Immunity for life

Solving one of the most harmful diseases in beef cattle

cattle-immune-response-facebook-englishBy Jeanine Moyer for AgInnovation Ontario

Guelph – Natural selection has enabled all kinds of life forms to adapt to changing environments. Most recently, a University of Guelph professor has harnessed natural variation within the immune system to identify and breed immunity traits to find the healthiest animals.

Years of research has led Dr. Bonnie Mallard, professor and inventor of the High Immune Response (HIR) Technology and the Immunity+ Technology, to develop a testing method to identify animals with natural immunity and enhanced disease resistance. Lire la suite

Ontario farm family builds premium local food brand

pristine-gourmet-twitter-englishBy Lilian Schaer for AgInnovation Ontario

Waterford – When the going gets tough, the tough get going, or so the saying goes.

And that’s precisely the situation Ontario grain farmer Jason Persall found himself in more than a decade ago – crop prices were low, leading him to look for a way to add value to his family’s Norfolk County farming business.

Today, the Pristine Gourmet brand is popular with chefs and consumers alike across North America and is known for its premium cold-pressed virgin soybean, canola and sunflower oils that rival olive oil in quality. Lire la suite

Funky fungi for healthy fields

fungus-twitter-englishBy Matt McIntosh for AgInnovation Ontario

St Catharines – Brock University researchers are looking for growth – fungal growth that is – and they are doing it with agriculture in mind.

PhD students Larissa Barelli, Soumya Moonjely, and Shasha Hu are trying to understand the relationship between entomopathogenic fungi – a naturally occurring bug-killer – and plants.

By studying how the ground-based fungi work within the soil, they could develop an effective and more naturally derived method of pest control that also promotes plant growth.

“These fungi exist all over the globe. There are numerous varieties in Ontario alone, and each has its own unique characteristics and target insects,” says Barelli. Lire la suite

Craft processor – farmer partnership to develop value-added local food

product-webBy Lilian Schaer for AgInnovation Ontario

Guelph – A small southern Ontario craft food processor is offering fruit and vegetable farmers the chance to add value to their crops.

Rootham Gourmet from Guelph is well known for its award-winning brand of jams, jellies, chutneys, sauces and dressings made with local ingredients that they’ve been marketing for over 30 years.

Now, with Growing Forward 2 support for a new state-of-the-art packaging line, they’re expanding to add co-packing services for Ontario farmers who have surplus produce, or are looking for a value-added product to sell in on-farm stores or at farmers’ markets. Lire la suite

Canadian mobile device offers instant dairy cow health check

results-webBy Lisa McLean for AgInnovation Ontario

Queensville, Ontario – “A dairy farmer, an engineer and an accountant walk into a barn…”

That’s the setup for Dairy Quality Inc., a Queensville, Ontario-based company that prides itself on creating high tech solutions to meet dairy farming challenges. The company’s latest product is an innovative new device that gives dairy farmers instant updates on a cow’s health and milk quality.

With the RT10 device and Dairy SCC app, farmers use a mobile fluorescent microscope connected to a smart phone to test milk samples from individual cows. The device works with an iPhone app to provide real-time readings of specific health indicators, including somatic cell count (SCC), which is the most important indication of dairy cow health.

“Currently, dairy farmers across North America receive a monthly report from Dairy Herd Improvement Association (DHIA) that indicates SCC data,” says Chris Gans, Director of Sales and Marketing for Dairy Quality Inc. “Our product doesn’t replace that service, but a lot can happen on a dairy farm in 30 days. Dairy SCC offers farmers the ability to have more immediate information relating to the health of each individual cow.” Lire la suite