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Facial Eczema Risk Bulletin

Welcome to our Facial Eczema Spore Count Bulletin for 2024 – this article will be updated each week, so please revisit to see what the spore count is in your area.

What is a toxic spore level? It is best not to use absolute levels, as stock grazing pasture with spore counts as low as 20,000-40,000 can sustain liver damage. More important considerations are rate of spore count rise, prevailing weather conditions, and grazing intensity at the time. Toxin effects on the liver are cumulative. Play it safe – start prevention as soon as spores are detected.

for week ended 29 February 2024
 No. of sites monitored:9637  5  10
Average Spore Count10,00020,00005,0005,00040,000
 Highest Spore Count:50,00070,00005,0005,000245,000
 Lowest Spore Count:000000

Spore count results are similar to last week. Some regions have had rainfall that will impact spore growth. A non-sentinel farm in the Kelvin Grove area recorded 25,000 this week. This paddock is more protected than our sentinel farm which came in at 0. The Okuku South sentinel farm had two samples this week with the regular paddock recording 5,000 and a new paddock 70,000. This shows that the risk can be hidden if you have paddocks that are quite different in their topography and you only sample a more exposed paddock.

Paddocks that are at the highest risk of spore growth are: north/north-east facing and/or sheltered, especially on south/southeast boundaries, ryegrass dominant, have a high litter load, (topped, hay aftermath, laxly grazed, summer stalky).

Click here to open the full report that shows the counts on our sentinel sites.

Click here for advice on facial eczema prevention.

Spore counts can vary greatly between properties and even between paddocks. We encourage farmers to bring in grass samples to get a more accurate idea of the facial eczema risk on their own property. Contact us if you would like more information on bringing in your own samples for testing.