Updates From the World of Livestock & Poultry Research


Province transfers northern research station to Lakehead

Lakehead University is taking over operations of the province's Thunder Bay Agricultural Research Station. The newly named Lakehead University Agricultural Research Station will receive $1.65 million over five years from the provincial government to support research.

  Making News
Student scholarships support meat science research 

Students interested in meat science research can apply for new scholarships through the Canadian Meat Science Association (CMSA). Two graduate scholarships ($3,000 each) and two undergraduate scholarships ($2,500 each) will be awarded in 2018. Application deadline is February 21, 2018.

Genome Canada funding now open

Two new rounds of Genome Canada's Genomic Applications Partnership Program (GAPP) funding is accepting applications for public-private research collaboration. Applications are due to Ontario Genomics on February 26, 2018 for the first round and April 19, 2018 for the next round. Contact Shobha Ramsubir at Ontario Genomics for application information. 

Nominate a food and farming champion

Nominations are open for the annual Food & Farming Champion Award presented by Farm and Food Care Ontario. Do you know an individual, organization or business making a difference in promoting the Ontario agriculture industry and engaging with consumers? Nominations are due March 15, 2018 to Farm and Food Care Ontario, and application information is available here

Vegan protein gaining ground in 2018

A new UK report predicts that vegan protein will begin to push out organic meat as a protein source in 2018. The report expects more foodservice brands could be including vegan protein in new product development, and cites lower calories in plant protein as part of the appeal of this food trend.
Full Article

Egg Farmers of Canada research funding - Call for letters of intent now open

Egg Farmers of Canada is proud to support Canadian research in egg production, poultry science, animal and human nutrition, food safety, and economic and environmental sustainability at universities across the country. Our call for research proposals is now open, until March 23
rd, 2018, and researchers are invited to complete and submit the funding application form.

For further details and to fill in the application form, Click Here

  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 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,

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,

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, 
Apr 11, 2018:   Farm & Food Care Ontario Annual Conference , Milton ON,
Apr 12, 2018: Poultry Industry Council Ag Lenders' Day, Guelph ON, 

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

Quick Links to Our Partners, Friends & Members


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Research and Innovation Driving Livestock Sector Success
Research Snapshots 

Feed/Forage: Speed breeding to help feed growing population
Australian researchers are using a NASA-inspired approach for producing food during space missions to significantly boost wheat production levels. Speed breeding uses intense lighting to boost photosynthesis to raise crops faster and boost plant health. 

Feed/Forage: Reducing the impact of alfalfa winterkill 
Researchers at the University of Minnesota are working to help farmers offset losses caused by alfalfa winterkill. They are identifying other forage crops that can be cultivated in alfalfa fields impacted by winterkill - annual ryegrass shows the highest net returns when planted in terminated alfalfa field test sites.

Environment: Grocery chain program improved on-farm sustainability practices
A new study found that a company-led sustainability program by a major South African food retailer improved the adoption rate of environmental practices at the farm level. This first-of-its-kind study helps support the claims that food companies are making about practices within the supply chain. 

Alternative proteins and cultured meat: High tech getting in on meatless meat
Removing animals for meat production is worth $17 million in the latest Silicon Valley startup funding aimed at feeding a fast growing, protein hungry global population in a way that is less harmful to the planet. 

Alternative protein and cultured meat: Aussie farmers concerned about substitute trend
Australian beef and dairy farmers are concerned about the growing consumer demand for substitute meat and milk products. A recent Rabobank report estimates the alternative protein industry in Europe could grow annually by 8% in the next five years. The impact of this trend in Australia has the agriculture sector promoting the health benefits of meat and sustainable farming practices .

Poultry: Understanding more about Marek's disease 
UK researchers have identified a new type of immune cell in chickens that's involved in the development of Marek's disease virus (MDV)- a highly contagious virus causing cancer of the lymph nodes and suppressing the bird's immune system. The new findings can help identify chicken lines that are more resistant to MDV, a devastating virus that is estimated to cause up to $2 billion in losses worldwide.  

Poultry: Powering up with poultry waste
Israeli researchers have developed a way to mimic coal formation by heating wet chicken waste, potentially providing an alternative energy source to fossil fuel and finding a valuable use for poultry waste. 

