Updates From the World of Livestock & Poultry Research


Bob Guy Honoured with Poultry Industry Award

The Poultry Industry Council posthumously awarded the 2018 Ed McKinlay Poultry Worker of the Year award to the Bob Guy - past general manager of the Ontario Broiler Hatching Egg Chick Commission. The award accepted by his wife Cynthia, was in honour of his stellar career and life of service and commitment to the Canadian agri-food industry.
Dr. Greg Page  Moving to New Position
As of June 1, 2019, Greg Page will be based at the  Trouw Nutrition  Head Quarters in the Netherlands where he is  the Global Swine Research Manager.   Greg is a past Poultry Industry Council board of director and a strong advocate of research.  We wish him all the best in his new position.

Dr. Bill Revington - General Manager of Farm Operations for New Life Mills is Retiring 

After receiving his PhD in poultry nutrition,  Bill spent his entire career in the poultry industry and has been a keen advocate for research.  Bill was a member of the inaugural LRIC Board of Directors from 2012 - 2014. He represented the supply side of the value chain and provided excellent input into the development of LRIC policies.  We wish him all the best in his retirement.

Making News

Saskatchewan Accepting Research Letters of Intent
April 15 is the deadline to submit letters of intent with the Saskatchewan Ministry of Agriculture for research funding under the Agriculture Development Fund. The fund provides nearly $14 million per year to support basic and applied research across agricultural sectors that ultimately will help farmers and ranchers.
New Blockchain Pilot for U.S. Pork Industry
The National Pork Board and Ripe Technology, Inc. are partnering to bring blockchain technology to U.S. pork producers. The new pilot project will allow pork producers to monitor, evaluate and continuously improve sustainability practices.
LRIC Update

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

Any questions can be directed to

Coming Events
Apr 10, 2019: Farm and Food Care Ontario, Annual Conference, Milton, ON,

May 1, 2019: Poultry Industry Council, Research Day, Stratford, ON,

May 9, 2019: University of Guelph Swine Research Day, Guelph, ON,

May 15 - 16, 2019: Animal Nutrition Conference of Canada, Niagara Falls, ON,

June 17 - 19, 2019: Ontario Small Ruminant Veterinary Conference, Guelph, ON,

June 19 - 20, 2019: Ontario Pork Congress, Stratford, ON, 

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

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

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Research Snapshots 

Environment and Climate Change: Beef Not a Big Contributor to Global Warming
A multi-year study of the U.S. beef industry's environmental footprint has found that the sector's contribution to climate change is small and not a significant contributor to long-term global warming. The Agricultural Research Service led the research that established baseline measures for the industry to use to reduce its environmental footprint and improve sustainability.
Alternative Protein: USDA and FDA to Share Regulation of Cultured Meat
A new collaboration between the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) will oversee cultured meat production in the U.S. to ensure food safety and product labelling.
Alternative Protein: Guelph Team Gets New Money for Plant-based Meat Research
University of Guelph engineers and food scientists received a new international award to develop prototypes for plant-based meat. The $300,000 award will help the team give meat lovers the textures they savour in beef, chicken and fish, with the environmental health benefits of eating plants.
Alternative Protein: Sushi Eaters More Likely to Try Edible Insects
A new international study has found that people who frequently eat sushi are more open to trying edible insects. Of the 82% of U.S. respondents to the study that said they would be willing to eat insects, 43% of them ate sushi on a regular basis.
Poultry: Nutrigenomics Research for Breeder Birds
A University of Guelph researcher is investigating the potential link between omega-3 in breeder bird diets and the success of their offspring. It's part of a growing field of nutrigenomics that offers applied solutions by using links between nutrition, health and genetic expression to offer more holistic solutions to poultry producers.
Poultry: Broccoli Boosts Hen Diet
University of California, Davis researchers have discovered that including the waste stems and leaves from broccoli in poultry diets improves nutritional density of the diet and deepens the egg yolk colour. An estimated 75% of harvested broccoli plants are trimmed off and returned to the soil. These stems and leaves are high in calcium vitamins, carotenoids and antioxidants
Swine: Branched Chains Enrich Pig Housing
European animal-welfare researchers surveyed about hog operation enrichments indicated that branched chains offer the most viable alternative and should be widely implemented to provide proper enrichment for intensively-farmed pigs. Branched chain is a vertically-positioned long chain with one end resting on the floor, and two or three additional shorter chain branches.
Swine: Cooling Pad Removes Excess Heat for Sows
U.S. researchers have developed a cooling pad to remove excess heat from lactating sows, reducing the negative impact of heat stress on sow productivity and reproductive performance. Sows under heat stress have reduced milk production and litter weight gain. The cooling pads conduct heat from the animal to chilled water running through pipes within the pad.
Swine: Water consumption Influences Sow's milk production
An Iowa State University researcher reports that the amount of water consumed by lactating sows affects the amount of milk produced and the rate of piglet growth. Sows that are more active drink more water. And although the goal is not for sows to be too active at farrowing - for piglet safety - once piglets are more mobile it's important for sows to get up.
Beef: Early Suckling Critical for Newborns
Getting calves to suckle soon after birth delivers valuable colostrum, protecting calves from disease. Newborn calves with a good suckle reflex are 41 times more likely to consume colostrum on their own, compared to calves with a weak reflex. That's why veterinarians recommend suckle reflex as part of a producers' assessment of newborn calf vigour.
Beef: Studying Sulphate Levels in Water
University of Saskatchewan researchers are looking at the effects of high sulphate levels in cattle drinking water. High sulphate levels can prevent animals from absorbing necessary minerals and lead to reduced fertility and milk production, slow growth and a depressed immune system.
Beef: Researchers Detect Prions with Skin Test
An international research team, led by an Ohio scientist, has successfully detected prions on skin samples of inoculated rodents as early as two weeks post-infection and before clinical symptoms appear. Prions are protein particles that cause BSE in cattle and Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease in humans. Diagnosing the disease generally requires a biopsy or autopsy of brain tissue.
Dairy: Hoof Care Systems Receive Animal Welfare Award
Two companies received the Animal Welfare award at Eurotier for early prevention and identification of hoof illness in cattle. One system automatically identifies animals that need hoof attention at an early age, guiding them to preventative hoof care. The other system identifies hoof illness at an early stage to detect lameness and continues to monitor gait patterns and body condition of the herd.
Dairy: Determining Bite Mass
French researchers evaluated factors that determine the bite mass of dairy cows - a parameter that determines intake, production level and efficiency for grazing animals. Bite depth, bite area and bite volume are important factors to improve pasture management to ensure high feed intake in dairy cows. Researchers found that grass height is a key factor of bite mass that strongly influences bite depth and bite volume.
Dairy: New Tool Helps Identify M. bovis Risk
New Zealand veterinarians have developed a new online tool to help dairy farmers identify their herd's risk for Mycoplasma bovis in an effort to eradicate the disease. Used with their veterinarian, the tool includes an online questionnaire to help farmers get an accurate understanding of the risk on their farm, and make informed decisions about reducing the possible spread of the disease on and off a farm.
Full Article
Whatever Next?!? 

Cashing in on Dairy Herd Improvements
An Australian agri-tech company has developed a unique app to help Indian dairy farmers become more organized and productive. The Mooo App aims to bridge the technology gap in rural India, helping the country's one million dairy farmers improve their livelihood - and uses gamification to help farmers see the value of entering data. Farmers collect Mooo Cash points for every function they perform on the app, exchanging points for everyday goods.