed grass pasture and those on bermudagrass, but body condition may have been greater in goats on the browse pasture.

Objective 1E: Use of Desmodium paniculatum to control GIN in goats. At day 0 average fecal egg counts (FEC) for all infected animals was 2190; by day 14, FEC in kids fed PTC were 2976 and by day 28 FEC were 2665 compared to 4920 and 4560 for infected kids fed alfalfa on days 14 and 28, respectively. By day 28 FEC for infected animals fed SL and PTC were not different from each other but were 44% lower (P = 0.05) than infected animals in the alfalfa treatment. Packed cell volumes throughout the trial were not different among goats fed SL, PTC, or alfalfa. Results indicate that the North American native legume panicled tick-clover has potential as an HC suppressant.

Objective 1F: Continuation of screening for forages high in condensed tannins. We have compiled a list of leguminous and non-leguminous forage and browse species that contain condensed tannins. To date, our list contains herbaceous legumes that have up to 5% N and total CT (TCT) varying from 0 to 16.7% when self-standards were used. Non-legume herbaceous forbs were equally high in N but contained very low TCT concentrations. Browse legumes tended to have lower CT values than herbaceous legumes when a legume was used as a standard. Some non-legume browse species ranged up to 9.3% TCT when a self-standard was used. These results indicate that a wide variability in CT concentrations exists among herbaceous and browse species and these may be useful in improving ruminant nutrition and health.

Objective 2A: Identification of annual forages suitable for organic system. Chicory grazing by lambs offered no control of internal parasites in 2009. However, it grows well in southeastern pastures and offers diversity to grass based pastures. Average daily gain was greater in lambs grazing chicory compared with the bermudagrass pastures (136 greater than 76 +/- 10 g/d; P = 0.001). At Heifer Ranch, chicory grazing by lambs appeared to offer some parasite control in 2008, but not in 2009.

Objective 2B: Rotational grazing systems. The mean number of dewormings was 0.53, 0.47, and 0.93 ± 0.22 for SC, SP, and CP groups, respectively (P = 0.28). FEC were similar among forage groups (P = 0.58) and ranged from 3469 eggs/g on D 0 to 5867 eggs/g on D 84. PCV tended to be greater in the SC group compared to others on D 70 and 84 (forage x day, P = 0.06). BW was similar among forage groups and ranged from 17.3 to 22.1 +/- 0.5 kg between D0 and 84 (P = 0.71). In summary, compared with previous experiments in which kids grazed grass pastures, GIN control was good initially, likely associated with good forage quality, but declined by D 84.

Objective 2C: To develop a forage system for sheep to improve lamb growth throughout summer months, support pregnancy during cooler months and minimize need for deworming. An organic forage system on two 20-acre plots has been managed well year round. However, forage quality continues to suffer in late summer, early fall, and is highly dependent on growing conditions for other seasons of the year. Therefore, a grain supplement is still required to meet nutritional requirements of lactating ewes and early weaned lambs. We will continue to examine other forage species and rotational grazing to minimize grain feeding. Annual forages examined include cowpea, soybean, and pearl millet for growing lambs and kids. Both performed well (parasite control and weight gains) on cowpea and soybean, but not on pearl millet. However, organic practices demand that annual forages not be planted on bare soil. Thus, planting practices must be examined that allow adequate production of these forages by overseeding. Sericea lespedeza and vetch overseeded onto tall fescue perform well in an organic pasture and offer increased protein to growing lambs and kids.

Objective 3: Test integrated, forage-based GIN control systems for organic and grass fed small ruminant production on-farm. We were to obtain a pelleted sericea lespedeza product from a small farm in Alabama, but implementation of the pelleting process has been slow. Therefore, this has not been tested on farm yet. We have examined the use of chicory grazing on farm at the Heifer Ranch, Perryville, AR, which appeared useful for parasite control in one year, but not the next. AU Grazer SL was planted in 2009, but did not establish. This underlines the difficulty of producers implementing planting SL for parasite control and the value of using a pelleted SL product for the same. Sunn hemp obtained from Auburn University was planted and grazed by sheep in 2010. Sunn hemp is an annual forage planted on a prepared seed bed, is very high in protein, and provided grazing in a rotational system throughout the summer months in addition to a mixed grass pasture for ewes and lambs. Deworming was not required throughout this on-farm trial.

