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Staggers and Stumbles

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08 December 2020

Already we have seen a lot of chaos from calves and cows with “staggers”. Ryegrass staggers is a nervous disease caused by grazing endophyte infected ryegrass. It is not to be confused with “grass staggers”, which is caused by magnesium deficiency. Endophyte is a fungus which protects the plant from attack from pests (giving them a production advantage), however, the fungus also produces a toxin, which when ingested, causes cows to lose their balance.

Controlling the disease can be frustrating - apart from grazing only endophyte-free grass, there has been little that can be done. However, there is a product called Fusion DYAD which binds toxins and reduces or stops staggers. It is fed daily in feed as a preventative but can begin to work almost immediately when used as a treatment. Other grazing strategies such as avoiding hard grazing, feeding supplement and avoid feeding spoiled silage can also help mitigate toxin ingestion.

If you would like to integrate Fusion into your herd, talk to your vet for more information.

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