Updates From the World of Livestock & Poultry Research

Livestock Research Innovation Corporation appoints new CEO

Long-time livestock industry leader Mike McMorris will be the new CEO of Livestock Research Innovation Corporation (LRIC). McMorris, most recently General Manager of AgSights, assumes the position on September 1. Full Article

Dairy Farmers of Canada recognized internationally for sustainability

One of the world's leading consumer good companies has recognized Dairy Farmers of Canada for sustainable milk production practices. Unilever has concluded that 100% of milk produced in Canada is sustainably sourced according to its Sustainable Agriculture Code.
Full Article 

Third dairy research cluster announced
Dairy Farmers of Canada are leading the Dairy Research Cluster 3 - an investment of $16.5 million from government and industry. With $11.5 million of the funding from Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, funding will support 15 research projects to cover dairy farm efficiency, sustainability, cow health and welfare, milk quality, and health benefit of dairy products.

Beef Farmers of Ontario name new executive director

Richard Horne is the new executive director Beef Farmer of Ontario, taking over from Dave Stewart. Horne joined the association in 2010 as a policy advisor, and since 2014 has been the manager of policy and issues. He has a degree in public policy and political science from the University of Guelph, and a master's degree in public administration from the University of Victoria.
Full Article
Coming Events
Sept 4th, 2019: PIC's Fundraiser Golf Tournament, Baden, ON

Sept 9-13, 2019: 9th Multi Stakeholder Partnership Meeting: Innovation for Sustainable Livestock Systems, Manhattan, Kansas.

Sept 10 - 12, 2019 : Canada's Outdoor Farm Show, Woodstock ON,

Sept 17 - 21, 2019: International Plowing Match, Verner, ON

Sept 18, 2019: Shakespeare Swine Seminar, Guelph, ON

Sept 23, 2019: Science in the Pub, 
Guelph, ON

Oct 5 - 9, 2019: Anuga 2019 - Taste the Future, Cologne, Germany,

Oct 7- 9, 2019: PAACO, Guelph, ON

Oct 8 - 11, 2019: Process Expo, Chicago, IL,

Oct 24, 2019: Poultry Industry Council AGM, Guelph, ON

Oct 24 - 25, 2019: Ontario Sheep Farmers, AGM and Conference, Allison, ON,

Nov 1 - 10, 2019: Royal Winter Fair, Toronto ON,
Details Here

Nov 7, 2019: PHRN Research Day, Guelph, ON

Nov 17 - 19, 2019 : Ontario Federation of Agriculture Annual Meeting, Hamilton ON,

Nov 21-22, 2019 : Poultry Industry Council Innovations Conference, London ON, 

Nov 27, 2019:  Eastern Ontario Poultry Conference, St Isidore, ON

March 31 - April 1, 2020: 20th London Swine Conference, London ON

April 8-9, 2020 - National Poultry Show, 
London ON   
Details Here


LRIC Update
Call for Letters of Intent Open for Ontario Pork and Ontario Poultry Industries

LRIC is currently accepting applications for research proposals for the Ontario Pork and Ontario Poultry Industries. Details and access to the applications for Letters of Intent are available on the website.
Details Here

Quick Links to Our Members, 
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  Research and Innovation Driving Livestock Sector Success

Research Snapshots 

Antimicrobials: Global team working on antibiotic alternatives

Researchers from the U.S. and Asia are collaborating on a three-year, multi-million dollar project to slow down the global development of antibiotic resistant bacteria. The team will look for novel, effective and affordable alternatives to traditional antibiotics for Pakistan's growing poultry industry.
Full Article

Alternative protein: Insect meal is good for birds and eggs

Recent studies evaluated levels of insect meal in poultry diets and found that including 10-16% defatted black soldier fly (BSFL) meal as a soy replacement during the starter period did not negatively affect live weight and daily food intake of broiler chicks. In layers, including 7.5% BSFL meal produced more uniform eggs with darker yolk that are more resistant, and could result in less production and supply chain losses.

Environment and climate crisis: Targeting hydrogen in the rumen to reduce methane 

New Zealand scientists led an international team that has discovered the main rumen microbes and enzymes that product and consume hydrogen - an important find in the quest to reduce methane emissions from animals. The group of microbes (methanogens) live in the rumen and produce methane from hydrogen and carbon dioxide when ingesting feed. The findings mean scientists can target the supply of hydrogen to methanogens as a new way to reduce methane emissions.

Environment and climate crisis: New model helps predict impact of climate on crops

University of Illinois researchers led the development of a new computer model that predicts how microscopic pores on plant leaves open in response to light. Their finding could lead to more accurate predictions on how higher temperatures and rising carbon dioxide levels will affect food crops. The work was done as part of an international research project - Realizing Increased Photosynthetic Efficiency (RIPE) - that's looking at improving crop productivity without using more water.

Feed: Resin acids are latest antibiotic alternative in livestock feed

Resin acids - a side stream of the paper industry - are being tested on livestock as a potential alternative to antibiotics in promoting gut health. A Finnish company has developed the technology to harvest the resin from paper production. Next to feed additives, resin acids have shown to be a powerful, natural tool to promote growth and feed intake in veal calves, pigs and broilers.

