Updates From the World of Livestock & Poultry Research


U of G's Hebert launching new global DNA barcode project
Paul Hebert is helping launch a new $180-million DNA barcoding project that includes more than 1,000 researchers in 30 countries. It's the latest phase in the University of Guelph initiative, started by Hebert in the late 1990s, to use DNA barcoding to inventory every living thing on earth.

Honorary degree recipients named at U of G
Seven individuals will receive honorary degrees at the University of Guelph's summer convocation, including James France and Barry Hill. University Professor Emeritus James France has made significant contributions to advancing ruminant nutrition in farm animals around the world by understanding animal nutrition processes and developing feed evaluation systems. Barry Hill is a long-time supporter of environmentally sustainable food production, founding member of the Six Nations Farmers' Association and helped found one of Canada's largest ethanol plants.
Making News
Former ARIO chair sees positive path for livestock research
Stewart Cressman has spent 13 years with the Agricultural Research Institute of Ontario (ARIO), the last eight as chair, and he's confident that livestock research in Ontario has a strong future. ARIO owns 15 research stations across the province and advises the provincial ag ministry on research priorities.
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Beef research project letters of intent due August 9
Researchers and extension agents are encouraged to submit letters of intent for two beef research projects. The Beef Cattle Research Council and Alberta Beef Producers are inviting separate letters of intent for research projects for technology transfer and production economics projects respectively. Application deadline for both organizations is August 9, 2019.
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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

July 10 & July 16, 2019: OPIC Health and Safety Days, Watford & Listowel, ON

July 16 - 18, 2019:  Ag in Motion ,
 Saskatoon, SK,

July 17, 2019: OPIC Bruce Winkler Golf Day, St. Marys Golf and Country Club

Aug 13 - 15, 2019: Canadian Beef Industry Conference, Calgary AB,

Sept 4th, 2019: PIC's Fundraiser Golf Tournament, Baden, ON

Sept 10 - 12, 2019: Canada's Outdoor Farm Show, Woodstock ON,

Sept 17 - 21, 2019: International Plowing Match, Verner, ON

Sept 23rd, 2019: Science in the Pub, Guelph, ON

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

Oct 7- 9, 2019: PAACO, Guelph, ON

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

Oct 24th, 2019: Poultry Industry Council AGM, Guelph, ON

Oct 24 - 25th, 2019: Ontario Sheep Farmers, AGM and Conference, Allison, ON,

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Research Snapshots 

Alternative protein: Dutch Protix transitioning insect farming
Dutch King Willem-Alexander officially opened a new insect production facility in the Netherlands, marking a transition for the global insect industry and a great example of circular agriculture. The new facility by Dutch insect breeder Protix cultivates the protein source from egg to end product in a controlled environment that is automated with sensors, data and robots.
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Environment and climate: Climate change impacting crop production
Researchers at the University of Minnesota, along with teams from the University of Oxford and University of Copenhagen, evaluated the impact of climate change on crop production. The new research shows climate change causes significant yield variation in the world's top 10 crops, ranging from a 13.4% decrease in oil palm to 3.5% increase in soybean. Some regions and countries are faring far worse than others.
Environment and climate: Charcoal provides natural solution to fertilizer pollution
A groundbreaking study at the University of Guelph discovered that naturally occurring charcoal in soil can sponge up nitrogen, reducing ammonia pollution and lower greenhouse gas emissions from fertilizer for crop production.
Poultry: Providing real-time predictive data
Agri-tech company Intelia is helping producers capture flock metrics to provide real-time data for flock management. Poultry barn sensors record information on birds (weight, water usage, feed-bin weight etc.) and the barn environment (light, temperature, humidity, etc.) and load on cloud-based data systems where producers can view in an easy-to-interpret format.

Poultry: Unraveling the Marek's Disease Virus
Penn State scientists have published new research on the diversity of the Marek's Disease Virus (MDV) - a major threat to the global poultry sector that costs up to $2 billion worldwide. Researchers studied the genetic diversity of MDV on 10 Pennsylvanian farms over a three-year period.
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Poultry: Robotics offer revolution in monitoring
Automated devices that patrol poultry operations offer new options for producers looking to reduce their reliance on labour and improve environmental monitoring. A modular robotic device developed in the UK has been trialed on a commercial farm and is able to monitor bird behavior and the barn environment without negatively impacting bird behaviour.
Swine: Cold plasma improves filtration
New research from the University of Michigan found that dangerous airborne viruses are rendered harmless when exposed to energetic, charged fragments of air molecules. With nonthermal reactors able to inactivate 99.9% of a test virus, researchers are hoping to use this finding to one day replace the surgical mask.
Swine: Irish researchers discover surprising pig behaviours
Researchers at Queen's University in Belfast found gender differences in the social-play behaviour of young pigs, with links to aggression later in life. Contrary to all predictions, researchers also found that the level of play fighting did not differ between socialized and control groups of pigs.
Swine: Diet helps prevent sperm damage in warm climate hogs
Australian researchers have recently discovered that tropical summer weather causes a 16-fold increase in DNA damage and reduces concentration of pig sperm. Summer infertility costs the pig industry millions of dollars each year in productivity losses in tropical countries. Researchers at James Cook University in Queensland and Ohio State University have developed a multi-antioxidant supplement that protects boar sperm DNA from hot climate damage.
Beef: Prolonged calving season can be costly
Sixteen years of research from the Western Beef Development Centre found heifers calving earlier had greater pregnancy rates, stayed in the herd longer and produced one more calf in their lifetime than those calving in later periods. A new calculator tool is available to measure the impact of condensing breeding season on revenue.
Dairy: New pathogens require further study
The German Cancer Research Centre presented findings earlier this year on new infection pathogens referred to as "bovine milk and meat factors" (BMMF). This previously unknown pathogen causes inflammation and has been detected in cow's milk and milk products, and blood serum of healthy cattle. With the possibility of a connection between the BMMF and the incidence of cancer in humans, further research is recommended.
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Dairy: Lab-grown dairy is here
A California-based startup has created proteins found in conventional cow's milk without using animals by developing a genetically modified microflora that produces whey and casein through fermentation. The company says their product is the same protein found in cow's milk.
Dairy: Milk consumption related to lean body type
University of McGill researchers reviewed existing studies of 6-18 year olds to study the effects of milk and milk product consumption on weight and body composition. They found that children and adolescents who consumer milk products are more likely to have a lean body type. This is the first meta-analysis that summarized results from 17 randomized control trials.

Whatever Next?!? 

Are those curds in my coffee?
Y ou expect marshmallows to float in your hot chocolate...but cheese in your coffee? An Australian and New Zealand dairy company thinks so. They are watching these emerging dairy trends - coffee topped with cubes of cheese that absorb the coffee and take on a squeaky texture, gourmet sweet and savoury flavoured butters, and high protein yogurt, ice cream and go-to dairy snacks.
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