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Review of research needs for cattle tick control - Phases I and II
This review examines measures to control cattle ticks and evaluates possible control programs using a literature review, a quantitative survey of experts, public submissions, economic modelling and interviews with beef producers and tick control experts. The cost of ticks for the northern beef industry is difficult to quantify, but is estimated at A$170–200m. Southern cattle producers appear to have a greater concern for cattle tick control, probably due to the higher use of Bos taurus cattle. The economic model shows that any strategies used for tick control would have on average five times higher returns for B taurus than B indicus cattle. The use of tick-resistant breeds of cattle is the most valuable means of controlling ticks. Crossbreeding and other methods for the genetic improvement of tropical and temperate breeds, including gene markers, should be used to maximise productivity. The model shows that the eradication of ticks would have the highest Net Present Value of any strategy, but this is not practical due to lack of support from the majority of the industry. Extension materials should be made available to advisers, to assist beef and dairy producers in controlling ticks in the face of decreased government involvement. Acaricide resistance management, while useful for limited application as in the Northern Territory, has low estimated economic returns, and would require extensive regulatory input to be implemented in Queensland. The formation of a peak body for tick control would encourage regular contact between producer groups and governments; this would also assist with the coordination of extension, research and regulatory efforts.
This page was last updated on 12/11/2014
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