Merial's new website, www.TruthAboutDeworming.com gives beef producers immediate evaluations of their current deworming protocols.
This digital deworming tool evaluates a herd's parasite load and the impact of that on overall herd health.
It is simple to use. First, the tool will ask questions such as herd size, pasture turn-out plans, region of the country where the cattle are located and products currently used for parasite management.
It then asks detailed questions about which products will be used to treat parasites and when those treatments are scheduled.
After inputting this information, the digital deworming tool predicts the overall health of a herd as it relates to parasitism. The analysis includes critical parasite load estimates and a corresponding herd health evaluation.
Beef producers can then use that information to evaluate herd productivity and steps they can take to improve deworming protocols.
"It's important for producers to implement a parasite control program that allows for the best body condition, reproductive ability and weaning weights," says Steve Vandeberg, director of endectocide marketing for Merial.
Vandeberg says it only takes a few minutes at the computer to help determine an effective protocol. All that's left from that point is to implement the strategy.
Untreated internal parasites can negatively impact the immune system of beef cattle and can reduce appetite and nutritional efficiency. They can also reduce weaning weights, lower conception rates, alter carcass composition and decrease milk production, Vandeberg adds.
Treating beef cattle for parasites often gives beef producers the greatest economic return of any management practice, Vandeberg says. An Iowa State University study in 2007 showed at that time and those prices deworming had a value of up to $200 per head for cow-calf operations, $25 per head for stocker-backgrounders, and $35 per head for cattle feeders.
Besides the digital deworming tool, Merial's new website also features information about the impact of parasites, the type of parasites commonly found in beef and dairy herds, and common deworming misconceptions.
Merial says the Digital Dewormer is a simulation and that actual results from deworming practices may vary.