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The estimation of parasitic nematode larvae present on pasture is an important tool applied in many epidemiological studies. In the face of climatic changes, there is increased interest in identifying parameters influencing the survival of free-living stages of parasites under different meteorological conditions. In order to predict possible risk factors for grazing livestock, reliable and reproducible methods to assess the density of larvae on pasture are required. A laboratory method for the recovery of strongylid third-stage larvae from herbage samples was developed, standardised and its efficacy assessed in controlled experiments as well as under field conditions. Grass samples free of any nematode larvae were used and inoculated with known numbers of third-stage larvae of Cooperia oncophora in different concentrations. The grass samples were inoculated with larvae over 24 h, followed by soaking for 4 h. The recovery process included washing over sieves and centrifugation of the obtained liquid. The total time required for the recovery process was about 5-7 h (excluding inoculation). Recovery rates range from 68% to 98% and a strong correlation between numbers of larvae added to the grass samples and numbers of larvae that could be recovered was observed (p < 0.001). The new method proved to be reproducible and provides high recovery rates combined with the potential to handle many samples simultaneously in a relatively short time, thus offering high throughput opportunities applicable to field experiments.