Timing of animal husbandry practices and treatments have a major impact on the flystrike risk, but weighing up the impact from each and the best time to do them can be a daunting task. However, FlyBoss Tools make the job fast and easy.
The two FlyBoss Tools that allow you to optimise your management and treatment strategies use your local long-term average weather data to calculate the risk of flystrike across the year. Results are displayed in a simple graph, and when each management practice (shearing, crutching and chemical treatment) is applied, the tool calculates any reduced flystrike risk and changes the graph accordingly.
The tools are extremely simple to use; they operate directly from the FlyBoss website, so there is nothing to download. After choosing your location from a map, your weather data will automatically be used. You simply select the month and week when you shear and crutch (with two crutchings allowed), and choose the type of chemical treatment you plan to use (two lots of preventative treatment can be included).
The Compare Management Tool allows you to view two systems simultaneously. Typically, you would select the timing of your current management in one column and changes to timing in the second column. Two graphs are presented, superimposed on one another, showing the different levels of flystrike risk from your two chosen scenarios (see example below).
Figure 1. An example of a graph from the Compare Management Tool that shows the flystrike risk associated with two management options superimposed.
The Optimise Treatment Tool allows has the same inputs as the Compare Management Tool, however, the graph shows risk from body strike, breech strike and other strike separately.
Also, once you have made your selections, this tool attempts to optimise the timing of the chemical treatments (shearing and crutching times remain the same), so that you gain the most reduction in flystrike risk from those treatments.
FlyBoss also shares two other tools with LiceBoss. A Products Tool allows producers to check products available for control of flystrike (or lice), active ingredients, method of application, withhold periods, and approximate costs.
The WoolRes Tool estimates the pesticide residue levels caused by lice or flystrike treatments.
To use the FlyBoss tools go to: www.flyboss.com.au and choose FlyBoss Tools from the main menu.
The FlyBoss Tools were developed by Brian Horton, University of Tasmania.