Category Archives: dairy farming

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

Ontario student wins national innovation contest

Charlene in the barn with cows - web

Charlene Elliott, winner of the nation-wide 4-H science competition

A Wellington County high school student has won a nation-wide science competition sponsored by 4-H Canada.

Charlene Elliott, a Grade 11 student at Eastwood Collegiate in Kitchener, placed first with her freestall dairy barn scraper concept, which she has dubbed “Lugano 100”.

Scrapers currently used in freestall dairy barns – where cows can move about freely instead of being in individual stalls – will clean manure out of the alleyways, but don’t touch the bedded areas where cows lie down.

Washing and re-bedding resting areas for dairy cows is time consuming work, so Elliott set about devising a system that would automate that process. Continue reading

Livestock bedding offers markets for miscanthus, switchgrass growers

SG field in Grey County before harvest fall 2014 - web

Switchgrass in a Grey County field prior to harvest, Fall 2014 – photo courtesy of OMAFRA

The current wheat straw shortage is sending farmers in search of bedding alternatives for their livestock and poultry.

And they may have found it in biomass crops like miscanthus and switchgrass.

Originally intended for alternative energy production or as ingredients into plant-based plastics and other bioproducts, these crops are increasingly in demand by farmers as livestock bedding for dairy or beef cattle, broiler chickens, sheep or even deep-bedded pigs. Continue reading

Award-winning bottle washing system helps keep calves healthy

Henry filling bottles web

Henry Keunen filling milk bottles for calves

Keeping calves free of disease and getting them off to a good start in life is a top priority for dairy farmers Henry and Rose Keunen of Strathroy.

In fact, an integrated milk pasteurizer and calf bottle washer system designed by Henry has won the Keunens a Premier’s Award for Agri-Food Innovation Excellence.

Continue reading

New on-farm organic creamery opening

Great story in the Chesterville Record about an innovative farm family that will soon be opening an on-farm creamery on their organic dairy farm in Eastern Ontario.

Upper Canada Creamery will turn all of the output of the Biemond family’s grass-fed dairy herd into organic probiotic yogurt.

Click here to read the story by Nelson Zandbergen in the Chesterville Record.