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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: Sustainable Small Farm and Organic Production Systems for Livestock and Agroforestry

Location: Dale Bumpers Small Farms Research Center

Title: Impact of integrated gastrointestinal parasite management training for U.S. goat and sheep producers

Authors
item Whitley, N -
item Oh, S -
item Lee, S -
item Schoenian, S -
item Kaplan, R -
item Storey, B -
item Terrill, T -
item Mobini, S -
item Burke, Joan
item Miller, J -
item Perdue, M -

Submitted to: Veterinary Parasitology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: September 1, 2013
Publication Date: November 1, 2013
Citation: Whitley, N.C., Oh, S.H., Lee, S.J., Schoenian, S., Kaplan, R.M., Storey, B., Terrill, T.H., Mobini, S., Burke, J.M., Miller, J.E., Perdue, M.A. 2013. Impact of integrated gastrointestinal parasite management training for U.S. goat and sheep producers. Veterinary Parasitology. 200:271-275.

Interpretive Summary: Widespread resistance of gastrointestinal worms to chemical dewormers led to the need for alternative parasite control and the training of producers to control these parasites. Resources are needed in order to implement producer outreach and determine how effective outreach efforts are. Scientists and extension specialists at USDA, ARS in Booneville, AR; North Carolina A&T University; University of Maryland; University of Georgia; Fort Valley State University; and Louisiana State University determined that producers experienced an economic benefit as a result of integrated parasite management training and experienced fewer problems with gastrointestinal worms. This information is important to producers, extension agents, scientists, and granting agencies.

Technical Abstract: The objective of the study was to determine the impact of integrated parasite management (IPM) training, including FAMACHA© eyelid color scoring, on the ability of U.S. sheep and goat producers to control gastrointestinal nematodes (GIN) on their farms. A survey was developed and provided to over 2000 producers trained from 2004-2008 in IPM with questions involving farm size (number of sheep/goats), location (U.S. state), impact of training on parasite control efforts and parasite problems on farm, and IPM practices used. Responses were divided into U.S. Census regions of the U.S. Descriptive statistics and logistic regression were used to describe results. Most of the 729 respondents were from the Southern region of the U.S. (54.3%) and were small-scale producers (50 or less animals; 64.8%). Nearly all of the respondents (95.1%) agreed that IPM workshop attendance made a difference in their ability to control and monitor parasitism in their herd or flock and employed IPM practices to control GIN (96.3%). The most popular practices respondents used were rotational grazing (71.2%), genetic selection (choosing a parasite resistant breed and/or culling susceptible animals; 52.7%), grain supplementation on pasture to improve nutrition (44.0%), and increased height of plants being grazed (41.8%). Although reporting just using practices decreased (P < 0.05) the likelihood of reporting fewer problems, for each 1-point increase in the number of practices which producers employed to control internal parasitism in their herd or flock, they were 16% more likely to report fewer GIN problems (P < 0.05). Approximately 75% of respondents indicated an economic benefit of IPM on their farm (P < 0.05), and those reporting savings of over $80 were more likely to report fewer problems (P < 0.05) with parasites after the training while those reporting no economic benefit were less likely to report fewer problems with GIN (P < 0.001). Overall, IPM training resulted in positive impacts for producers responding to the survey and should continue.

Last Modified: 10/30/2014
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