Updates From the World of Livestock & Poultry Research


2018 Rockefeller Prentice Award winner named
World-renowned animal geneticist Dr. Filippo Miglior has been awarded the 2018 Rockefeller Prentice Award in animal genetics, awarded by the American Society of Animal Science. Miglior has dedicated his career to the global dairy industry, and is Chief, Research and Strategic Development at the Canadian Dairy Network, and an adjunct professor at the University of Guelph.

U of G prof wins 2018 J.L. Lush Award
Flavio Schenkel, a University of Guelph professor in animal biosciences, has received the prestigious J.L. Lush Award in Animal Breeding, awarded annually by the American Dairy Science Association. Schenkel is currently leading research projects on breeding livestock for climate change resilience as part of the Canada First Research Excellence Fund (CFREF) Food from Thought Project. 
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Latest beef researcher mentorship participants announced
The Canadian Beef Research Council has chosen four researchers - who are each paired with two notable mentors in the beef industry - as part of its 2018-2019 beef research mentorship program. Researchers Dr. Julian Banard with Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Dr. Diego Moya from the University of Saskatchewan, and University of Calgary's  Dr. Dongyan Niu and
Dr. Gabriel Ribeiro will have the opportunity to engage with the greater beef industry through this program.

Calgary researcher receives top beef industry award
Dr. Eugene Janzen was recently recognized with the 2018 Canadian Beef Industry Award for Outstanding Research and Innovation. A leader in beef production and medicine, Janzen is a professor and researcher at the University of Calgary College of Veterinary Medicine.
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  Making News

Canada tops global report card for welfare and disease control
The World Organization for Animal Health recently published its assessment of Canada's veterinary standards, focusing on animal welfare and disease control. Canada scored tops marks overall, meeting the highest standards in 35 of 45 areas.

Food companies form global welfare coalition
Seven multinational food companies have set up the Global Coalition for Animal Welfare to advance standards in the food supply chain and accelerate the development of higher welfare standards. The participants include Unilever, Nestle, Aramark, Compass and Sodexo.

New U.S. National Nnstitute for Microbial Resistance
The University of Nebraska-Lincoln is leading a new national institute to address the growing global health concern of microbial resistance. An estimated two million people are sickened from bacteria resistant to antibiotics every year in the U.S. The initiative also includes Iowa State University, the University of Nebraska Medical Center and the University of Iowa.

  LRIC Update
Calls for Letters of Intent for Pork Research Currently Open Until October 25th.

Details on open calls for research proposals are available online. Log into LRIC's research management system by clicking here

Any questions can be directed to

Coming events 

Sep 11-13, 2018: Canada's Outdoor Farm Show, Woodstock ON,

Sep 15 - 18, 2018: Allen D. Leman swine conference, St Paul MN,

Sep 18 - 22, 2018: International Plowing Match and Rural Expo, Pain Court ON,

Sep 19, 2018: Shakespeare Swine Seminar, Stratford ON,

Sep 19 - 20, 2018: Canadian Roundtable for Sustainable Beef, Calgary AB,

Sep 19 - 20, 2018:
Dairy Cattle Improvement Industry Forum and Canadian Dairy Network annual meeting, Vaudreuil-Dorion QC,

Oct 2 - 6, 2018: World Dairy Expo, Madison WI,

Oct 10 - 11, 2018: Alberta Livestock Expo, Lethbridge AB,

Oct 30, 2018 : Managing the gut for health and productivity, LRIC and Arrell Food Institute, Guelph ON,

Nov 1 - 2, 2018: Ontario Sheep Convention, Alliston ON,

Nov 2 - 11, 2018: Royal Agricultural Winter Fair, Toronto ON,   

Nov 13, 2018: Atlantic Poultry Conference, Wolfville NS,

Nov 13 - 16, 2018: Euro Tier 2018, Hanover, Germany,

Nov 21, 2018: PIC Eastern Regional Poultry Conference, St Isidore ON,

Dec 4, 2018: Group sow housing and management seminar, Stratford ON,

Jan 8 - 10, 2019: Banff Pork Seminar, Banff AB,

Feb 20 - 22, 2019: Alberta Beef Industry Conference, Red Deer AB,

Apr 3 - 4, 2019: National Poultry Show, London ON,

Apr 3 - 4, 2019: Canadian Dairy XPO, Stratford ON,

Jun 19 - 10, 2019: Ontario Pork Congress, Stratford ON,

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Research Snapshots 

Alternative protein: Eating insects is good for gut health
A new study at the University of Wisconsin found that eating insects benefits the human microbiome. Consuming crickets can help support the growth of beneficial gut bacteria, is safe at high doses and may also reduce inflammation in the body. The research may hold promise for promoting gut health in livestock.

Alternative protein: Labelling lab-grown meat
The U.S. Cattlemen's Association is calling on Congress to enforce truthful labelling in lab-grown meat to avoid confusing consumers. The call comes after seven U.S. meat organizations sent a letter to President Trump requesting the USDA be the only regulator for lab-grown meat.

Antimicrobial use: Resistant gut bacteria linked to antibiotic use
An international study analyzing gut bacteria in broilers and pigs found that levels of antimicrobial resistance in gut bacteria are linked to antibiotic usage. The study, including nine European countries, also found the quantity and type of resistance genes in the intestinal tract differed by the type of animal and country.

