Updates From the World of Livestock & Poultry Research


Guelph names new associate VP research

Prof. Beverley Hale is the University of Guelph's new Associate Vice President Research (agri-food partnership). Currently associate dean (research and graduate studies) in the Ontario Agricultural College (OAC) and an environmental sciences professor, Hale will start the five-year appointment on January 1, 2018.

New executive director at Chicken Farmers of Canada

Michael Laliberté is the new executive director of Chicken Farmers of Ontario. He takes over from Mike Dungate who has been in the role for more than 20 years. Laliberté has been with the organization for the past 26 years, and leaves the position of Director of Operations.
McMaster appoints new associate VP research

Karen Mossman has been appointed Associate Vice-President, Research at McMaster University. Mossman has previously served as Chair of Biochemistry and Biomedical Sciences at the school.

Manitoba Pork hires manager of swine health programs

Jenelle Hamblin is part of an expanded swine health management team at Manitoba Pork in the newly created position of Manager, Swine Health Programs. Hamblin will work with all stakeholders to improve the response to disease threats.

Ontario hires new beef cattle specialist

James Byrne joins the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs as the new beef cattle specialist, based in Lindsay. Byrne comes to position from the Irish Agriculture and Development Authority where he worked with beef and sheep farmers as an ag extension officer.
Making news

Canada and European Union sign trade deal

The Comprehensive and Economic Trade Agreement (CETA) is now in force, giving more than 98 per cent of Canadian goods tariff-free access to the European market. The expanded market access to Canadian producers, processors and manufacturers is expected to boost Canada's income by $12 billion annually.

Genomic Applications Partnership Program accepting project applications

Ontario Genomics' Genomic Applications Partnership Program is accepting Expressions of Interest (EOI) for funding under Round 10. Deadline is November 13, 2017 at 9 a.m. Eastern. GAPP projects are collaborations between academic researchers and "receptor" organizations and have the potential to generate significant social and/or economic benefits for Canada. 

Coming events 

Oct 26 - 27, 2017: Ontario Sheep Convention,

Oct 26, 2107 Poultry Industry Council annual general meeting, Guelph ON

Oct 30, 2017: Livestock Day with Dr. Temple Grandin, Elmwood ON, 

Nov 3 - 12, 2017 Royal Agricultural Winter Fair, Toronto ON

Nov 8, 2017: Poultry Innovations Conference, London ON

Nov 14 - 17, 2017 : Canadian Forage & Grassland Association Conference, Guelph ON, 
Nov 21 - 22, 2017: Canada's Farmed Seafood Policy Conference, Ottawa ON, 

Nov 28 - 29, 2017: Grow Canada Conference, Calgary AB, 

Nov 29, 2017:  Eastern Regional Poultry 
Conference, St. Isidore ON

Nov 30 - Dec 2, 2017: Dairy Sheep Symposium, Orford QC, 

Apr 4 - 5, 2018: Canadian Poultry Expo, London ON, 

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Research and Innovation Driving Livestock Sector Success
Research Snapshots 

Feed: Canada produces best wheat for feed

A 2016 wheat survey evaluated the nutritional value of feed in Ontario, the prairies and BC, and compared it to similar samples from the U.S., Argentina, Ukraine and Australia. When samples were analyzed at the University of Manitoba, Canadian wheat had higher overall nutritional value.

Feed: Same gut reaction for livestock fed GMO vs conventional grain 

A new study in the Journal of Animal Science found that food products from livestock raised on GMO feed is no different than that from livestock fed conventional grain. Researchers concluded there is nothing in the literature to suggest DNA from genetically engineered feed behaves any differently in the gastrointestinal tract of animals than feed that is not genetically engineered.

Climate change: Livestock emitting more methane  

A new study published in the journal Carbon Balance and Management reports that global methane emissions from livestock are larger than previously estimated. The study found that global emission levels of methane from livestock were 11 per cent higher than estimates, due in part to outdated data.

Food security: Livestock not a big burden on global food supply

A new study in Global Food Security found that livestock are less of a burden on human food supply than previously reported. Animal foods provide a vital source for global nutrition - with the recent investigation reporting an estimated 3 kg of cereals required to produce 1 kg of meat, compared to previous studies that put the amount of cereals required at 6 to 20 kg.
Food Security: Tracking the global threat of wheat stem rust

New research from the University of Cambridge reveals likely routes and months for the spread of new strains of airborne wheat stem rust that could endanger global food security by impacting wheat production around the world.
Poultry: Mining big data for bigger opportunities

There's a growing opportunity for the poultry industry to make better use of all the data collected throughout the value chain, according to a software company specializing in the protein industry. 

Poultry: Greener eggs from vegan hens

Researchers at the University of British Columbia have found a way to reduce the environmental footprint of Canadian eggs - feed hens a vegan organic feed instead of non-organic feeds that contain animal by-products.
Full Article

Poultry: Adding mealworms to meat bird diets

A new study published in the Journal Animal Feed Science and Technology looks at including insect protein to the diets of female broiler chickens. Adding mealworm to diets may improve body weight, weight gain and feed intake, but can also decrease feed efficiency.
Full Article

Swine: Precision farming finding its place in livestock production

Monitoring individual finishing pigs may offer new opportunities for improvements using Precision Livestock Farming - using sensors to observe what's happening inside the barn to guide management changes. The practice is much more common in field crop production, and being looked at more in livestock production, including hog finishing barns, where it required tracking of individual animals.

Swine: Shedding new light on odour control

Researchers at Iowa State University have discovered that black light can significantly reduce the levels of odiferous chemicals released to effectively neutralize odours in swine operations. Black light is a milder version of ultraviolet (UV) light and was shown to reduce odours from 40 to 100%. 

Swine: Set the timer for swine exhibits to reduce disease spread 

Limiting live swine exhibits at fairs to 72 hours will help reduce the spread of influenza among animals, and reduce the chance of flu passing from pigs to people, according to a new study from Ohio State University.

Beef: Feeding for better breeding

Researchers at the University of Illinois have found a way to measure the feed efficiency of beef cattle on pasture compared to the performance of grain-fed animals. By measuring how much cattle eat across different life stages and diet types, the study results are expected to help the industry breed more efficient animals.

Dairy: Danish researchers eliminate hereditary disease in calves 

Facial dysplasia syndrome in Holsteins has been eliminated by researchers at the University of Copenhagen. They traced the facial deformity in calves to a genetic mutation in one bull, who has since been put down. 
Full Article

Dairy: Building a better cheese

Australian researchers have unlocked the inner workings of Lactococcus bacteria - used in cheesemaking - that has important implications for the country's billion-dollar cheese industry.

Dairy: Walking towards better disease detection

Studying images captures of a cow's gait holds the secret to early detection of lameness from hoof disease - a major illness impacting dairy cattle. Using human gait analysis, researchers at Osaka University are able to achieve 99% accuracy for early detection of lameness.
Full Article

Sheep: Mapping out the genes for better immunity and meat quality

Scientists at the University of Edinburgh have mapped the genetic code of sheep, including which genes affecting different organs and tissue in the body. New insights into gene function could help improve breeding programs improve health and productivity in sheep.

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

New food made without land or water...wait, what?
A new process by UK company Calysta uses bacteria that eat methane gas to create a pelleted animal feed that is being fed to fish being raised for human consumption.