Category Archives: livestock

Locally produced algae cleans waste water, feeds livestock

Noble 2 - courtesy Trent University - web

Dr. Andressa Lacerda

By Lilian Schaer for AgInnovation Ontario

Peterborough – Local researchers have developed several strains of algae that can clean waste water as well as serve as a potential livestock superfood.

Nobletech Inc.’s Noble Purification division is currently piloting its algae-based clean water technology, and Noble Biotech has developed sustainable animal feed that is high in protein and omega fatty acids. The company is part of the Greater Peterborough Innovation Cluster.

“Our core technology for both of these applications is the algae product itself,” explains Dr. Andressa Lacerda, a recent Ph.D. graduate of Trent’s environmental and life sciences program. “We’re algae farmers, and we grow algae with different purposes.” Continue reading

Underlying heart problems could be causing pig deaths during transport

Pig truck

Pig transport truck – courtesy of Farm & Food Care photo library

By Lilian Schaer for AgInnovation Ontario

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Guelph – New research funded through the Ontario Farm Innovation Program (OFIP) is suggesting that heart failure due to enlarged hearts may be a key reason why some pigs die on farm or during transport.

In-transit losses – pigs that die while being transported – tend to be higher during the summer months when temperatures are warmer, leading to a commonly accepted school of thought that attributes heat-related stress as a leading contributor to the mortalities.

“Now we know there is a lot more to this story and although it is still a relatively unusual condition – only about 0.06 per cent of all pigs shipped to market – we should do something about it,” explained Tony Van Dreumel, an independent veterinary pathologist and consultant who worked on the project together with University of Guelph PhD candidate Kathy Zurbrigg. Continue reading

Innovation alliance promotes northern Ontario food and farming

Temiskaming 1
By Lilian Schaer for AgInnovation Ontario

New Liskeard – The Northern Ontario Farm Innovation Alliance (NOFIA) has just launched a new tool to help expand the growing agriculture sector in the province’s North.

Its new website, FarmNorth, is a one-stop-shop for food and farming in the region and is designed to provide information for farmers and others in the agri-food sector looking to relocate to Northern Ontario.

“The cost of land in other parts of Ontario means people are interested in moving to Northern Ontario but many don’t know where to start,” explains NOFIA’s administrator Steph Vanthof of NOFIA. “We have many diverse districts within our area, and we want to give an accurate view of agriculture in the different areas of northern Ontario.” Continue reading

New nano sensor detects dairy cattle diseases quickly, easily

Device ready to move to commercialization
By Lilian Schaer for AgInnovation Ontario

Suresh GryphSens Pic1A new handheld instrument can quickly and easily detect two significant diseases in dairy cattle before the animals become sick.

Invented at the University of Guelph by engineering professor Suresh Neethirajan and researchers in the BioNano Laboratory, the nano biosensor uses small test strips to indicate whether a cow has ketosis or metabolic disease by analyzing a small volume of blood or milk.

Nanosensing diagnostic platforms for biomarkers of ketosis and metabolic disease have been developed, which help to rapidly identify elevated levels that can indicate the presence of either of the diseases in animals that appear healthy.

Currently, blood samples must be taken and sent to a lab for analysis, a process that is costly and can take five to seven days to return a diagnosis. Continue reading

Quick-test identifies compounds that can give pork an unpleasant smell

Maria DNA3

Prof. Maria DeRosa, Carleton University

By Lilian Schaer for AgInnovation Ontario

Ottawa – A new tool being developed at Carleton University will be able to quickly and easily identify the presence of two compounds in pork that can give the meat an unpleasant odour when it’s cooked.

In the pig business, this smell is called “boar taint”, and stems from two compounds, skatole and androstenone, found in uncastrated or intact male pigs.

Currently, to avoid the potential of boar taint, most farmers castrate male piglets at a very young age. It’s labour intensive for farmers and stressful for the animals, so the industry has long been searching for options to keep bacon and other pork products tasting great. Continue reading