Antimicrobial use: New rapid detection method for resistant bacteria
University of Minnesota researchers have identified a method to screen and identify harmful or antibiotic-resistant bacteria within an hour by using a portable luminometer. The new method was designed for the food industry and could also be used in healthcare settings.

Smart farming: New tool monitors conditions during pig transport
Many experts believe animal welfare is most at risk during transportation, and a new tool helps monitor conditions and rapidly respond to changing conditions. The patented, Canadian real-time alert system is being launched by the makers of Be Seen, Be Safe - a geo-fencing, real-time farm visitor tracking and outbreak security control system.

Nutrient management: Expanding the use of a mulch-manure mix in Nebraska
An on-farm research project at the University of Nebraska is continuing to study the value of using a manure-mulch mixture to improve soil characteristics. The research could provide a market for the woody biomass generated during tree management when wood chips are mixed with manure prior to applying it to field. Previous work by the team showed the mixture did not negatively impact crop productivity.

Feed: Wheat genome sequencing complete
An international consortium has completed sequencing the wheat genome - accelerating innovation in breeding resilient and disease-resistant crops to help feed a growing global population. The sequencing paves the way for faster production of wheat varieties adapted to climate change with higher yield, enhanced nutritional quality and improved sustainability.

Poultry: New AI surveillance tests wetland sediment
A group of Canadian researchers have tested a new gene mapping method to detect avian influenza (AI). Using samples from wetland areas where wild birds congregate - and potentially shed AI virus in their feces - the researchers had a 24% rate of detection of the virus, compared to less than 1% rate using established methods.
Full Article

Poultry: UV light improves broiler behaviour and performance
Providing natural UV light to broiler barns enriched the birds' environment, reduced their fear response and increased feed consumption, according to new research at the University of Maryland. Ultraviolet (UV) light is part of natural light, which birds use for social cues and for feeding.

Poultry: Canada leads with lowest carbon footprint
Canadian chicken has one of the lowest carbon footprints in the world, according to a recent survey measuring the environmental and social performance of Canada's chicken sector from hatching egg to processor . In the last 40 years, the sector has reduced its carbon footprint by 37% and water consumption by 45%. More than 60% of the entire sector's energy use comes from renewable sources.                                     

Swine: Looking into high sow cull rates
A U.S. researcher believes vitamin inadequacies may be behind high sow cull rates and the 55-65% replacement rates in North American sow herds. An estimated 85% of cull sows inspected at a packing plant had at least one foot lesion. Without optimal nutrition, sows can develop foot and back problems that can lead to reproductive issues and culling.

Swine: Autogenous vaccination can reduce EE outbreaks
Belgian researchers have discovered that autogenous vaccination is a good method to control exudative epidermitis (EE) in weaner pigs. The study involved a 1,000-sow herd with a history of EE outbreaks in the nursery period, and found autogenous vaccination reduced the need for antimicrobials, and reduced morbidity and mortality rates in weaned pigs.

Swine: Flies are vector for PED virus
Fly control has become more important than ever in hog operations after a new study found that even a few flies are able to infect pigs with porcine epidemic diarrhea virus (PEDV). This new research shows flies pose a year-round risk for disease transmission.

Beef: New real-time strategy for managing FMD
Researchers at the University of Warwick have developed a new real-time strategy to more quickly and efficiently combat foot-and-mouth disease. The strategy determines the best approach using information available in the middle of an outbreak, unlike most mathematical models that look back to previous outbreaks and make calculations based on all the information from the whole episode.
Full Article

Beef: Precision ranching approach improves bottom line
Economists have found that changing three beef production factors by just 5% can make a tremendous impact on the bottom line. Monitoring and managing productivity, price and input costs can significantly increase competitiveness by ensuring that valuable, incremental opportunities are not ignored.
Full Article

Dairy: New funding for California dairy digesters
The California Department of Food and Agriculture has awarded nearly $70 million in funding to 40 dairy digesters across the state. Digesters help capture methane emissions - used to produce electricity of natural gas - and reduce greenhouse gas emissions from California dairy farms.

Dairy: Nutrition is key for transition cows
Nutritional management of cows during the transition period can have a substantial impact on reproductive success. That's the finding of a large literature review that looked at 118 diets contained within 39 experiments to see the effect of nutritional interventions fed during the early postpartum period.

Aquaculture: Acidic oceans impact fish survival
Rising levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere are impacting the sense of smell of fish, according to a new study at the University of Exeter. Oceans become more acidic as they absorb carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, and then reduce the ability of fish to smell to find food, safe habitats, avoid predators and find suitable spawning grounds.

Aquaculture: Young salmon jump to delouse
Research at Simon Fraser University provides experimental proof that fish jump, in part, to remove external parasites. Studying wild sockeye salmon, the team found that young sockeye that were allowed to leap had an average of 22% fewer sea lice at the end of the experiment, compared to those prevented from jumping.
Full Article

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

Pigs can pick their pals
Pigs may be able to form social preferences, according to new research from the Czech Republic and Brazil. Researchers found that pigs form non-random associations - mainly determined by factors other than gender, relatedness and dominance. Understanding how they pick their pals might be a way to ensure better welfare in pigs. Additional research will focus on drivers such as personality.