The SCOPS Nematodirus Forecast 2018 ran from April to June and predicted the hatch date for nematodirus based on temperature data from 140 weather stations throughout the UK.
The picture shows a snapshot from the forecast at the peak of the risk season, with orange, red and black dots indicating moderate, high and very high risk areas. The map was updated daily as the situation with nematodirus changed with the weather.
It is the intention of SCOPS to provide the forecast again in 2019.
Nematodirosis is a particularly nasty disease in lambs, causing a high number of mortalities and stunting the growth of many others. It is caused by the Nematodirus battus worm, which has a different lifecycle to other sheep worms. Under certain climatic conditions it can strike very quickly, with little or no warning. The main difference in the lifecycle of Nematodirus battus compared with other parasitic worms is that development to infective larvae takes place within the egg and infection passes from one lamb crop to the next year’s crop. Cold weather delays hatching so when we get a sudden change in temperature it can trigger a mass hatch. If this coincides with the time when lambs are starting to take in significant amounts of grass (over about six weeks old), the result can be devastating.