System Type: 3
Bay of Plenty
Last Update:
20 January 2021

DairyNZ Comment:

20 Jan 2021
  • The Facial Eczema stage of the season is upon us and given the weather pattern that’s been predominating, it’s highly likely that spore counts will rise quite quickly.  Whilst the obvious effects are sunburn, with peeling and sensitive skin, the real damage comes from the 95% of cows that will not show any clinical signs of the liver damage caused by Facial Eczema. 

    What you’ll then start to see is a drop in milk production – even up to 50% with sub-clinical Facial Eczema, restless stock trying to seek shade and them trying to lick sensitive skin, such as their udder.  As the damage progresses, unpigmented skin reddens, thickens and peels.  It is estimated that for every clinical case you see, there’ll be another 10 with sub-clinical effects.

    There is no cure for Facial Eczema, so prevention is the only way to protect our animals.  To be as effective as possible, we need to have prevention measures in place before the spore count level gets too high.  Prevention measures will include monitoring spore count level, then putting in place protection measures in response to the spore count levels.  This will be zinc dosing of grazing animals, spraying pastures with a fungicide, grazing ‘clean’ pastures (these will tend to be crops or non-grass dominant pastures) or increasing grazing height to avoid the stock grazing into the base of the pasture. 

    Every management system to protect against Facial Eczema will have its weaknesses.  For example, we always notice a spike of clinical outbreaks after rainfall events.  This will be due to animals drinking less water during rain events, so we won’t have the cover from dosing the water supply that we expect.  Similarly, protection from fungicide spraying will be negated if rainfall is received.

    Facial Eczema will be an issue for many farms - how big an issue is the unknown.  Having effective prevention measures in place makes good sense.

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  • Date Collected

    20 Jan 2021

  • Soil temp


  • Growth

    31 kgs DM/day

  • APC

    2083 kgs DM/ha

  • Rainfall

    3 mm

  • BCS


  • % in milk

    97 %

  • MS/cow

    1.20 kgs

  • MS/ha

    3.10 kgs

  • MS/ha YTD

    685 kgs

  • Rotation

    31 days

  • MS/cow YTD

    - kgs

  • Nitrogen YTD

    70 kgs/ha

  • Supplements

    4 - 5 kgs/cow/day

  • Supplements YTD

    325 kgs/cow

  • Weight Gain

    - kgs/day

  • Stocking Rate

    3.1 su/ha

  • Crude Protein Level


  • MJME