Objective 4: Complete impact assessment on non-chemical GIN control techniques on small ruminant producers.

Survey respondents (95%) felt that FAMACHA©/IPM training made a difference in their ability to control or monitor parasitism. Of producers responding, 72% indicated they had less of a problem with parasites after training. When asked if they were using the FAMACHA© eyelid color chart to make worming decisions, 87% answered yes. Of those using the chart, 57% scored their animals once or twice a month, 6% three or more times a month and 37% scored their animals irregularly. Only 5% of respondents dewormed their animals more often after training, 21% dewormed the same amount and 74% dewormed less often. The majority (75%) of producers indicated that they saved money in the first year after training, citing reasons such as fewer drug treatments (84%), fewer animal deaths (43%), and better animal performance (29%) among others. The most popular practices respondents adopted after training included incorporating rotational grazing (77%) and genetic selection (53%), using grain supplementation on pasture to improve nutrition (44%) and increasing height of plants being grazed (41%). Other practices adopted included multi-species grazing (36%), deworming around the time of parturition (36%), reducing stocking rates (28%), fecal egg counting (25%), switching to oral dosing (28%), and weighing animals before dosing (23%). Of those responding to the survey, the majority (65%) had less than 50 animals, 9% had 50-75 animals, and 26% had greater than 75 animals. Overall, producers in the United States have clearly benefited from FAMACHA©/IPM training.

NCAT Specialists Coffey and Hale have developed two outreach materials that support this project: an article and a video. They worked closely with editors at USDA-SARE to develop and write an article for the SARE fact sheet series, Agricultural Innovations. This article highlights the work of the Southern Consortium for Small Ruminant Parasite Control and specifically discusses the research and outreach funded by SARE. This article is expected to be published on the SARE web site by the end of 2010.

NCAT also created a video on the forage sericea lespedeza to be included with GIN control training materials. The video highlights a South African farmer who successfully uses Sericea as a forage and parasite control tool for his livestock. The video includes practical elements for producers as well as highlights of research.

Participation Summary

Educational & Outreach Activities

Participation Summary

Education/outreach description:

Peer reviewed publications:

Burke, J.M., Orlik, S., Miller, J.E., Terrill, T.H., Mosjidis, J.A. 2010. Using copper oxide wire particles or sericea lespedeza to prevent a peri-parturient gastrointestinal nematode infection in sheep and goats. Livest. Sci. 132, 13-18.

Burke, J.M., Soli, F., Miller, J.E., Terrill, T.H., Wildeus, S., Shaik, S.A., Getz, W.R., Vanguru, M. 2010. Administration of copper oxide wire particles in a capsule or feed for gastrointestinal nematode control in goats. Vet. Parasitol. 168, 346-350.

Joshi, B.R., Kommuru, D.S., Terrill, T.H., Mosjisis J.A., Burke, J.M., Shakya, K.P., Miller, J.E., 2011. Responses of sericea lespedeza feeding in goats experimentally infected with Haemonchus contortus. Vet. Parasitol. (In Press).

Mahapatra, A.K., Harris, D.L., Durham, D.L., Lucas, S., Terrill, T.H., Kouakou, B., Kannan, G. 2010. Moisture effect on the physical and thermal properties of sericea lespedeza pellets. Int. Agric. Eng. J. 19, 23-29.
Muir, J.P., Bow, J.R., Rodriguez, W., Patterson, J.M.. 2008. Defoliation of Panicled tick-clover, Tweedy’s tick-clover and Tall bush-clover: II. Herbage Nutritive Value and Condensed Tannin Concentrations. Agron. J. 100:1635-1639.
Soli, F., Terrill, T.H., Shaik, S.A., Getz, W.R., Miller, J.E., Vanguru, M., Burke, J.M. 2010. Efficacy of copper oxide wire particles against gastrointestinal nematodes in sheep and goats. Vet. Parasitol. 168, 93-96.

