Updates From the World of Livestock & Poultry Research


Duo's produce sanitizer wins agri-food innovation award

U of G food scientist Prof. Keith Warriner and Paul Moyer of Moyer Apple Products in Beamsville, ON received a Leaders in Innovation award as part of the 11th annual Premier's Awards for Agri-Food Innovation Excellence. The pair developed a new way to decontaminate produce to reduce health risks and increase shelf life.

University of Saskatchewan researchers receive innovation grants from Microsoft

Computer scientists Ian Stavness and Tony Kusalik were both awarded grants that including using new Microsoft technology to improve plant breeding, with new ways to analyze plants and identify traits for plant growth, healthy, resilience and yield.

  Making News
New Zealand dairy cows break production records

Dairy cows are producing more milk than ever before in New Zealand herds, with an average of 4,259 litres in a year per cow. The trend of increased production per cow indicates farmers are opting for animals that are more efficient converters of grass into milk.

BMW using biowaste to power car plants

In its South African plant, BMW gets about one quarter of its energy from a nearby biogas plant that uses cow and chicken manure to generate power. One of its U.S. plants draws energy from methane gas pulled in from an area landfill. 

  LRIC Update
Calls for Proposals Currently Open

Details and Letters of Intents are available by  clicking here

Note: Poultry Letters of Intents are accepted on-line year-round.  A response on a letter of intent can normally be expected within 6 - 8 weeks from submission.

Any questions can be directed to

Coming events 

Jan 20, 2018: Farm Smart & Beef Symposium, Guelph ON, 

Jan 21 - 24, 2018: Dairy Forum 2018, Palm Desert CA,

Jan 25, 2018: Eastern Regional Poultry Conference, St. Isidore ON,

Jan 25 - 27, 2018: Pacific Agriculture Show, Abbotsford BC,

Jan 29 - 30, 2018: International Poultry Scientific Forum, Atlanta GA, 

Jan 30 - 31, 2018: Precision Agriculture Conference, London ON,

Jan 30 - Feb 1, 2018: International Production & Processing Expo, Atlanta GA,

Feb 8, 2018: BIO Annual General Meeting, Elora ON, 

Feb 9, 2018: Dairy Research Symposium, Ottawa ON,

Feb 13 - 14, 2018: Ontario Soil & Crop Improvement Association Annual General Meeting, London ON,

Feb 21 - 22, 2018: Beef Farmers of Ontario Annual Meeting, Toronto ON,

Feb 26, 2018: Western Poultry Conference, Red Deer AB, 

Feb 27 - 28, 2018: Innovative Farmers Association of Ontario Annual Conference, London ON,

Feb 28 - Mar 2, 2018:  BC Poultry Conference, Vancouver BC,

Mar 1, 2018: Equine Research Priorities Session, Guelph ON
Details to Come

Mar 7, 2018: Veal Farmers of Ontario Annual General Meeting, Tavistock ON,
Details to Come

Mar 15, 2018: LRIC Research Update - Cultured 'Meat' Protein - Disruptor, Opportunity or Threat
Details to Come

Mar 20 - 21, 2018: Ontario Pork Annual General Meeting & Banquet, Guelph ON,

Mar 21, 2018: Ontario Goat Annual General Meeting, Woodstock ON,
Details to Come

Mar 27 - 28, 2018: London Swine Conference, London ON,

Mar 27 - 28, 2018: Egg Farmers of Ontario Annual General Meeting, Niagara Falls ON,

Apr 4 - 5, 2018: Canadian Poultry Expo, London ON, 

Oct 15 - 19, 2018: World Dairy Summit, Daejon, South Korea

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Research Snapshots 

Feed: Boosting soybean protein levels without impacting yield 
Researchers at the University of Illinois are testing a gene in two soybean varieties that increases protein level without a significant decrease in yield. Protein level and yield are negatively correlated - when one is high, the other tends to decrease. 

Feed: Microbes help make fuel from yogurt waste
US and German researchers have found a way to use bacteria to transform byproducts from Greek yogurt production into molecules that could be used in biofuels or safe feedstock additives. The bacteria is able to convert liquid whey waste into green antimicrobials that can be used in animal feed in place of antibiotics.

