HOW TO: Take a grass sample for spore counting to monitor for Facial Eczema
Monitor farm spore counts: when regional spore counts reach 20,000 spores/g of pasture begin to monitor farm spore counts.
Choose 4 paddocks that are representative of your farm and monitor.
Tips for predicting the most susceptible paddocks for spore counting:
- Spore counts on north and west-facing slopes are usually higher than east and south-facing slopes.
- Paddocks with a lot of pasture litter and those that are well sheltered often have higher counts.
To assess the facial eczema spore count risk:
- Select a paddock that you wish to monitor.
- Cut a handful of grass with scissors or a knife, at 1cm above the ground level.
- Repeat the procedure at least 10 times, from random areas at least 10 metres apart in the paddock.
- Avoid parts of the paddock sheltered by trees and hedges and contaminating samples with soil and roots.
- Collect the sample in a clean plastic or paper bag, need 100g of grass (one bread bag full).
- Store in the fridge until taken to your local Franklin Vets clinic.
- Repeat sampling weekly in the same paddock, and take samples on the same path across the paddock.