The seasonal population trends of cattle nematodes in tracer calves are described from 1981 to 1987. Successive worm-free calves were grazed with growing beef cattle for 20-30 days at 6 week intervals and then slaughtered for nematode counts 2 weeks after their removal from pasture. Ostertagia, Cooperia, Trichostrongylus and Haemonchus were the main genera recovered. O. ostertagi was the most often found and acquisition of inhibition-prone larvae began in late winter and reached a peak in spring, while maximum larval availability was in autumn. The seasonal inhibition and larval availability pattern for T. axei was similar to that of Ostertagia. Cooperia showed greatest inhibition during winter with maximum larval availability in autumn and spring. Haemonchus was more prevalent during summer to early autumn and no inhibition was observed. It was concluded that infective larval availability for tracer calves was highest during autumn, and most reduced in summer. All predominant species were able to survive over summer on pasture.