With late winter snow and spring rains, pastures rebound from their winter nap to yield fresh forage for herds. But those grass blades can be host to parasites that can ruin cow and calf performance.

Joe Dedrickson, veterinarian and director of Merial Field Veterinary Services, says, “Producers can’t afford to take chances with a health practice such as parasite control.”

Research by Iowa State University (ISU) and others illustrate the value of a good dewormer program. ISU studies show that parasite control tops the list of the most economically rewarding cow-calf pharmaceutical practices. And, not controlling parasites can negatively impact a cattle producer’s breakeven by up about $200/head.

 

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“Merial recognizes that, in a tight economy, it’s difficult to justify input costs if you aren’t sure you are getting enough return. But nothing pays off like parasite control in the spring,” Dedrickson said, in comments during the recent launch of Merial’s new LongRange® (eprinomectin), an extended-release injectible cattle dewormer.

It’s important to consider timing when developing a deworming protocol, he adds. “Controlling parasites at spring turnout is an important cost-effective way to boost calf weaning weights and gain reproductive efficiencies in cowherds,” Dedrickson says.

Since every producer’s situation is unique, he recommends consulting with a veterinarian when developing a deworming strategy. “The time of year when grazing season begins, age and category of the animals, type of operation and grazing history of the pasture are all considerations to discuss,” he says.

 

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