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Biological control of intestinal parasites
A NEW Australian prod- uct on the cutting edge of scientific innovation could become a billion- dollar game-changer on a global scale for ag- riculture by eliminating the losses graziers face from intestinal parasites.
BioWorma is a biologi- cal worm control product that saves graziers time and money, both through limiting stock losses and also reducing the need for chemical drenches for pigs, cattle, sheep, goats and horses.
BioWorma uses a natural strain of fun- gus – duddingtonia fla- grans – which seeks out and traps the larvae of parasites such as barber’s pole worms, brown stom- ach worms, black scour worms and threadworms.
It acts by substantially reducing the numbers of
infective worm larvae (including multi-resistant larvae) emerging from manure onto pasture.
When fed to animals, the thick-walled spores remain inert (having no effect within the host ani- mal) and resist digestion, passing through into the manure.
There they germinate and form trapping organs that capture, paralyse and consume emerging infec- tive worm larvae (includ- ing multi-resistant larvae).
The spores are safe, non- toxic and residue-free.
Head of International Animal Health Products Chris Lawlor said it is us- ing nature to fight nature, rather than chemicals to fight nature.
BioWorma is the result of over 20 years of pains- taking scientific study and innovation, creating
a product that is the first of its kind, anywhere in the world.
Drenches currently used to fight intestinal para- sites will be supported by BioWorma in reducing re- infestation onto pasture.
Mr Lawlor said Bio- Worma was in a class of its own.
“It does more than just barber’s pole, and it does more than just sheep... it’s in a new class,” he said.
Mr Lawlor was first con- tacted about developing a fungal product to combat worms all the way back in 1997 by the CSIRO.
The idea immediately appealed to him as an op- portunity for Australian agriculture to be ahead of the curve.
“Globally, the losses from parasites would be a billion dollars or more... so I didn’t want to see this get developed overseas and then see Australian farmers having to buy it back,” he said.
“It was something that had never been done be- fore, so there was no rule book.”
The next two decades in- volved 19 trials and three different safety studies, testing for everything
from environmental ef- fects, toxicology and resi- dues through to the simple questions of how to har- vest thousands of tonnes of duddingtonia flagrans spores, and how to feed it to the livestock in a known dosage to then test the manure for the num- ber of larvae remaining.
Mr Lawlor said there was rigorous testing to make sure the product was safe for farmers to handle, as well as safe for the livestock, the environ- ment and even for earth- worms and dung beetles in the soil.
Given that BioWorma works through interrupt- ing the crucial re-infesta- tion stage of the parasites’ life cycle and reducing the amount of re-infec- tion from contaminated pasture, Mr Lawlor said it works best when the livestock are moved onto fresh pasture.
“The product works par- ticularly well within a ro- tational grazing system.”
BioWorma is about to be approved for sale in Aus- tralia and New Zealand, and Mr Lawlor said it will be available in the US shortly and Europe within the next year or two.
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Aussie farming jobs to boom by 2024
IT’S a great time to train for a career in agricul- ture, according to a study by the National Centre for Vocational Education Research.
Minister for Agriculture David Littleproud wel- comed the findings, which list managerial jobs, in- cluding farm managers, as the sector that will have the second-most number of job openings by 2024 – 10,100 per year or almost 81,000 total.
“The future looks bright for a job in agriculture,” Minister Littleproud said.
“Famers are the back- bone of our regional com- munities, supporting local jobs and the social fabric of our towns.
“As farming gets more mechanised, so will the associated jobs.
“People with IT exper- tise, business savvy and specialised skills will be more and more in demand in and around farms.
“Farmers have always
been natural innovators, and advances in sci- ence, drones and smart devices are now playing key roles in making our farms more efficient and profitable.
“The good news is in- novation and technology look set to create more jobs on our farms, not less.”
The Government is working with industry to ensure full advantage is taken of these job oppor- tunities, investing in re- search and development to improve farmgate pro- ductivity and profitability.
“Through our free-trade agreements we are also opening up new markets for our produce, creating more jobs and helping to lift our agriculture sec- tor towards being a $100 billion industry by 2030,” Minister Littleproud said.
The National Centre for Vocational Education Re- search report can be ac- cessed at
Page 10 – Australian Pork Newspaper, June 2018

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