New technologies are emerging that automate temperature detection in animals as a way to monitor animal health and potential heat stress. Measuring animal temperature can identify animals with
elevated body temperature due to illness, injury, heat stress, toxin exposure or other health-related issues.
Automated temperature detection devices also collect data that could be associated with trait phenotypes and be indicators for selecting more disease or heat tolerant cattle.
Environment and climate change: New cleaner, cheaper process to produce ammonia
Researchers at the University of Toyko have discovered a new process for making ammonia that is cleaner, easier and cheaper than the current methods used to produce the colourless gas used in products like fertilizer. The new Samarium-Water Ammonia Production (SWAP) method uses readily available lab equipment, recycled chemicals and minimal energy to efficiently produce ammonia.
Feed: Better grass yields with plasma treated manure
An Irish study is testing a process that treats manure or biogas digestate with plasma gas before applying to fields. The treatment process improves the agronomic and environmental characteristics of manure and is showing positive results for improving grass yields because it reduces ammonia emissions and makes nitrogen more available for direct plant uptake.
Poultry: Variations in chicken genes could help fight viruses
UK researchers have found variations in the genes of chicken antiviral proteins that could have an impact on the bird's ability to fight viral infections. The study is the first of its kind that is looking at natural genetic variations of antiviral proteins across breeds - information that could be useful for commercial poultry breeding.
Poultry: Lessons on transitioning to no antibiotics ever
Transitioning from conventional poultry production to a no antibiotics ever (NAE) system requires careful planning and management changes at every level of production. Successful NAE production begins with a sound vaccination program for breeder pullets, involves hatchery improvements and detailed broiler management to prevent necrotic enteritis - one of the toughest challenges in NAE systems.
Swine: The challenge of developing a Strep suis vaccine
Although there are many groups around the globe working on vaccines for
Strep suis - it's a very challenging task to develop an effective vaccine for this infection.
Strep suis - a gram-positive bacteria that's common in the pork sector worldwide - colonizes in the throat, respiratory tract and gut of the pig.
Swine: Using beeps for better biosecurity
A new Canadian study looks at how technology used for biosecurity in hospitals could boost compliance levels on swine and poultry farms. The researchers used an RFID tag system in a pig barn similar to those used to monitor healthcare worker visits to hand-washing stations. The tags were installed on farm worker shoes and boots - beeping when biosecurity protocols were not being followed.
Beef: Controlling crypto with better diagnostics
University of Arizona researchers are developing better diagnostic tools for cryptosporidiosis (crypto) - a microscopic parasite that spreads quickly, is the major culprit in calf scours and is zoonotic. Early diagnosis is key to keeping crypto under control, and researchers have developed a panel of monoclonal antibodies that are useful for detecting crypto. The discovery opens the opportunity for a highly sensitive, quick diagnostic test for the parasite.
Beef: A new way to calculate the value of a bull
A new bull valuation calculator has been developed that estimates a breakeven bull price. The idea is to provide a general idea of how much a bull is worth based on key farm parameters that include individual performance, the environment (i.e. pasture productivity), management (cow-to-bull ratio) and markets (calf price).
Dairy: Newborn calves benefit from extra water
New US research shows that giving calves water right from the start can have a positive impact on milk intake and growth. After studying 30 newborn Holstein heifer calves, the researchers concluded that providing drinking water immediately after birth could improve calf growth and development pre- and post-weaning. These findings may result from stimulated rumen development and increased nutrient availability because water, unlike milk, can enter the rumen and become part of its development.
Dairy: Looking at live yeast to address heat stress
Heat stress is a growing concern for the dairy industry, and live yeast may have an impact on the immune system in cows during hot summer months. A new study looked at the benefits of a yeast supplement on the immune function and insulin sensitivity in transition cows during heat stressed summer months. The results suggest there may be an immunomodulatory effect of yeast supplementation in transition cows.