Workshop on Parasite Control Through On-Farm Fecal Studies

1998 Annual Report for FS98-071

Project Type: Farmer/Rancher
Funds awarded in 1998: $6,545.00
Projected End Date: 12/31/2000
Region: Southern
State: North Carolina
Principal Investigator:

Workshop on Parasite Control Through On-Farm Fecal Studies


Among livestock farmers, the inexperienced and the experienced often share a lack of specific knowledge about the parasites of their animals. This is, in part, because they lack the means of evaluating the level of parasitism and the type of parasites that plague their animals. Because parasitism is a serious problem in the south, this lack of knowledge can lead to decreased profits due to animal losses, wasted feed, excessive chemical/veterinary interventions, lower reproductive and survival rates, lower market weights, decreased performance and overall lower quality of products. Additionally, as a result of parasite resistance to increasingly toxic anthelmintics, increased chemical use is required.

The use of on-the-farm fecal studies and knowledge of how to interrupt the life-cycle of parasites is of primary importance. Identifying and quantifying the parasites through fecal studies is a critical step. Knowledge of the life cycle of parasites, management of all resources to interrupt that life-cycle and interventions that are strategically planned for maximum benefit are a multi-pronged approach used in this SSARE Producer Grant project.

Susan Gladin and Linda Phillips conducted workshops to teach farmers how to conduct fecal studies which can save the cost of veterinary services to perform the same tests. Lower costs mean farmers can perform more frequent studies which will allow better control and more effective parasite intervention. They taught the flotation method because it is the one most commonly used by veterinarians. This allows the growers who use results from the method they learn to compare them with the results of previous tests conducted by veterinarians. Gladin and Phillips conducted workshops in North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Tennessee, Kentucky, Virginia, Arkansas, Maryland and Idaho. Workshop participants were enthusiastic about what they learned. Using the format they developed with their SARE Producer Grant, Gladin and Phillips are continuing to offer workshops to growers.