Category Archives: dairy farming

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.” Continue reading

Trent research identifies gene variant responsible for scrapie susceptibility in Ontario dairy goats

Young Ontario goats - webBy Lilian Schaer for AgInnovation Ontario

Peterborough ON, 12 July 2016 – Live goats can now be tested for scrapie susceptibility and resistance thanks to newly completed genetic research by Dr. Bradley White, a biology professor at Trent University.

Scrapie is a slow-moving but fatal degenerative central nervous system disease in sheep and goats that is related to Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE) in cattle and Chronic Wasting Disease in deer.

Currently, testing for the scrapie disease in goats is only possible on dead animals and no treatment or vaccine is available. The disease can be spread by positive animals that don’t show any symptoms of the disease, and all goats on farms where scrapie is found are destroyed. Continue reading

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

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