Updates From the World of Livestock & Poultry Research


Guelph poultry prof wins outstanding teaching award

Prof. Gregoy Bédécarrats is the 2017 winner of the Novus Outstanding Teaching Award. He is a professor in poultry science who is actively involved in teaching at the undergraduate and graduate level, as well as research. He's also co-creator of the University of Guelph Poultry Club.

New Board at beef research and promotion organization

A new board of directors for the Canadian Beef Cattle Research, Market Development and Promotion Agency was announced at the organization's annual meeting in Calgary on August 15. Linda Allison of British Columbia was returned as chair. 
AAFC researcher wins beef research and innovation award

Karen Schwartzkopf-Genswein is the winner of the 2017 Canadian Beef Industry Award for Outstanding Research and Innovation. The senior research scientist at Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada specializes in beef cattle health and welfare, including recent revisions to Canadian livestock transport regulations and the Code of Practice for the Care and Handling of Beef Cattle.

University of Manitoba receives funding to expand dairy research

The University of Manitoba's dairy facility at its Glenlea Research Station will be undergoing renovations and receiving new equipment, including a new automated milking system, to expand dairy research and teaching capacity. The expansion has received $1.4 million in funding from the federal and provincial governments. 

New dairy learning centre opens at Lakeland College

The new dairy learning centre at Lakeland College was officially opened on August 22, replacing the old facilities that dated to the 1980s. The 47000 sq ft facility includes both conventional and robotic milking systems. 
Full Article

Ontario Precision Agri-Food (OPAF) selected as one of three global cooperative members.
OPAF has been selected as 1 of 3 global initiatives that the EU's Internet of Food and Farm 2020 (IOF 2020) is aiming to collaborate with.  The Internet of Food and Farm 2020 (IoF2020) is a 30-million-euro initiative within the European Union which will implement a series of large-scale agri-food pilots over the next five years. 

Making news

Quebec-Ontario Cooperation for Agri-Food Research Competition seeks proposals

Proposals for joint Ontario-Quebec projects on climate change are now being accepted through the Quebec-Ontario Cooperation for Agri-Food Research Competition. Priority areas include evaluating climate change impact on soil health and developing best practices, and determining climate change impacts on food processing and food safety. The deadline for letters of intent is September 20. 

Call for beef research proposals opens in Saskatchewan

The Saskatchewan Cattlemen's Association Industry Development Fund has opened its next intake for research project proposals. Deadline is September 29; projects may be one to three years in length.

Call for swine research proposals opens in Ontario

Ontario Pork has announced a call for Letters of Intent (LOI) for swine research projects that focus on the Ontario swine industry.  Highest priority and consideration will be given to research proposals and projects that address issues and questions that are specific to the Ontario pork industry or that will provide benefits specific to Ontario producers. 
Coming events 

Sep 12 - 14, 2017:  Canada's Outdoor Farm Show, Woodstock ON

Sept 18 - 20, 2017: Canadian Centre for Food Integrity, Public Trust Summit, Calgary AB

Sep 19 - 23, 2017: International Plowing Match and Rural Expo, Walton ON

Oct 26 - 27, 2017: Ontario Sheep Convention,

Oct 26, 2107:   Poultry Industry Council annual general meeting, Guelph ON

Oct 30, 2017: Livestock Day with Dr. Temple Grandin, Elmwood ON, 

Nov 3 - 12, 2017 :   Royal Agricultural Winter Fair, Toronto ON

Nov 8, 2017: Poultry Innovations Conference, London ON

Nov 14 - 17, 2017 : Canadian Forage & Grassland Association Conference, Guelph ON, 
Nov 29, 2017:
Eastern Regional Poultry Conference, St. Isidore ON

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Research and Innovation Driving Livestock Sector Success
Research Snapshots 
Poultry: Ventilation shut down a humane depopulation method

North Carolina State University researchers have found ventilation shut down to be a humane way of depopulating caged laying hens. The method's effectiveness can be improved by adding heat or carbon dioxide. Rapid depopulation is critical to containing disease spread during outbreaks of Avian Influenza and other diseases. 

Swine: Controlling PED with Virkon during cold weather

Research by an Iowa State University team has shown that different dilutions of a common industry disinfectant inactivated the Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea virus in swine manure during cold temperatures with short contact times. Both the 1:100 and 1:600 dilution of Virkon S were effective in 2 mm of swine manure at both 4C and -10C. 

