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PDS: New England Wormboss

Did you know MLA has created case studies and webinars to give producers more information about controlling worms in sheep?

Project start date: 15 February 2016
Project end date: 19 September 2019
Publication date: 16 January 2020
Project status: Completed
Livestock species: Sheep, Lamb
Relevant regions: NSW, Cold wet
Download Report (1.1 MB)


Gastrointestinal worms, in particular barber's pole worms, are the number one animal health issue for sheep producers in the New England region of New South Wales. Worm control is a complex task and producers often find some current practices challenging, especially in areas affected by drought.

This Producer Demonstration Sites (PDS) project assisted a group of New England producers to implement the WormBoss worm control program. The producers were supported by workshops, webinars and other communications materials, to extend the results and encourage wider adoption by industry.

The trials showed the value of testing the method of administering WormBoss medication (DrenchTests) and the efficacy of combination treatments. Most of the 235 producers who attended the workshops intend to implement the WormBoss worm control program into their practices.


The primary objective of the project was to increase producer awareness of WormBoss and encourage them to implement the program to realise benefits such as:

  • decreased ewe and lamb mortality caused by worms
  • decreased production loss from worms
  • reduced labour requirements for worm control.

Key findings

  • Six WormBoss workshops were attended by 235 producers, who represented 148 different businesses.
  • Pre and post-workshop surveys demonstrated producers' confidence to successfully implement the WormBoss program increased by 15% as a result of workshop attendance. Overall knowledge of worm control also increased by 36%.
  • Analysis of DrenchTest results indicated that producers need to test the efficacy of just using single actives in the medication and then use this information to calculate the efficacy of combination treatments.
  • Five WormBoss webinars and five case studies were produced during the project for ongoing training to industry.

Benefits to industry

Producers who implemented the WormBoss program gained immediate benefits through reduced productivity losses and increased animal welfare. The information resources produced throughout the project, and the considerable insights gained about adoption, will continue to be used to promote the WormBoss practices to industry.

MLA action

MLA is developing a communications strategy for PDS, to regularly update the industry on the benefits and opportunities available to producers arising from PDS projects.

Future research

This project highlights the need to continue to address the low adoption rate of DrenchTests, as well continue to promote good grazing management practices as an alternative or addition to chemical worm control.

More industry resources are required to suit the different learning styles of producers and assist workshop coordinators.

More information

Contact email:
Primary researcher: University of New England