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Facial Eczema Risk Bulletin

Welcome to our Facial Eczema Spore Count Bulletin for 2023 – this article will be updated each week, so please revisit to see what the spore count is in your area.

for week ended 24 March 2023
 No. of sites monitored:10836510
Average Spore Count30,00040,00020,00020,00015,00010,000
 Highest Spore Count:215,00065,00050,00055,00050,00050,000
 Lowest Spore Count:05,0000000

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.

The trend this week for most places is down although there are still hot spots occuring. Grass minumum temperatures from the AgResearch monitoring site have been lower than the 12 degrees that spores need to grow, with only Tuesday recording 13.5 degrees.

If you have been tracking spore results on your own property and if you have had several weeks of 20,000sp/gm (e.g. the Moutoa site in Levin) then it’s important to keep zinc in place. Although a one-off hit above 40,000 can affect the liver, several weeks of around 20,000 can result in damage. You may not be seeing this now but it may show later when animals are stressed (e.g. when giving birth).


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.