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Sheep farmers are being warned to act now and take measures against blow fly – with red alerts being sent to farmers in East... Blowfly warning for eastern region sheep farmers

Sheep farmers are being warned to act now and take measures against blow fly – with red alerts being sent to farmers in East Anglia.

Elanco ruminant technical consultant Matthew Colston says farmers should be vigilant and consider a cost-effective preventative treatment to protect flock health and productivity before strike occurs.

Blowfly can cost as much as £184 per breeding ewe. But Mr Colston believes even this figure is an underestimate.  “We recommend protecting your flock by applying an Insect Growth Regulator (IGR) product,” he says.

Blowfly strike can happen very quickly, with 94% of farmers reported to have been taken by surprise at the speed of an outbreak. Treatments are best applied early in the season and forecasts should be checked regularly.

Blowfly Watch alerts can help identify the optimum time to apply a preventive treatment before cases occur, says Mr Colston. Farmers can also report cases of strike on the Elanco Blowfly Tracker to alert other farmers to local cases.

For details, see www.blowflywatch.co.uk