Swine: Sow diet during pregnancy affects milk production

How much feed a sow consumes during pregnancy has a direct impact on how much milk she will produce to feed her piglets. A study by Dr. Chantal Farmer of Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada in Sherbrooke indicated that sows often don't produce enough milk to sustain the growth of all their piglets, but feeding dry sows as much as lactating ones can ensure sufficient milk for large litters. 

Swine: Minimizing stress can reduce boar taint risk

Minimizing stress in the barn, during transport and at the processing plant as well as keeping gilts and intact males separate can lower the risk of boar taint in finishing pigs. That's the result of a study completed by the Flemish Research Institute for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food. Researchers found that level of skin lesions on the carcass, lean meat percentage, waiting time at slaughter and the presence of gilts are all directly linked to boar taint.

Swine: Is grass a suitable protein source for organic pig production?

Researchers in Denmark have come together to determine whether grass or clover could serve as a protein source for organic pigs, replacing soybeans in the ration. To ensure digestibility, a technique to extract proteins from these forages has been developed in recent years. If successful, researchers say this could have a positive impact on pig production as well as improving biodiversity and soil carbon content through inclusion of more clover into crop rotations.

Swine: Bursting the bubbles between consumers and farmers

The metaphor of "bubbles" is being used to describe the difference in how farmers and non-farmers perceive livestock production. In Denmark, the producers feel like they are working hard to constantly upgrade and improve animal welfare and continue with existing practices - like castration or tail docking - while supporting research into alternatives. Consumers and activists, meanwhile, believe farmers aren't doing enough and are not serious about actually improving welfare. A new Danish national animal welfare brand is hoping to bridge that gap by documenting the impact of changes, and has the commitment of industry, retail, and animal welfare organizations. 
Beef: Climate change will impact beef industry

The changing climate will not only change the weather but also the Canadian beef industry, according to Dr. Kim Ominski of the University of Manitoba. Shifting rain patterns will impact the length and quality of the grazing season, warmer winter temperatures could result in lower feed bills as cattle don't need as much feed to maintain body weight, and more intense summer heat waves will increase the risk of heat stress in cattle. 

Beef: Newspaper as substitute for straw and other bulky feeds in cattle rations

Newsprint could serve as a roughage substitute for ruminants, according to a study involving beef and dairy cows. It would have a nutritive value approximately equal to chemically-treated roughages, research concluded. Maximum tolerable newsprint levels in cattle rations are eight percent for beef and 20 percent of total ration for dairy. 
Full Article

Dairy: Automatic milking systems make it hard to detect lameness

A University of Guelph study has found that identifying mildly lame cows is more difficult in herds that use automatic milking systems. The study found that cows with a slight but noticeable limp produce an average of 1.6 kg of milk less per day than healthy cows. Herds where manure was scraped from walking alleys more frequently had a lower rate of moderate lameness and of fetching cows. 
Full Article

Dairy: Tool for disease detection could be on farm next year

A hand-held device that can quickly identify ketosis and other metabolic diseases in cows could be available to producers next year. Developed at the University of Guelph, the allergen detector will drastically reduce both cost and time associated with testing cattle for these diseases. Field trials with farmers are now underway and researchers are working with industry to commercialize the tool. 

Sheep: The ewe of the future

The efficient breeding ewe of 2027 will be low, squat and wide - sort of like a brick. According to New Zealand sheep scientist Mark Ferguson, that's the animal that will be most profitable for producers. The drive for maternal efficiency and selection for muscling will result in a smaller mature ewe with a plainer face and smaller, wider frame. 

Aquaculture: A more resilient salmon

Researchers from Memorial University and the University of Prince Edward Island are working on developing more disease-resistant salmon breeding stock and better vaccines to help the industry growth despite higher ocean temperatures. They'll also be identifying biomarkers for stress and disease resistance. 

Whatever next?!? A look at the weird and wacky

Transport by cow manure
A California organic dairy farmer has built the first full-scale electric feed truck, powered by cow manure. The truck's motor is charged with electricity generated from methane produce by the manure. By 2030, methane emissions in California must be 40 per cent below what they were in 2013. 

The pig stomach dry eye solution
Relief could be in sight for contact lens wearers who suffer from dry eyes. Researchers at the Technical University of Munich have discovered a new type of eye lubricant that is based on molecules found in pig stomachs. Most synthetic lubricants on the market today use hyaluronic acid, which doesn't occur naturally in the eye and often need to be reapplied multiple times daily. The natural lubricant offers longer protection with just one application.