Terrill, T.H., Dykes, G.S., Shaik, S.A., Miller, J.E., Kouakou, B., Kannan, G., Burke, J.M., Mosjidis, J.A. 2009. Efficacy of sericea lespedeza hay as a natural dewormer in goats: Dose titration study. Vet. Parasitol. 163, 52-56.
Terrill, T.H., Wolfe, R.M., Muir, J.P. 2010. Factors affecting ANKOM™ fiber analysis of forage and browse varying in condensed tannin concentration. J. Sci. Food Agric. 90, 7223-2726.
Whitley, N.C., Miller, J.E., Burke, J.M., Cazac, D., Jackson-O’Brien, D., Dykes, L., Muir, J.P. 2009. Effect of high tannin grain sorghum on gastrointestinal parasite fecal egg counts in goats. Sm. Rum. Res. 87, 105-107.

Abstracts and Proceedings:

Bullinger, C.M. 2011. Comparing growth and internal parasite parameters of goat kids fed pelleted diets based on alfalfa, panicled tick-clover and sericea lespedeza. Tarleton State University thesis, Stephenville TX.

Burke, J.M. 2009. Obstacles to organic and grass fed small ruminant production. J. Anim. Sci. 87 (E-Suppl. 2), 344 (Abstr.).

Burke J.M., Casey P.L., Wells A., Paddock R. 2009. Influence of chicory in a rotational grazing system on gastrointestinal nematodes (GIN) in sheep. J. Anim. Sci. 87 (E-Suppl. 3):37 (Abstr.).

Burke, J.M., Miller, J.E., Mosjidis, J.A., Terrill, T.H. 2010. Integrated control of gastrointestinal nematodes (GIN) using sericea lespedeza (SL), FAMACHA, and copper oxide wire particles (COWP) in weaned lambs and kids in Arkansas, USA. Proc. XIIth International Congress of Parasitology, August 2010. Melbourne, Australia.

Burke, J.M., Miller, J.E., Mosjidis, J.A., Terrill, T.H. 2010. Integrated control of gastrointestinal nematodes (GIN) using sericea lespedeza (SL), FAMACHA, and copper oxide wire particles (COWP) in weaned lambs in Arkansas. J. Anim. Sci., 88 (Suppl. 3), 31-32 (Abstr).

Burke, J.M., Miller, J.E., Mosjidis, J.A., Terrill, T.H. 2010. Integrated control of gastrointestinal nematodes (GIN) using sericea lespedeza (SL), FAMACHA, and copper oxide wire particles (COWP) in weaned goats in Arkansas. J. Anim. Sci., 88 (E-Supplement 3), 31.

Burke, J.M., J.E. Miller, and T.H. Terrill. 2009. Administration of copper oxide wire particles (COWP) to control gastrointestinal nematodes (GIN) in stressed lambs or kids. Journal of Animal Science 87, E-Supplement 3:34.

Burke, J.M., J.E. Miller, S. Wideus, and T.H. Terrill. 2009. Use of copper oxide wire particles as a bolus or in feed for gastrointestinal nematodes control in yearling or peri-parturient does. Journal of Animal Science 87, E-Supplement 3:35.

Carter, L., N.C. Whitley, D. Kahl, and T.H. Terrill. 2010. Fecal gastrointestinal parasite egg counts in post-parturient does fed sericea lespedeza (Lespedeza cuneata). First National Goat Conference, 12-15 September, 2010, Tallahassee, FL (Abstract).

Cherry, N.M., Lambert, B.D., Muir, J.P., Bullinger, M., Miller, J.E., Kaplan, R.M., Whitney, T.R. 2011. Feeding North American panicled tick-clover to growing goats reduces Haemonchus contortus infection. In: ADSA-CSAS-ASAS 2011 Joint Annual Meeting, San Antonio, TX (Abstract in press).

Gujja, S., T.H. Terrill, J.A. Mosjidis, J.E. Miller, A. Mechineni, D.S. Kommuru, and J.M. Burke. 2011. Effect of Supplemental Sericea Lespedeza Leaf Meal Pellets on Gastrointestinal Nematode Infection in Grazing Goats. Association of Research Directors, Incorporated 16th Biennial Research Symposium, April 9-13, 2011, Atlanta, GA.

Howell, S.B. B.R. Joshi, T.H. Terrill, and R.M. Kaplan. 2010. Effect of sericea lespedeza on fecal egg counts and egg hatching in goats infected with Haemonchus contortus. J. Anim. Sci., 88 (E-Supplement 3), 32-33.

