Rain Problems For Cattle Producers

By: Joe Brown
By: Joe Brown

“These cow herds that are grazing some contaminated pastures, meaning those pastures are over-stocked. We recognize that because the grass isn’t growing like it needs to be because we’ve got too many cattle on that given acres. And then their body condition is dropping off. There’s plenty of manure there, so we could expect some brown stomach worm eggs being passed in that manure, the rains washing them out, larvae in the pasture.”

Buddy Faries is an extension veterinarian and professor, and says that nursing calves are also grazing the contaminated grass.

“Those larvae won’t mature immediately. They’re going to become inhibited in the lining of the stomach and will emerge then after August, more like in September and that will cause a tremendous amount of damage.”

Cattle that have grazed contaminated grass need to be wormed sometime before September. Pastures in creek and river bottoms are exposed to another problem.

“Those cattle have been out there in that water. We’ve had conditions suitable for transmission of liver flukes, and that started back in the April time when the snails came out, and the eggs hatched in the water, and these nursing calves are now grazing that low land area and picking up liver fluke larvae.”

Liver fluke larvae migrate to the liver, but won’t be susceptible to de-wormers until they mature.

“And that will be after September, so those places that’s got brown stomach worms will be worming these calves before September, but they’ve got to worm them again after September, more likely October, maybe as late as November, for liver flukes.”

So after two years of severe drought with little forage being produced to feed cattle, the drought is broken only to present beef producers with a completely different set of problems. The battle continues between agricultural producers and Mother Nature. I’m Joe brown, looking at Brazos Valley agriculture, From the Ground Up.

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