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OviCast Sheep Podcast

OviCast is presented by Ciaran Lynch and brings you the latest advice, insights and technical updates for the sheep industry.

Episode 3

Internal parasite control

In this episode we catch up with Dr Orla Keane to discuss the topic of worm control during the mid-season period. We start by identifying the parasites that are encountered during the summer and autumn months and how parasite burden effects lamb performance. Controlling parasite burden has been predominantly reliant on anthelminthic treatment. However as an industry domestically and internationally we face the challenge of anthelminthic resistance where the available products that we depend on have reduced efficacy. During the session Orla describes what resistance is and how it can occur on farm. With a number of studies conducted on this area in recent years Orla discusses the anthelmintic resistance status of the national flock and how it has changed in recent years. She also outlines the potential strategies that could be implemented on farm to prolong the efficacy of the available products such as faecal egg testing and using correct dosing.

Episode 2

Silage feed value

In this episode we catch up with Dr Tim Keady to discuss the production of high feed value grass silage. We start by discussing silage feed value and its impact on animal performance and the benefits that can be gained from improving silage digestibility. We discuss many of the factors that can influence digestibility – including sward heading date, grazing management prior to closing, the negative impact lodging has etc. Tim discusses his views on the pros and cons of wilting and why a rapid wilt is preferable. Tim also comments on the effect of silage chop length for sheep systems. With an increasing quantity of silage being baled from paddocks with heavy covers from the grazing area Tim discusses key management issues. Lastly, Tim offers his views on how to approach silage harvesting in during periods of inclement weather.

Episode 1

INZAC Flock Performance & Grassland management

For the first episode we are in Teagasc Sheep Research Centre in Athenry Co. Galway where we focus on flock performance and grassland management.

We catch up with Dr Fiona McGovern who provides us with some background to the INZAC project currently running in Athenry as well as an update on how the flock has performed this spring. With he challenges of grassland management during May we get the opportunity to discuss grazing management with Dr Philip Creighton. With increased growth rates and a surplus on many farms Philip outlines his tips on how to maintain lamb performance, keeping grass covers on target and fertilizer recommendations for the coming weeks.