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Facial Eczema Risk Bulletin

Welcome to our Facial Eczema Spore Count Bulletin for 2024 – this article will be updated each week, so please revisit to see what the spore count is in your area.

for week ended 23 February 2024
Feilding Awapuni Dannevirke Pahiatua Levin
No. of sites monitored:138289
Average Spore Count10,0000015,00050,000
Highest Spore Count:40,0005,0000110,000310,000
 Lowest Spore Count:00000
Facial Eczema Risk RatingLOWLOWLOWLOWHIGH

What is a toxic spore level? It is best not to use absolute levels, as stock grazing pasture with spore counts as low as 20,000-40,000 can sustain liver damage. More important considerations are rate of spore count rise, prevailing weather conditions, and grazing intensity at the time. Toxin effects on the liver are cumulative. Play it safe – start prevention as soon as spores are detected.

Spore counts are low in most areas with a few hot spots. It is important to remember to use these spore counts as a guideline only. Spore levels can be different from paddock to paddock, so it is important to bring in a grass sample to check to see if you should be administering zinc protection.

If you are using pasture spray for protection remember that you need to apply this before spore counts rise. If we get a bit of rain and temperatures are warm we could see a fungal bloom in areas that have otherwise been low.

To be sure about what’s happening on your farm bring us in some grass and we can assess this for you. Spore counting is $33 (incl GST) per sample, dropping to $26 for multiple samples. 

Click here to open the full report that shows the counts on our sentinel sites.

Click here for advice on facial eczema prevention.

Click here for instructions on how to cut grass.

Spore counts can vary greatly between properties and even between paddocks.  We encourage farmers to bring in grass samples to get a more accurate idea of the facial eczema risk on their own property.  Contact us if you would like more information on bringing in your own samples for testing.

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