Lucas, S.D., T.H. Terrill, F.A. Soli, S.A. Shaik, J.A. Mosjidis, J.E. Miller, B.Kouakou, and J.M. Burke. 2009. Comparison of sericea lespedeza leaf and whole plant meal for control of gastrointestinal nematode infection in goats. Association of Research Directors, Incorporated 15th Biennial Research Symposium, March 28th – April 1st, 2009, Atlanta, GA. p. 43.

Luginbuhl, J-M., J.E. Miller, T.H. Terrill, and H.M. Glennon. 2009. Evaluation of sericea lespedeza as a summer forage and for helminth control of grazing goats. Journal of Animal Science 87, E-Supplement 3:37.

Luginbuhl, J-M., J.E. Miller, T.H. Terrill, and H.M. Glennon. 2010. Evaluation of sericea lespedeza as a summer forage and natural parasite control for grazing goats. J. Anim. Sci., 88 (E-Supplement 3), 31.

Mechineni, A., T.H. Terrill, J.A. Mosjidis, J.E. Miller, S. Gujja, D.S. Kommuru, and J.M. Burke. 2011. Effect of Grazed Sericea Lespedeza on Gastrointestinal Nematode Infection in Goats. Association of Research Directors, Incorporated 16th Biennial Research Symposium, April 9-13, 2011, Atlanta, GA.

Miller, J.E., Terrill, T.H., Burke, J.M., Mosjidis, J.A., Whitley, N.C., 2010. Dose titration effect of sericea lespedeza feed pellets on gastrointestinal nematode infection in lambs. Proc 55th Ann Meet Amer Assoc Vet Parasitol: 45.

Muir, J.P., Terrill, T., Valencia, E., Weiss, S., Jones, P.D., Mosjidis, J., Wolfe, R. 2009. The wide range of condensed tannins in Caribbean Basin plants and their applicability to ruminant production systems. Proceedings Caribbean Food Crops Society 43rd Annual Meeting, St. Kitts.

Muir, J.P., Terrill, T.H., Valencia,E., Weiss, S., Littlefield, K., Jones, P.D., Mosjidis, J., Wolfe, R.M. 2009. A wide range in forage legume condensed tannin in the southeastern USA shows promise in ruminant protein and parasite management. 11 pp. Proc. 18th Annual Meeting of the American Forage and Grassland Council, June 21-24, Grand Rapids MI. AFGC, on CD.

O’Brien, D.J., Matthews, K.K., Miller, J.E., Whitley, N.C., Crook, E.K., Eierman, J.L., 2009. Natural plant anthelmintic fails to reduce internal parasites in meat goat kids. J Anim Sci 87 (E-Supple. 2), 311.

Orlik, S.T., J.E. Miller, J.M. Burke, and T.H. Terrill. 2009. Effect of copper oxide wire particles incorporated into feed pellets on the peri-parturient rise in ewe fecal egg count. Journal of Animal Science 87, E-Supplement 3:35.

Soli, F.A., T.H. Terrill, S.A. Shaik, W.R. Getz, J.E. Miller, M. Vanguru, and J.M. Burke. 2009. Evaluation of copper oxide wire particles in a feed pellet to control gastrointestinal nematodes in sheep and goats. Association of Research Directors, Incorporated 15th Biennial Research Symposium, March 28th – April 1st, 2009, Atlanta, GA. p. 44.

Terrill, T.H., Joshi, B.R., Kommuru, D.S., Mechineni, A., Gujja, S., Kamisetti, N.R., Dzimianski, S., Miller, J.E., Mosjidis, J.A., Burke, J.M. 2010. Feeding sericea lespedeza leaf meal to goats: effect on gastrointestinal nematode infection. J. Anim. Sci. 88 (E-Suppl. 3), 32.

Terrill, T.H., Miller, J.E., Burke, J.M., Mosjidis, J.A., Kaplan, R.M. 2010. Experiences with integrated concepts for the control of Haemonchus contortus in sheep and goats in the USA. Proc. XIIth International Congress of Parasitology, August 2010. Melbourne, Australia.

