Updates From the World of Livestock & Poultry Research


Inaugural Dr. Brian MacNaughton Memorial Award
Alberta dairy veterinarian Dr. George Atkins received the first Dr. Brian MacNaughton Memorial Award - presented by Elanco Canada - in recognition of outstanding contributions to Canadian veterinary medicine. Atkins has been a practicing veterinarian in the Calgary area for more than 40 years and was recognized for his distinguished career as a veterinarian and educator.

Canadian Roundtable for Sustainable Beef names new executive director
Monica Hadarits is now heading the Canadian Roundtable for Sustainable Beef organization, after serving as the community engagement manager, and programs and certification director. With farm roots in Saskatchewan, Hadarits has a MSc from the University of Guelph.

Arrell Food Institute names 2018 innovation winners
To recognize global excellence in food innovation and community impact, the Arrell Food Institute at the University of Guelph has announced its 2018 Global Food Innovation Awards. The research award goes to Dr. Samuel Myers and the community award goes to Solidaridad.
  Full Article

  Making News

New Zealand reopens debate on dairy gene editing
The successful use of gene editing to knock down a major milk allergen by New Zealand researchers has reopened the genetically modified debate in the country. But New Zealanders don't embrace gene editing and generally favour being GE-free.

  LRIC Update

The Canadian Poultry Research Council is currently calling for Letters of Intent. The deadline for submitting completed LOI's is February 1, 2019.

Details on open calls for research proposals are available online. Log into LRIC's research management system by clicking here

Any questions can be directed to info@livestockresearch.ca

Coming events 

Jan 8 - 10, 2019: Banff Pork Seminar, Banff, AB,

Jan 9, 2019: Beef Symposium, Guelph, ON,

Jan 10 - 12, 2019: Beef Industry Convention, London, ON,

Feb 6, 2019: Poultry Industry Council Producer Updates, Jordan, ON,

Feb 12 - 14, 2019: International Production and Processing Expo, Atlanta, GA,

Feb 19 - 22, 2019:  17th International Exhibition of Equipment & Technologies for Livestock Farming, Dairy and Meat Production, Moscow, Russia,

Feb 20, 2019: Poultry Industry Council Producer Updates, Mount Brydges, ON,

Feb 20 - 21, 2019:  Beef Farmers of Ontario annual general meeting, Toronto, ON,

Feb 20 - 22, 2019: Alberta Beef Industry Conference, Red Deer, AB,

Feb 26, 2019: Poultry Industry Council Producer Updates, Mount Forest, ON, 

Mar 4 - 6, 2019: Progressive Dairy Operators' Triennial Dairy Symosium, Toronto, ON

Mar 6, 2019:  Veal Farm ers of Ontario General Meeting, Stratford, ON
Details to Come

Mar 19 - 20, 2019:  Ontario Pork Annual Meeting
Mar 26, 2019: London Swine Conference, London, ON,

Apr 3 - 4, 2019:  Canadian Dairy XPO, Stratford, ON, 

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

May 15 - 16, 2019: Animal Nutrition Conference of Canada, Niagara Falls, ON,

Jun 19 - 20, 2019 : Pork Congress, Stratford, ON, 

Oct 5 - 9, 2019: Anuga, Cologne, Germany,

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

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Research and Innovation Driving Livestock Sector Success
Research Snapshots 
Alternative protein: Three big challenges for the insect protein sector
The European insect industry has identified some major challenges as the sector looks ahead to 2030, according to a recent vision report. The three big challenges include the need to upscale production capacity, address consumer expectations for nutritious and high quality products, and regulatory challenges for insect production.

Antimicrobial use: New novel method to study resistance
Next-generation gene sequencing technology has made it possible to investigate questions related to antibiotic use including the prevalence and transmission of resistance, and the mode of action of antibiotics and feed additives.

Environment and Climate Change: Reducing nitrogen emissions in fertilizer production
US researchers have determined that if fertilizer manufacturers adopted benchmarks similar to fuel-efficiency standards in the auto industry, the benefits to the corn sector alone could be $5-8 billion. By reducing nitrogen pollution, fertilizer manufacturers would be expected to develop more technically sophisticated nitrogen products tailored to specific crops, climates and soil conditions.

