Updates From the World of Livestock & Poultry Research


Bill Wymenga honoured with B.W. Kennedy Memorial Award
Ontario pork producer Bill Wymenga received this year's B. W. Kennedy Memorial Award from the Canadian Centre for Swine Improvement (CCSI) for his contributions to the Canadian swine industry. Wymenga farms with his family, is co-owner of Ridgetown Feed and Supply Ltd., and has served on the board of the Canadian Pork Council, Ontario Pork and CCSI.

University of Guelph names new associate vice-president
Professional engineer Karina McInnis is joining the University of Guelph in September as the new associate vice-president (research services). McInnis has 17 years of supporting university research, coming to Guelph from Queen's University where she is executive director of university research services.
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  Making News

Ag Action Manitoba funding open
Farmers, processors, researchers and industry organizations are invited to apply with the Ag Action Manitoba Program for funding to support projects that improve the sustainability and competitiveness of Manitoba's agri-food sector. Project focus areas include grain and livestock research, value-added processing and market analysis. Letters of intent are due August 31, 2018.

  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 

Aug 14-16, 2018: Canadian Beef Industry Conference, London ON, 

Sep 5, 2018: PIC Golf Tournament, Baden ON,

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

Sep 8, 2018: Breakfast on the Farm, North Gower ON,

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

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

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

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

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

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Research Snapshots 

Alternative protein: Beyond Meat brand gains non-GMO label status
U.S. food manufacturer Beyond Meat has passed the U.S.'s only third-party non-GMO verification program for its plant-based products Beyond Burger and Beyond Sausage. The products will now carry the official seal of approval from the non-GMO Project's Product Verification Program.

Alternative protein: Cultured meat plans to go mainstream in Europe
Dutch-based Mosa Meats plans to bring lab-grown meat to the mainstream European market by 2021. Mosa Meats will produce the new protein in partnership with Switzerland's meat producer Bells Food Group and M Ventures - a science and technology company. The partnership will include building a pilot production plant for cultured meat.

Environment and climate change: Animals can draw on muscles for water
A new study at Arizona State University shows that animals may be able to use their own muscles to get water when it's not otherwise available. Most animals need steady access to water, especially during reproduction. The research team studed pythons - together with French researchers - and found that using muscles as a water source maybe be a widespread phenomenon among animals.

Feed: Studying the infectivity of FMD
Foot and mouth disease (FMD) is highly infective and easily transmitted among animals. But researchers haven't looked at the infectivity of FMD in normal feeding behaviour in pigs. The Swine Health Information Centre recently approved a research project to examine this risk. Researchers will put different levels of the virus into pig feed and test the level of virus needed to infect those animals with FMD.

Feed: Turning methane into a valuable feed ingredient
A Danish company is using methane to produce a sustainable protein source that could be comparable to high quality fish meal. Clinical trials show promising results on how microbial protein can produce alternatives for animal feed ingredients.

Poultry: Free-run layer barns need more ventilation
Designing a proper ventilation system is a critical for free-run layer barns and generally requires more maintenance and cost. These housing systems need increased ventilation to control ammonia supplemental heating compared to conventional cages or enriched colony housing.

Swine: Chinese scientists build on work of Canadian Enviro-pig
Chinese researchers have altered the pig's salivary gland to improve feed efficiency and reduce the carbon footprint of the pork industry. Their work builds on the University of Guelph's transgenic Enviro-pig that could break down more phosphorus and digest more of it in their food.

Swine: Putting farrowing systems to the test
Australian researchers evaluated farrowing systems with varying degrees of sow and piglet freedom. They found piglet mortality was lowest when sows and their litters were housed in conventional farrowing crates for the first seven days after farrowing - with no reduction in weaned litter size and weight. The research was one of the largest scale studies of its type to ever be conducted.
Full Article

Swine: PCR test alternatives needed to improve transport biosecurity
Contaminated livestock trailers pose a significant risk for spreading viruses between herds, but results from PCR tests used to monitor trailer sanitation can be difficult to interpret. An Iowa State University vet student designed and tested protocols to use on negative-PCR tests for PRRSV, but concluded alternatives to PCR should be explored to monitor sanitation protocols.

Beef: New app using images to "weigh" cattle
A Hungarian company is launching its Beefie smartphone app in Europe - a game changing alternative to the risky and costly business of weighting cattle. The app uses photographs taken by mobile phones within 2-6 metres of beef cattle that link to an external device and calculate animal weights with 95% accuracy.                                     

Dairy: No risk for heart disease and stroke from dairy fat
New research from the University of Texas has found no significant link between dairy fats, and heart disease and stroke - two of the biggest killers associated with a high saturated fat diet. The findings support the growing body of evidence that suggests dairy fat does not increase risk of heart disease or overall mortality in older adults. Certain types of dairy fat may in fact guard against a severe stroke.

Dairy: European farms test nitrogen fixing plasma reactor
A Norwegian company has developed a process to pass manure through a plasma reactor to produce nitrogen fertilizer, a process that promises to reduce on-farm ammonia production levels and save farmers up to 20% on artificial fertilizer costs. The company has patented the technology that fixes nitrogen from the air and adds it to manure, and is currently testing it on a Danish pig farm and Irish dairy farm.

Equine: Aromatherapy calms horses
A sniff of lavender helps calm horses, according to new research at the University of Arizona. A diffuser containing lavender essential oil was held near the horse's nose and heart rate was tracked before, during and after the diffuser was used. While heart rate didn't change, horses sniffing the lavender had increased parasympathetic activity - a measure of the relaxation part of the autonomic nervous system.

Sheep: Testing the digestibility of sheep milk
New Zealand researchers are starting a clinical trial to test the benefits of sheep milk with people who have difficulty digesting milk. Sheep milk proteins may be more readily digestible and a better source of amino acids. No clinical trials have been done before to measure the digestibility of sheep milk - and the opportunities for people who are sensitive to cow's milk.
Full Article

Aquaculture: Spawning timed for offspring survival
A recent study by the University of Hawaii revealed that fish can predict a beneficial environment for their offspring and adjust spawning time. Researchers found that reproductive timing of Atlantic cod has adapted so their young can match seasonal occurrence of their food - a critical component of their survival.
Full Article
Whatever next?!? A look at the weird and wacky

Do we really need an emoji for that?
A cheese manufacturer in France has gathered 1,100 names on a petition to create an official emoji for camembert. It's seems the current emoji of a wedge of cheese isn't specific enough for Fromagerie Gillot - who is appealing to the Unicode Consortium that controls official emojis.