Terrill, T.H., F. Soli, S.A. Shaik, W.R. Getz, J.E. Miller, M. Vanguru, and J.M. Burke. 2009. Efficacy of copper oxide wire particles against gastrointestinal nematodes in sheep and goats. International Conference of the World Association for the Advancement of Veterinary Parasitology, August 9-13, 2009, Calgary, Canada. p. 22.

Terrill, T.H., F. Soli, S.A. Shaik, W.R. Getz, J.E. Miller, M. Vanguru, and J.M. Burke. 2009. Evaluation of copper oxide wire particles in a feed pellet to control gastrointestinal nematodes in sheep and goats. International Conference of the World Association for the Advancement of Veterinary Parasitology, August 9-13, 2009, Calgary, Canada. p. 22

Terrill TH, Soli FA, Vanguru M, Vuggam A, Shaik SA, Mosjidis JA, Miller JE, Kouakou B, Burke JM. Effectiveness of sericea lespedeza leaf meal to reduce worm burden in goats. International Goat Association Meeting, Mexico (Abstract), 2009.

Whitley NC, Kaplan RM, Burke JM, Terrill TH, Miller JE, Getz WR, Mobini S, Valencia E, William MJ. Small ruminant producer gastrointestinal nematode (GIN) management survey. J. Anim. Sci. 2009; 87 (E-Suppl. 2):310 (Abstr.).

Whitley, N.C., S. Schoenian, R.M. Kaplan, B. Storey, T.H. Terrill, J.M. Burke, S. Mobini, J.E. Miller. 2010 Impact of integrated parasite management and FAMACHA© training in the United States. First National Goat Conference, 12-15 September, 2010, Tallahassee, FL (Abstract).

Whitley, N.C., Terrill, T.H., Miller, J.E., Burke, J.M., 2010. Influence of diets containing sericea lespedeza leaf meal on gastrointestinal parasite fecal egg counts in goats. J. Anim. Sci., 88 (Suppl. 3), 33(Abstr).

Wildeus, S., Miller, J.E., Burke, J.M., 2009. Effect of copper oxide wire particles as a bolus or in feed on indicators of gastrointestinal parasitism in goat kids of two breeds. J Anim Sci 87 (E-Suppl. 3), 35.

Field Days and Other Outreach (estimated that more than 500 producers and extension agents attended outreach events associated with this project):

J.E. Miller. Internal parasite management – An integrated approach and alternative strategies. Goat health management conference, April 2008, Baton Rouge, LA.

J.E. Miller. Integrating anthelmintics FAMACHA and other alternative measures for controlling nematodes in small ruminants. Prairie View A&M University, May 2008, Prairie View, TX.

J.M. Burke. Impact of grazing systems on management of gastrointestinal nematodes in weaned lambs; Use of FAMACHA system to evaluate gastrointestinal nematode resistance/resilience in offspring of stud rams. NCERA-190 (Increased Efficiency of Sheep Production) Meeting, June 2008. Dubois, ID.

J.E. Miller. Effect of vaccinating grazing ewes with Haemonchus contortus H11/HgalGP antigens on established infection. 53rdAnnual Meeting of the American Association of Veterinary Parasitologists, July 2008, New Orleans, LA.

J.E. Miller. Mechanism of action of copper oxide wire particles (COWP) as an anthelmintic agent; Evaluation of chemical and non-chemical control of Haemonchus contortus in kids and lambs. Phi Zeta Research Emphasis Symposium, September 2008. Baton Rouge, LA.

J.M. Burke. Control of gastrointestinal nematodes in goats. Kentucky State University Goat Conference, October 2008. Frankfort, KY.

J.E. Miller. Integrating FAMACHA, drugs and other alternative measures for controlling worms. GoatCamp, October 2008, Lohn, TX.

J.M. Burke. Administration of copper oxide particles as a bolus or in feed for gastrointestinal nematode control in yearling or peri-parturient does; Changes in body weight of lambs and gastrointestinal nematode indicators of an ARS Katahdin flock. SCC-81 (Sustainable Small Ruminant Production in the Southeastern U.S.) meeting, February 2009. Atlanta, GA.

J.E. Miller. Integrated parasite control. Tuskegee University Goat Field Day, April 2009, Tuskegee, AL.

J.E. Miller. Integrating FAMACHA, drugs and other alternative measures for controlling worms. Southern University Goat Field Day, April 2009, Baton Rouge, LA.

