Centramax is a production tool that may help maximise the utilisation of feed offered and alleviate some of the issues faced when parasite challenges are encountered on-farm.

Centramax contains the anthelmintics abamectin and albendazole, along with trace elements selenium and cobalt, all delivered in a continuous mechanism. A major feature of Centramax is killing adult parasites and preventing the establishment of larva for 100 days. This can result in improved appetite in the treated sheep. It also reduces pasture contamination with parasite eggs, which can be an aid for sheep subsequently grazing these pastures as eating infective larvae diminishes the appetite of all animals, consequently reducing milk production in cattle and sheep and potentially lighter lambs at weaning. In situations where the parasite challenge is high, this impact can be significant.

Farmers use capsules at various frequency; regularly, every year or on an occasional basis. Reasons for their use also vary and include removing the effects of a worm burden in susceptible animals, managing a high pasture larval challenge and supplementing a trace element deficiency. The benefits of managing these challenges will be different for each farmer.

Trace element deficiencies of selenium and cobalt are recognised in many regions of New Zealand. Deficiencies in these trace elements and the effect on livestock production and health is well documented with supplementation using a long acting source benefiting both the ewe and lambs.

Current studies are looking at stages of the production cycle to use these products for reasons other than the traditional pre-lamb use. Ewe hoggets and two tooths beginning the winter in higher body weights and body condition can have long term production gains. Treating animals when there is more refugia present could also slow the development of resistance.

An effective parasite management plan incorporates the use of all tools available, including effective drenches. Deciding on a drench that best fits your farming system involves consideration of the parasite population dynamics. Long acting drenches may hasten the development of drench resistance and this is one of the principles of Wormwise®.

Each farm needs their own parasite management plan to manage the risks and to determine the most productive use of these products in the system. There are situations when the use of
long acting drenches is high risk (for example in situations with low refugia) and there are also management factors that can help to manage some of these risks (for example FECRT, primer and exit drenching).