Food safety: How fermentation impacts sausage flavour
Spontaneous fermentation produces a better tasting sausage, according to Italian researchers who compared the process to using commercially available starters cultures. While it can be harder to control spontaneous fermentation, commercial starters often result in sausage with higher acidity and inferior taste.

Poultry: Cargill testing traceable turkey with U.S. consumers
A package code on Honeysuckle-brand turkeys allows U.S. consumers to trace their purchase right back to the family farm, and even read a message from the farmer. The traceability feature is part of a pilot project Cargill is testing to feed the growing interest consumers have in transparency of food production practices.

Poultry: Avian embryos useful in studying human development 
An international collaboration of researchers is using chick embryos to better understand human development. Early development stages are very similar between birds and humans, offering a way for researchers to learn more about early human development. 

Poultry: Speech patterns reveal bird's well-being 
Chickens possess a variety of speech patterns, and poultry researchers in Georgia are helping decipher the various chicken chatter in a U.S. chicken farmer's flock.  Audio recordings of birds in stressful situations were analyzed using artificial intelligence to identify the calls of content versus stressed birds - information that may help chicken farmers understand what is stressing their birds, based on the vocalizations they are making. 

Poultry: Eggs hold promise to improve infant brain development
A study at Washington University found that including eggs in the diet of young infants, as young as six months, increased amounts of choline and DHA - two nutrients that play a vital role in infant brain development and function. The finding holds potential for this nutritionally-complete food to be used in resource-poor areas of the world.

Poultry: Robot keeps birds on their toes
A new autonomous robot is helping keep laying hens and broilers on their feed and active, to improve productivity. Replacing barn walkers, the robot keeps hens moving so they lay in nest boxes instead of on the floor, and keeps broilers active to improve weight gain.
Full Article

Swine: Weigh-in alerts producers to pathogens in weaners
French researchers are testing a new tool that would alert swine farmers that weaner pigs are showing signs that indicate the presence of pathogens. The equipment connects to feeders and water troughs, tracking individual consumption and pig weight to help develop an early disease detection tool. 

Beef: A better test for ground beef purity
Researchers at the University of British Columbia have found a better way to test for impurities in ground beef. Using a laser-equipped spectrometer, they can test with 99% accuracy whether the beef contains other animal parts, and with 80% accuracy can identify the type and amount of other animal parts used. 

Beef: Big drop in water use for beef production 
The Canadian beef industry has dramatically reduced its water footprint according to new research by the University of Manitoba, and Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada. Over the 30 years, the amount of water required to produce one kilogram of beef has dropped by 17%, due to efficiencies in crop production and beef production. 

Dairy: Wading through data for usable information
A Dutch company is helping dairy farmers make sense of all the on-farm data that can be collected on their herds. Its product combines sensor technology, machine learning and cloud computing to convert raw data into meaningful information that provides a dairy decision-support tool.

Sheep: No abnormal osteoarthritis associated with cloning
Original concerns that sheep cloning would cause early-onset osteoarthritis are unfounded, according to researchers at the University of Nottingham and the University of Glasgow. The team compared eight year old "Dolly" skeletons to naturally conceived sheep, and discovered the radiographic osteoarthritis was similar in both.
Full Article 
Whatever next?!? A look at the weird and wacky

Turning poop into power 
Israeli scientists believe turkey and other poultry waste holds promise as a reliable, renewable fuel for heat and electricity, replacing as much as 10% of the coal used to generate electricity and reducing carbon pollution.

Are those leftovers still good?
University of Exeter archeologists have found what they believe to be the remnants of the first turkey dinner in England, from bones they've unearthed beneath a street in Exeter. The 16th century bones have been identified as from some of the first turkeys that were brought to England from the Americas. 

How much do you want to know about your dinner?
Chinese consumers can get even closer to their food source with "GoGoChicken" - a new monitoring system that tracks a bird's real-time movements through a GPS tracker on this leg. It's part of the country's growing
farm-based rural tourism movement, feeding a growing interest by urbanites in their food.