J.M. Burke. Influence of summer annual forages on gastrointestinal nematode control and growth of Katahdin lambs; Integrated control of gastrointestinal nematodes using copper oxide wire particles in feed and sericea lespedeza hay in peri-parturient ewes. NCERA-190 (Increased Efficiency of Sheep Production) Meeting, June 2009. Baton Rouge, LA.

J.E. Miller. Managing parasites – Current status and thoughts for the future. Katahdin Hair Sheep International, September 2009, Eugene, OR

J.E. Miller. Integrating FAMACHA, drugs and other alternative measures for controlling worms. USDA ARS Small Ruminant Field Day, October 2009, Booneville, AR.

J.M. Burke. Use of forage systems for parasite control in sheep and goats. USDA, ARS Sheep and Goat Field Day, October 2009. Booneville, AR.

J.M. Burke. Control of Haemonchus contortus in sheep and goats. Power Flex Systems, Corp. Customer Appreciation Day, September 2009. Hartsville, MO.

J.E. Miller. Integrating FAMACHA, drugs and other alternative measures for controlling worms. Goat producer meeting, November 2009, Jonesville, LA.

J.M. Burke. Integrated control of parasitic worms using copper oxide wire particles, sericea lespedeza, and FAMACHA in sheep in Arkansas. American Sheep Industry Association’s 2010 Convention, January 2010. Nashville, TN.

J.M. Burke. Integrated control of gastrointestinal nematodes using copper oxide wire particles and sericea lespedeza in peri-parturient sheep and goats in Arkansas. SCC-81 (Sustainable Small Ruminant Production in the Southeastern U.S.) meeting, February 2010. Orlando, FL.

J.E. Miller. Parasite control in small ruminants. LSU/SU small ruminant field day, April 2010, Baton Rouge, LA.

J.M. Burke. Examining the relationship of fecal egg counts of ewes during the peri-parturient period and their offspring; Influence of season of lambing on gastrointestinal nematode infection. NCERA-190 (Increased Efficiency of Sheep Production) Meeting, June 2010. Lexington, KY.

J.E. Miller. Dose titration effect of sericea lespedeza feed pellets on gastrointestinal nematode infection in lambs. 55th Annual Meeting of the American Association of Veterinary Parasitologists, July/August 2010, Atlanta, GA.

J.E. Miller. Integrating FAMACHA, drugs and other alternative measures for controlling worms. Louisiana Meat Goat Association meeting, September 2010, Crowley, LA.

J.E. Miller. Small ruminant integrated parasite control. GoatCamp, October 2010, Lohn, TX.

J.M. Burke. Nonchemical control of parasites in llamas and alpacas. Greater Appalachian Llama and Alpaca Conference, November 2010. Grantville, PA.

J.M. Burke. Hair sheep production for small farms. Southwest Arkansas Sheep and Goat Conference, March 2011. Hope, AR.

Kaplan, R.M. New Concepts in Parasite Control and Smart Deworming Practices. Delaware Ag Week, Small Ruminant Session, January 2008.

Kaplan, R.M. Anthelmintic Resistance: Threats, Realities, and the Future of Parasite Control. Delaware State University, Dover, Delaware, January 2008.

Kaplan, R.M. Anthelmintic Resistance: it is not going away – what do we do about it? 5th International Workshop on Novel Approaches to the Control of Helminth Parasites of Livestock, Ipoh, Malaysia, February 2008.

Kaplan, R.M. Managing Parasites in the Age of Drug Resistance: New Research Developments and Recommendations for Integrated Parasite Control. Georgia Veterinary Medical Association, Food Animal Conference 2008, Perry, GA, March 2008.

Kaplan, R.M. Anthelmintic Resistance and Smart Drenching Treatment Strategies for Improved Parasite Control; Small Ruminant Parasite Workshop. Oregon State University College of Veterinary Medicine, Corvallis, OR, January 2009.

Kaplan, R.M. These Ain’t Your Father’s Parasites: Anthelmintic Resistance and the Future of Parasite Control. Oregon State University College of Veterinary Medicine, Department of Biomedical Sciences seminar, January 2009.

Kaplan, R.M. Control of Gastrointestinal Nematodes in Small Ruminants. St. Georges University School of Veterinary Medicine, St. George’s Grenada, West Indies, April 2009.

