Gillian Grieves works for South West Ontario Veterinary Services.

Ontario invention wins national swine award

This year’s F.X. Aherne prizes were presented to the inventors of an easier way to handle piglets

Reading Time: 2 minutes Glacier FarmMedia – The inventors of a device to allow easier handling of piglets and the developers of a system that provides more even heat to young piglets received awards for their efforts Jan. 9 at the Banff Pork Seminar. Tess Faulkner and Gillian Grieves of South West Ontario Veterinary Services invented the Hammock, a […] Read more

Golden oyster mushrooms are among the many varieties of gourmet mushrooms grown in Canada.

Consumer curiosity expands mushroom sector

Specialty mushroom production makes up only two per cent of total Canadian production, but interest is growing

Reading Time: 2 minutes Glacier FarmMedia – The specialty mushroom market has been growing steadily for years. Ryan Koeslag, chief executive officer of Mushrooms Canada, said figures indicate a 25 per cent increase annually in specialty mushroom production, although given there are relatively few growers, the numbers aren’t as large as that figure might suggest. Statistics Canada data indicate […] Read more

Options for parasite treatment in sheep are limited but a new product now offers one more. Photo:

Dual action designed to avoid resistance

A new drench is designed to provide effective treatment of sheep without allowing parasites to develop resistance

Reading Time: 3 minutes Parasite resistance to products approved for use on sheep is causing major problems for producers who find current options don’t do an adequate job of deworming. A new product from Zoetis, coupled with new recommendations on treatment protocols, is designed to provide effective treatment without allowing parasites to develop resistance. Dr. Melanie Wowk, large animal […] Read more

A proposal is on the table to determine whether royalties on saved seed should be included in new regulations.

Opinion: Better case needed for farm-saved seed royalties

Reading Time: 3 minutes Given that seed companies have the ability to negotiate contracts to collect royalties, the definitive argument for government regulation to sanction royalties applied to saved seed has yet to be made. Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada is in the midst of a consultation process on a proposal to determine whether royalties on saved seed should be […] Read more

Calves with strong suckling reflex are 41 times more likely to consume enough colostrum soon after birth.

Producers should ensure calves suckle quickly after birth

Dystocia increases the chances that a calf will nurse on its own so producers may have to intervene

Reading Time: < 1 minute If it sucks, that’s a good thing — when it comes to newborn calves. It’s so good, in fact, that newborns with a good suckle reflex are 41 times more likely to consume colostrum on their own compared to calves with a weak suckle reflex. Dr. Craig Dorin of Veterinary Agri-Health Services in Airdrie, Alta., […] Read more

Dr. Egan Brockhoff has been working with the Canadian Food Inspection Agency on risk factors for imported feed, and a document about that is expected to be published soon.

Feed from China poses major ASF danger

China is the only source of certain amino acids needed for hog rations, and even packaging can carry the virus

Reading Time: 2 minutes Imported feed ingredients are a major risk factor for entry of African swine fever into Canada. The highly contagious hemorrhagic fever is a major problem in China and other Canadian trading partners. Studies have shown the virus can survive in feed during an ocean crossing to North America. Why it matters: African swine fever would […] Read more

University of British Columbia researchers tested the sociability of calves by measuring the proximity they chose between themselves and other animals.

Pessimistic calves at a disadvantage

Researchers have discovered that some calves are more fearful than others, which can have implications for future health

Reading Time: 3 minutes Some cattle are more fearful than others. It’s a universal truth confirmed by anyone who has handled cattle herds. But fearfulness is connected to pessimism, says University of British Columbia PhD student Benjamin Lecorps. His research on 22 Holstein dairy calves has shown that some animals are inherently more pessimistic than others, and that trait […] Read more

A recent survey found that farmers feel increasingly vilified by uninformed public opinion about livestock production and by campaigns organized by animal activist groups.

Animal neglect linked to mental health

Those concerned with the well-being of animals should be concerned about the mental health of those caring for them

Reading Time: 2 minutes Stories about livestock that are found to be confined, neglected, emaciated or dead on a farmer’s property tend to generate big headlines. “I don’t understand how anyone could do that,” is the resulting refrain. Dr. Andria Jones-Bitton has heard that common response. “Frankly, if you can’t understand that, it’s probably a good thing. It means […] Read more

Studies by Alberta Agriculture crop pathologist Michael Harding, which compared different disinfectants that can be used on farm equipment, showed a 50:50 concentration of common household bleach and water killed spores and is cheaper.

Nothing fancy about killing clubroot

An Alberta study has shown that household bleach works as well as specialized disinfectants

Reading Time: 2 minutes Glacier FarmMedia – A jug of household bleach is an important tool in the fight against clubroot. Studies by Alberta Agriculture crop pathologist Michael Harding, which compared different disinfectants that can be used to sanitize farm equipment, showed a 50:50 concentration of common household bleach and water killed spores and is cheaper than other options. […] Read more

The number of beef heifers retained for breeding declined by 2.6 per cent.

Canadian cattle herd numbers keep dropping

It’s at its lowest point since 1988, dropping 26.3 per cent from a peak recorded in 2005

Reading Time: 2 minutes The Canadian cattle herd continues to shrink and is at the lowest July 1 number since 1988, Statistics Canada reported in its summer inventory report. Breeding stock numbers are also down and many in the industry say it is unlikely to improve, at least in Western Canada, because drought and resulting feed shortages will force […] Read more