Poultry: Lower temperatures better for turkey embryos
Researchers at Pennsylvania University, with support from Ontario-based Hybrid Turkeys, studied the difference between four different eggshell temperatures in turkey eggs during the first 25 days of incubation. They found turkey embryos prefer a lower temperature than what's typically used for chicken broilers for optimum growth, maturation and hatchability.
Full Article

Poultry: New Guatemalan hatchery features Canadian technology
A Cambridge, Ontario incubator company is part of an innovative new hatchery in Guatemala that has a production capacity of more than 360,000 eggs per week, and is entirely solar powered.

Swine: Nitrate-free bacon now available in Britain
An Irish meat processor has developed nitrate-free bacon with the help of Spanish chemists.  The processor uses natural Mediterranean fruit and spice extracts in place of nitrates to produce its Naked Bacon brand. The process is being used in continental style hams in the EU, but this will be the first time the technology has been used on British bacon.

Swine: Gene editing could eliminate castration
Two U.S. companies are collaborating on a breeding project to determine if male pigs can be born castrated. The new 'precision breeding technique' or DNA editing would keep male piglets in pre-puberty and eliminate the need for surgical castration.

Beef: Rumen takes care of corn and soy allergens for consumer
University of Nebraska researchers have confirmed that corn- or soy-allergic consumers can safely eat beef or beef products from cattle that have been fed corn or soy. The animal's rumen destroys corn and soy allergens, ensuring they aren't deposited in edible beef muscle tissue.

Beef: Electronic bite test could open new markets for thinner steak cuts
A new texture analyzer measures the force needed to bite through a sample of meat and assigns a tenderness value to the cut. Early trials with the UK-based "bite test" show the meat industry could save more than £7 million turning lower grade cuts into thin cut steaks.
Full Article 

Dairy: Making omega-3 rich cheese
Adding microalgae to the diet of dairy cows is successfully increasing the amount of long-chain omega-3 levels in cheese, according to new work by a UK researcher. The project was designed to improve on the health benefits of dairy by increasing the levels of heart-healthy omega-3 in milk, and therefore in cheese. 
Full Article

Dairy: Silicon Valley start-up making milk-like product from yeast
A California company is using high-tech engineering to create a milk-like product from food-grade yeast. It's part of a growing trend to use science to create the same types of foods that farm animals have traditionally produced including milk, eggs and meat. The beverage is made by altering the yeast DNA to produce many of the same proteins found in milk.
Full Article

Dairy: Walk-through feeders reduce bullying
A new Dutch-designed feeder is improving conditions for cows in its first installation at an English agricultural college. The walk-through parlour feeders have cows exiting at the front, and reduce the chance that young heifers are bullied away from feed troughs by older cows. A backing gate on the feeder also prevents cows from pushing on the one that is eating.
Full Article

Dairy: The next best thing since pasteurization 
Australian researchers have found a way to extend the shelf life of fresh milk. The new method involves shooting argon into an electrical circuit submerged in milk and could replace the 150-year-old pasteurization method of preserving milk. If successful, milk would have less bacteria and last at least six weeks when refrigerated.
Full Article

Aquaculture: Lab-grown fish safeguards wild populations
With an estimated 80% of the world's fish stock at risk, a California food company is using a clean meat technology to create tuna and other fish without further endangering the wild fish populations. The lab-grown process uses cells from the fish to grow meat without impacting populations of endangered species or harming other marine animals commonly caught in nets, including sharks, dolphins and turtles.
Full Article

Aquaculture: Climate may be changing marine food webs
A new Australian study has demonstrated how rising sea temperatures could lead to a collapse in the marine food web. As water temperatures rise with climate change, the overall transfer of energy from bottom feeders (algae) to intermediate consumers (herbivores) and top predators is reduced. These changes could impact many marine species in food webs - including commercial fish stocks - if food sources decrease.
Whatever next?!? A look at the weird and wacky

Grow your own chicken breasts
Sustainable meat production is taking on a whole new meaning with an Israeli tech company that is growing its "clean meat" segment to help consumer grows their own lab-based vegan meat. The biotech business has received a $3 million (USD) stimulus package to work with a German firm on the new kitchen gadget that will produce lab-grown chicken in a consumer's kitchen. 

Ancient turkey bones tell a bigger story
A team of international researchers has uncovered information about the origins of turkeys by studying the remains of turkeys found in ancient Mexico between 300 BC and 1500 AD. The collaborators - from England, Mexico, United States and Canada - found the earliest domesticated turkeys weren't only prized for their meat but were in high demand in Mayan and Aztec cultures for their significance in rituals and sacrifices.