Kaplan, R.M. Biology and Epidemiology of Anthelmintic Resistance in Parasitic Nematodes. VIII Congreso Nacional de Parasitología Veterinaria, Mérida, Yucatán, México, October 2009.

Kaplan, R.M. Small Ruminant Parasite Control in the Age of Drug Resistance: Strategies for Success Part I; Small Ruminant Parasite Control in the Age of Drug Resistance: Strategies for Success Part II. 23rd Annual South Carolina Large Animal Medicine Short Course, Columbia, SC, November 2009.

Kaplan, R.M. Recommendations for the Control of Small Ruminant Parasites; Biology of Anthelmintic Resistance: These Ain’t Your Father’s Parasites. North American Veterinary Conference 2010, Orlando, FL, January 2010.

Kaplan, R.M. Parasites in Sheep and Goats. St. Georges University School of Veterinary Medicine, Veterinary Seminar Series, 7th in Series. St. George’s Grenada, West Indies, April 2010.

Kaplan, R.M. FAMACHA Workshop. St. Georges University School of Veterinary Medicine, St. George’s Grenada, West Indies, April 2010.

Kaplan, R.M. Update on Anthelmintic Resistance and Parasite Biology; Parasite Diagnostics; FAMACHA and Novel Approaches. 147th Annual Convention of the American Veterinary Medical Association, Atlanta, GA, July/August 2010.

Kaplan, R.M. Diagnosis of Anthelmintic Resistance: A Molecular Future? Consortium for Anthelmintic Resistance SNPs (CARS) IV, ICOPA XII, Melbourne Australia, August 2010.

Kaplan, R.M., A.N. Vidyashankar. An Inconvenient Truth: Global Worming and Anthelmintic Resistance. ICOPA XII and 6th International Workshop on Novel Approaches to the Control of Helminth Parasites of Livestock, Melbourne Australia, August 2010.

Kaplan, R.M. Biology of Anthelmintic Resistance: These Ain’t Your Father’s Parasites; Recommendations for the Control of Small Ruminant Parasites. 2010 Southwest Veterinary Symposium, Fort Worth, Texas, September 2010.

Kaplan, R.M. Don’t Just Treat It – Stand There: Strategies For Managing Parasites in a Changing World. American Association of Zoo Veterinarians and American Association of Wildlife Veterinarians 2010 Joint Conference, South Padre Island, Texas, October 2010.

Outreach at Fort Valley State University by T.H. Terrill and colleagues included the following: 1) six FAMACHA training workshops, with an average of 15 producers in attendance; 2) Washington County Goat-A-Rama, Forages for Goat Production and Parasite Control, April 2010, Sandersville, GA with 100 participants; 3) Sunbelt Expo, October 2008, 2009, 2010, Moultrie, GA with 25,000-35,000 attendees/day for 3 days, several hundred producers attended small ruminant talks on forages and parasite control; 4) T.H. Terrill, Using Plants to Control Worms in Livestock, Georgia Organics Annual Conference, February 2010, Athens, GA.

NCAT/ATTRA contributed to outreach: 1) compiled a video on grazing sericea lespedeza for sheep and goat production in collaboration with FVSU; 2) An article was written for SARE Innovations (Sustainable Control of Internal Parasites in Sheep and Goat Production); 3) Hosted an Integrated Parasite Management workshop, February 2010 in Arkansas (trained 20 sheep/goat producers on parasite management strategies, including pasture management, cowp, sericea, animal selection, FAMACHA, and smart drenching. They also received FAMACHA training/cards); 4) worked with USDA, APHIS to include sheep and goat resources in the 2009 NASS Goat and 2011 Sheep national surveys. NCAT/ATTRA flyers that included information on parasite management publications were distributed to 1500 goat producers and 1500 sheep producers.

Project Outcomes

Project outcomes:
  1. Impact of research demonstrated by the following.