Poultry: Tracking influenza risk through Twitter
A multidisciplinary team at the University of Guelph has developed an automated system to search Twitter for keywords related to avian influenza, using artificial intelligence to integrate layers of data for early detection and intervention of avian influenza. The ultimate goal of the new decision support system is to help authorities with disease prevention and response and policy making.

Poultry: Silicon supplement could improve bone health
UK researchers have found a way to develop a silicon feed supplement that keeps the substance in a form that is absorbable and usable by birds. Silicon is known to improve the integrity of body tissues, but natural forms are difficult for the body to absorb. The development is important for the poultry industry as fast-growing birds may suffer from lameness and skeletal issues.

Swine: PRRS virus can overcome maternal immunity
New research has demonstrated that vaccinating 1-day-old piglets with a porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus (PRRS) modified live attenuated virus vaccines is able to overcome maternal immunity.

Swine: Supplemental feeder supports large litters
A Dutch company has developed an automatic milk dispenser to help prolific sows raise larger litters. The Automatic Liquid Flexible Feeder supplies extra milk to piglets every hour, at a similar frequency to the sow. One flexible feeder can serve litters for two sows at the same time.
  Full Article

Swine: Studying the social dynamics in sick pigs
Poor health is associated with an increased risk of tail biting outbreaks in pigs. Researchers suspect illness changes social dynamics and now have preliminary evidence of abnormal social behaviour, shortly after a bout of acute inflammation.
  Full Article

Beef: Genes identified for desirable consumer traits
Brazilian researchers have identified 35 genes in Gir cattle associated with reproduction, milk composition, growth, meat and carcass, health and body conformation traits. The information is key to developing novel lines with traits designed by producers and consumers.

Beef: A closer look at polycropping
University of Saskatchewan researchers are evaluating the potential of polycrops as part of a two-year study comparing the costs and benefits of swath grazing barley and swath grazing a polycrop. They are looking at soil health, as well as production and economic impacts.

Beef: Smart ear tag tracks herd activities
A new Australian technology is helping farmers track herd activities and movement, similar to consumer smart watches .The ear tag tracks where herds graze, if an animal has escaped or been stolen, and unusual movements that could alert farmers if an animal is sick or giving birth.

Dairy: Choline supports transition period
New research from the University of Florida found that feeding choline to dairy cows during the transition period produced an average of 4.6 lb. more milk per day. Choline is a required nutrient that enables cows to utilize the fat they mobilize from body stores, helping them manage a negative energy balance during the early stages of lactation.

Dairy: The far-reaching effects of acidosis
Ruminal acidosis can be a painful condition that occurs when cattle eat too much highly digestible starch or sugar, and can lead to other problems like ruminitis, laminitis or liver abscesses. It's an animal welfare concern and decreases performance. Saskatchewan researchers found that cattle could recover from the condition but were always susceptible to future bouts.

Dairy: New device measures dairy proteins
An Australian startup is releasing a new diagnostic tool that can quickly detect lactose and spoiled milk. The device, branded Cybertongue, uses minute biological protein sensors to measure components of milk like lactose, and has potential applications in food safety, environmental monitoring and human health.

Sheep: Curcumin is a powerful bioactive
Curcumin is a natural bioactive compound with anti-inflammatory and antioxidant activity. Brazilian researchers found that adding the compound to the diet of dairy sheep can be an effective strategy to increase milk performance and improve milk quality.

Aquaculture: Dead salmon spawn tree growth     
New research has discovered that rotting salmon carcasses are inadvertently contributing to improved tree growth. During 20 years of monitoring salmon in an Alaskan stream, researchers routinely throw fish that have died from old age or are torn apart by bears or gull onto the river banks. Ecologist studying the forest found the carcasses leached enough nutrients to speed up tree growth. 

Veal: Measuring debudding pain
US researchers have found that the pain calves experience from debudding can last for as long as it takes for a new layer of skin to form where the horn bud was burned off. The new research suggests the pain can last up to nine weeks.

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

Will this pork loin give me the munchies?
An Oregon pig farmer is raising cannabis-fed pigs as part of an integrated legal marijuana farming operation. It's only anecdotal, but the farmer thinks his pigs have a bigger appetite and are gaining faster than weed-free pigs. There currently isn't a lot of scientific information available about how pigs react to being fed plant scraps and bakery waste...or how the resulting pork product will change for consumers.