Facial Eczema Risk Bulletin

Welcome to our Facial Eczema Spore Count Bulletin for 2023 – this article will be updated each week, so please revisit to see what the spore count is in your area.

Facial Eczema Spore counts 02 Feb 2023










Te Horo











What is a toxic spore level? It is best not to use absolute levels, as stock grazing pasture with spore counts as low as 20,000-40,000 can sustain liver damage. More important considerations are rate of spore count rise, prevailing weather conditions, and grazing intensity at the time. Toxin effects on the liver are cumulative. Play it safe – start prevention as soon as spores are detected.

Spore counts have increased at all sites this week – Foxton has jumped up significantly. We recommend full zinc doses in all areas if you haven’t started yet, whether that be in the water, feed, zinc bolusing or oral drenching. Please refer to the recommendations below for your method of prevention

  • Alpaca – Should all be on zinc pellets. Alpaca are affected by facial eczema at low counts of 10,000.
  • Bolusing or oral drenching (sheep and cattle) – Start bolusing/ Drenching in all areas. Spore counting can be used as a tool to work out when to begin on your property.
  • Water dosing (cattle) – You should now be at full doses. Blood testing is recommended 2 weeks after full doses begin to see if animals are getting enough zinc.
  • Pasture spraying – start now for the areas with spores, this will slow the development of the fungus but must be done before the counts reach 20,000. Pasture needs to be green and growing. Pasture will be safe for 4-6 weeks after.
  • Feeding a crop – crops are generally lower in spore counts. If you have a crop, then saving until counts are a bit higher may be helpful


Click here to open the full report that shows the counts on our sentinel sites.

Click Here for advice on facial eczema prevention.

Spore counts can vary greatly between properties and even between paddocks. We recommend spore counting your own property if you are worried. Talk to the tech team if you have any questions around to how to collect the sample. Spore counting is around $33 per sample, dropping to $26 for multiple samples.

If you have any questions pop into the clinic or give us a call on 06 368 2891 (Extension 1 for the farm team)