Poultry: Transporting turkeys in challenging conditions

Canadian research is helping quantify the impact of temperature and humidity on turkeys when they are transported long distances to processing facilities. Cold temperatures resulted in a higher percentage of live shrink, darker meat and lower core body temperature. Males were more tolerant than females in cold weather, and hens coped better with warmer temperatures during transportation.

Poultry: Global database shows genetic diversity

Researchers analyzed the genetic diversity in a variety of poultry breeds - from wild birds to commercial operations - from almost every continent. The database describes 174 different chicken breeds, and researchers found that genetic diversity is reduced within hobby breeds and high-performing commercial breeds. By contrast, there is still considerable genetic diversity in African, South American, and some Asian and European breeds.
Full Article

Poultry: Looking at the potential for dual-purpose chicken

German researchers have completed a multi-year study on the potential for a dual-purpose chicken, where female chicks become layers and males become broilers. The study was in response to the threat of a ban on culling day-old male chicks in Germany. Dual-purpose birds tended to lay about 250 eggs a year, 50 less than conventional layers. The male meat birds grew slower than conventional birds, requiring twice as long to reach slaughter weight.

Swine: Breeding reduces environmental impact

A Dutch study has shown that breeding reduces the environmental impact of animals by about 1% per year. The reduction is an indirect response that is not based on specifically selecting for environmental traits. The study looked at the contribution of breeding to reducing the environmental impact of pigs, as well as broilers, laying hens and dairy cattle.              
Full Article

Swine: New life for boar meat in sausage

German researchers have found a new use for boar tainted pork. After testing 16 variants of frankfurters with consumers, they determined that up to 33% tainted boar meat can be used in the production of frankfurters without impacting consumer acceptance. These results could lead to a sustainable use for boar meat that is not acceptable for the fresh pork market.
Full Article

Swine: Detecting early ear biting behaviour with PLF

Ground-breaking work by Irish and Belgian researchers shows promise for the use of precision livestock farming (PLF) tool to detect ear biting in pigs. PLF helps farmers improve management practices using advanced technologies, and these tools can help farmers identify early indicators of ear biting behaviours. There is also potential to develop features of a PLF tool that can automatically and continuously monitor ear biting events.

Beef: Seaweed additive cuts methane but it's not a simple solution           

Adding seaweed to cattle feed is one way to reduce methane emissions but may not be a realistic strategy to battle climate change, according to Penn State researchers. A red seaweed from the tropics - Asparagopsis taxiformis - shows promise when fed up to 0.5% of dry matter intake by decreasing methane emissions in dairy cows by 80% with no impact on feed intake or milk yield. But large-scale production of a seaweed feed supplement would require commercial operations since harvesting wild seaweed would deplete natural supplies and cause an ecological problem.
Full Article

Beef: New research looks to improve fertility

U.S researchers are addressing fertility issues in beef cattle by evaluating the cellular, molecular, genomic and whole animal aspects of reproduction. They have identified thousands of genes actively involved in embryo-uterus bonding that is required to establish pregnancy. The initial research is aimed at better understanding how the pregnancy process works, and the next phase will look at disrupting the system using artificial reproductive technologies.

Dairy: Gut bacteria linked to milk taste

Researchers from Israel and the UK now know which microbes lead to the best tasting cow's milk. They collected and analyzed microbial DNA on traits including milk quality and methane production from more than 1,000 dairy cows on farms in the UK, Italy, Sweden and Finland. They found 39 core microbes that are more powerful than genes in determining how tasty a cow's milk is, and even how much methane it produces.
Full Article

Dairy: Looking at floor type and cattle performance

Various flooring systems are reviewed for the impact on animal health, behaviour and performance compared to traditional concrete floors - including grooved concrete, rubber coating on floors, sand bedding and straw bedding.
Full Article

Sheep/Goats: New dual action dewormer to help fight resistance

A new dewormer provides an effective treatment option without allowing parasites to develop resistance. The dual-action drench works on a different aspect of the parasite and includes a new anthelmintic that parasites in Canada have not developed resistance to.
Full Article

Sheep/Goats: Goats distinguish emotion from calls of other goats

A research team in England and Switzerland have completed a new study that suggests goats can distinguish subtle emotional changes in the calls of other goats. They measured behavioural and physiological changes in goats and found that when the emotion of a call changed, goats were likely to look towards the source of the sound. This work provides the first strong evidence that goats can distinguish calls based on emotion and that their emotions are also potentially affected.
Full Article
Whatever Next?!? 

Will the woolly walk again?
One of the world's leading geneticists is leading a de-extinction project that's hoping to make the woolly mammoth - or something quite like it - walk again. Asian elephants share more than 99.96% of their DNA with the woolly mammoth, and researchers are editing elephant embryo DNA so they'll be born with some of the characteristics of their long-dead cousins.
Bring that dirt in the's good for your lungs

Research has already shown that growing up on a farm with animals reduces the risk of asthma and allergies, thanks to the exposure to a wide range of microbes on the farm. And now, researchers are looking at how to use that microbiota to protect children from asthma in their urban homes. They are looking at factors that bring outdoor microbes inside the house - like keeping your dirty outside shoes on inside.