Facial eczema (FE) is a challenge for many New Zealand farmers. Affected cattle can suffer with skin irritation and peeling, internal damage to the liver and other organs, and it sometimes results in death. FE also leads to a drop in milk production.
For farmers in regions prone to FE, it can be extremely frustrating – but genetics can offer a long-term solution, as one Taranaki farmer found out.
“We are highly prone to facial eczema here in North Taranaki,” says farmer Gary Phillips, who, together with wife Melynda, runs an organic dairy farm at Urenui, in North…read more ›
The facial eczema (FE) outbreak this season is a wake-up call.
Many farming in ‘safe’ areas have had a rude shock; even if they did implement prevention systems after FE became evident, they will have been too late as these systems must be in place before a facial eczema challenge.
Sheep farmers have utilised genetics as a tool to prevent FE for 30 years. In that time, AgResearch’s Ramguard service has been providing the sporidesmin toxin responsible for FE to ram breeders who annually challenge their ram hoggets for tolerance. Some of these breeders are now usin…read more ›
New Zealand dairy farmers must act now and use the right targeted genetics to breed cattle that are more resilient to facial eczema.
That’s the message from CRV Ambreed’s research and development manager Phil Beatson who believes the dairy industry could learn a great deal from the sheep industry to successfully increase tolerance this debilitating disease long-term.
Facial eczema (FE) is not only harmful for animals, but also incredibly stressful for farmers when their stock is affected.
It is caused by a toxin (sporisdesim) produced by the spores of the fung…read more ›