    1) A news article generated by ARS staff that appeared in ARS News Service (Durham, S. Forage plant wards off ruminant gastrointestinal nematode. An article written about research at USDA, ARS, Booneville in association with collaborators of the Southern Consortium for Small Ruminant Parasite Control in USDA, ARS News and Events, February 2010; http://www.ars.usda.gov/is/pr/2010/100218.htm). This was cited in several online livestock resources and generated much interest by producers and the industry, including an invitation to present research on sericea lespedeza to control parasites at the Greater Appalachian Llama and Alpaca Conference in Harrisburg, PA, November 2010. This work also was recognized by publication in Country Today (Wisconsin based farm magazine), Sheep! Magazine, and Western Sheep Producer (a Canadian farm news service).

    2) Invitation to present research on integrated parasite control at the American Sheep Industry Association Annual Conference in Nashville, TN, January 2010

    3) Grazing fresh or preserved sericea lespedeza represents an estimated savings on dewormer of more than 50%. A patent on this technology was awarded and the Sims Brothers, Inc., a small family operated farm in Alabama, obtained the license to sell dried sericea lespedeza for worm control in sheep and goats. An SBIR grant was obtained by the Sims Brothers and included SARE grant cooperators to conduct research; this grant will facilitate commercialization of the pelleted sericea lespedeza. The impact is only partially realized, as it is anticipated that the demand of sericea lespedeza pellets will exceed the Sims Brothers production capacity, based on numerous phone calls and emails from producers unable to grow the plant. The Sims Brothers are presently communicating with contract growers.

    4) Story generated by ARS news staff: Comis, D. Integrated worm control in lambs. July 2010. An article written about research at USDA, ARS, Booneville in association with collaborators of the Southern Consortium for Small Ruminant Parasite Control in Agricultural Research Magazine (http://www.ars.usda.gov/is/AR/archive/jul10/lambs0710.pdf).

    5) Interviewed by Goat Specialist Frank Pinkerton to publish column in the April 2010 Goat Rancher which is distributed to 8,000 goat producers mainly in the Southern US.

    6) More than 300 producers that received training or information on parasite control in association with this grant project.

    7) COWP has been adopted by small ruminant producers possessing anthelmintic resistant worms where H. contortus is the primary worm (especially important in 2009 and 2010 when levamisole, the most effective dewormer, was not sold), estimating a savings of more than $7 million on more than 204,500 lambs produced in the southeastern U.S. annually.

    8) Widespread adoption of FAMACHA© and major changes in recommendations for worm control by professionals throughout warm, humid areas (including summers for many northern states) is now being practiced as a result of a previous SARE grant and continuation in the current project. More than 16,000 FAMACHA kits have been distributed to farmers and professionals in the U.S. since 2003.

Economic Analysis

This analysis was to be conducted by an NCAT employee that left the agency before the completion of this project. We have a colleague that is assisting with this analysis and will result in a peer-reviewed publication.

Farmer Adoption

Farmers have expressed a desire to use sericea lespedeza supplement for parasite control in sheep and goats. This legume can be difficult to establish and manage so that animals do not eradicate it from pastures. Therefore, a pelleted supplement offers a convenient and economical mode of feeding. The Sims Brothers, Inc. is in the process of commercializing a pellet in association with an SBIR grant. The product is anticipated to be widely adopted.

Widespread adoption of FAMACHA© and major changes in recommendations for worm control by professionals throughout warm, humid areas (including summers for many northern states) is now being practiced as a result of a previous SARE grant and continuation in the current project. More than 16,000 FAMACHA kits have been distributed to farmers and professionals in the U.S. since 2003.

COWP has been adopted by small ruminant producers possessing anthelmintic resistant worms where H. contortus is the primary worm (especially important in 2009 and 2010 when levamisole, the most effective dewormer, was not sold), estimating a savings of more than $7 million on more than 204,500 lambs produced in the southeastern U.S. annually.

Because of anthelmintic resistance by gastrointestinal nematodes, farmers will need to use an integrated approach of technology and management of pastures to control worms on farm. Rotational grazing and overseeding legumes such as clover and vetch onto existing grass pastures are being practiced by farmers to aid in the control of worms and increase the efficiency of pastures and growth of animals.

Recommendations:

Areas needing additional study

Additional study on forage and animal management of southern organic pastures and pastures for forage finishing is imperative to increase efficiency of production and profits.

Methods to reduce the worm infection on pasture to reduce the uptake by sheep and goats are needed. A reliable delivery of the nematode trapping fungus will address this as well as a better understanding of co-species grazing.

Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the U.S. Department of Agriculture or SARE.