Updates From the World of Livestock & Poultry Research


Cold Springs Farm founder joins Ontario Ag Hall of Fame
The late William Beatty will be inducted into the Ontario Agricultural Hall of Fame, one of five inductees chosen in 2018 for their leadership, entrepreneurship and innovation. Beatty founded Cold Springs Farm Ltd. - a diverse livestock and crop operation that includes a feed mill and processing plant. A big supporter of research, he served the poultry industry throughout his career and was instrumental in developing poultry research at the University of Guelph's research station at Arkell.

Livestock and forage funds for Saskatchewan
Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada and the province of Saskatchewan have announced a $6.3 million fund to support research on livestock and forages to benefit farmers and ranchers in the province. The funding is designed to increase productivity and address issues specific to Saskatchewan agriculture.
Full Article

  Making News

Nominate an outstanding beef researcher
The Beef Cattle Research Council is looking for nominations for its annual award to recognize a researcher or scientist who has helped advance the competitiveness and sustainability of the Canadian beef industry. Nominations are due May 1, 2018.

Saskatchewan research funding deadline
April 16 is the deadline for submitting letters of intent with Saskatchewan's Ministry of Agriculture to access research funds under the Agriculture Development Fund for Canadian Beef Research and Technology Transfer Strategy.
Full Article

  LRIC Update
Calls for Poultry Proposals Currently Open

Details on open calls for research proposals are available online. Log into LRIC's research management system 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 
Apr 11, 2018:   Farm & Food Care Ontario Annual Conference , Milton ON,
Apr 12, 2018: Poultry Industry Council Ag Lenders' Day, Guelph ON, 

May 2, 2018: Poultry Industry Council Research Day, Guelph ON,

May 16, 2018: University of Guelph Swine Research Day

June 20-21, 2018:  Ontario P ork Congress, Stratford ON,

June 28, 2018: LRIC Annual General Meeting, Guelph ON

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

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

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

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

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Research Snapshots 

Nutrient management: Heat your home with manure
Researchers at the University of Waterloo are developing a technology to produce renewable natural gas from farm manure. The process would eliminate gases released by naturally decomposing manure, provide a new energy supply for homes and industries, and help reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Environment and climate change: The potential for more mycotoxins
The effects of climate change include flooding that can cause certain mycotoxins to become more prevalent, according to researchers at Michigan State University. Higher levels of mycotoxins could bring economic losses for farmers because of regulatory limits of maximum allowable levels of mycotoxins in feed and food.

Feed/crops: Engineering more water-efficient plants
For the first time, researchers have designed plants that conserve 25% more water without compromising yield. The international research team have altered one gene - common to all plants - that results in less water escaping through transpiration.

Poultry: Maggots transform waste to feed protein
A Russian company is using insects to reprocess waste from poultry farms into a protein-rich biomass for animal feed. ZooProtein has developed a closed system where maggots feed on waste, and are then harvested and dried as a protein source.       

Poultry: French retailer adds blockchain to offering
Europe's first food blockchain is providing traceability for French food retailer Carrefour's line of free-range Auvergne chickens. A blockchain is a secure digital database that can't be falsified and provides information for all players in the food supply chain.

Poultry: Automating woody breast detection
University of Arkansas researchers have used automated vision grading to detect woody breast condition in broiler carcasses before evisceration. Various measurements of the carcass breast provide a strong prediction for woody breasts in the fillets.

Swine: Denmark moves towards antibiotic-free pork production
Denmark is aiming to produce 1.5 million pigs without antibiotics by 2021. It's part of an extensive research project that began in 2015 when the first trials of OUA pigs began - the term for animals raised without antibiotics from birth to slaughter. Danish farmers have already reduced the amount of antibiotics used by 25% since 2009.

Swine: Rye reduces Salmonella and boar taint
A German study on finisher pigs has found that including up to 40% rye in diets has a positive impact on the occurrence of Salmonella and boar taint. Sixteen farms were involved in the study, that included a 35% reduction in Salmonella on 11 of the farms.
Full Article

Beef: Badger behaviour linked to reducing bovine TB
Irish researchers have discovered a new ranging behaviour in male badgers that will help with the implementation of a nationwide tuberculosis (TB) vaccination program and limit the spread of bovine TB. Badgers are a protected species in Ireland but can harbour TB and inadvertently transfer it to cattle.

Beef: Nasal vaccines boost calf health
Intranasal vaccines appear to provide better protection to young calves than injectable vaccines in the first few critical months of life. The uptake of nasal vaccines is a different and faster route into the calf's system and avoids "maternal antibody interference."

Beef: Breaking the E. coli cycle at the water trough
A major study by researchers at Cornell University confirms for the first time that on-farm water troughs are a conduit for spreading E. coli in cattle - a pathogen that can then spread to people through bacteria in feces. The findings also indicate that the water trough is a location where the cycle of contamination could be broken.

Dairy: Grass-fed cows produce omega-3 rich milk
Researchers have found that cows fed a 100% organic grass and legume-based diet produce milk with elevated levels of omega-3 and other healthy fats. The joint US and UK study improved the fatty acid ratio of omega-6:omega-3 to nearly 1:1, compared to 5.7:1 in conventional whole milk. Omega-6 and omega-3 are essential fatty acids, but consuming too much omega-6 and too little omega-3 can increase the risk of cardiovascular disease, obesity and diabetes.
Full Article

Dairy: Substituting glycerol for barley in rations
Glycerol - a byproduct of the biodiesel industry - can be substituted for barley by up to 18% in mid or late lactation dairy cows diet without affecting milk quality. A recent Danish study found that including more than 12% dietary glycerol might decrease energy correct milk yield. Glycerol is gaining interest as livestock feed because of its availability and price.
Full Article

Veal: Early nutrition impacts performance 
Early nutrition has a significant impact on lifetime performance in veal calves, according to new research from Trouw Nutrition. The study is following 86 calves, and midway through the project has found those calves receiving optimized nutrition show improvements to their metabolism.
Full Article

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

Hacking back methane the Finnish way
Seven teams competed in a Finnish 'hackathon' to find ways to use methane produced by dairy cows and reduce overall methane emissions from the animals. Finnish dairy farms have already reduced methane emissions by nearly 50% in the last 25 years.

Step aside Swedish meatballs
Ikea's research hub and innovation lab has come out with five iconic fast food dishes with a twist. They've all been reinterpreted with unconventional, sustainable ingredients including vegetables and mealworms to create bug burgers, worm balls and algae hot dogs.

Walmart files ag drone patents
The world's largest retailer may be looking at farming more seriously with its application for six patents on drones that could be used to prevent damage to crops, control pest attacks on farms and cross-pollinate plants. Walmart has applied for a total of 46 patents for using drone technology - mostly for delivery, logistics and within its warehouses.