Show Notes

This week on the podcast we have Cara Brosnahan from Beef and Lamb NZ (B+LNZ) discussing the latest research being done to gauge the prevalence and impact of facial eczema (FE) in New Zealand.

As the global climate shifts, the disease is migrating further southward, causing new challenges for regions and livestock previously unaffected. B+LNZ are trying to understand the spread and severity of the disease, with the aim of devising effective strategies to manage it.

North Island farmers will be very familiar with what FE is - for those that aren't, sheep and cattle consume a toxin known as sporidesmin, produced by a fungus living in the pasture, which causes liver damage and subsequent photosensitivity, resulting in the clinical sign of facial eczema. Subclinical signs of the disease can lead to significant liver damage, reduced production, fertility issues and - in dairy cattle - a drop in milk production.

B+LNZ's three-year research endeavour aims to enhance understanding of the prevalence of facial eczema in New Zealand and the impacts on livestock in both the North and South Islands of New Zealand.

B+LNZ need 350 dedicated farmers (with 22 participants from each of the 16 regions across New Zealand) to gather samples between October and May for three consecutive years. The objective is to obtain a comprehensive nationwide understanding of facial eczema, regardless of previous farm exposure to the condition.

B+LNZ will provide sampling kits and cover the cost of shipping samples to the laboratory. Study participants will be responsible for collecting samples from the ground, approximately every two weeks, amounting to 16 collections from their flock of sheep each year during the research period.

Farmers interested in participating in the facial eczema research study can express their willingness to participate by registering their details below.

Head Shepherd is brought to you by neXtgen Agri International Limited, we help livestock farmers get the most out of the genetics they farm with. Get in touch with us if you would like to hear more about how we can help you do what you do best -

Thanks to our sponsors at MSD Animal Health and Allflex, and Heiniger Australia and New Zealand.

These companies are leaders in their respective fields and it is a privilege to have them supporting the Head Shepherd Podcast. Please consider them when making product choices, as they are instrumental in enabling us to bring you this podcast each week.

Check out Heiniger's product range HERE
Check out the MSD range HERE
Check out Allflex products HERE

Comments & Upvotes

Listen On