Good records will show which bulls worked out and which didn’t in a given year.

Heterosis an overlooked way to improve less heritable cow traits

Elite animals can be best to use as crossbreds

Reading Time: 2 minutes Glacier FarmMedia – Many cow-calf operations don’t use heterosis to full advantage in their herds, according to two producers who recently discussed breeding goals. “I was always told that commercial breeders should have better cattle than any purebred breeder because they’ve been able to capitalize on heterosis,” said Lance Leachman, a cattle producer from Maidstone, […] Read more

Wild pigs could be an uncontrollable factor if ever infected with African swine fever.

Canada, U.S. agree on plan if African swine fever infects wild pigs

Zoning would keep other parts of the North American hog market functioning

Reading Time: 2 minutes Glacier FarmMedia – Wild pigs are a worry in Canada and the United States for reasons beyond the damage they do to farms, pasture land and ecosystems. They could be an uncontrollable factor if ever infected with African swine fever. Why it matters: African swine fever has devastating effects on swine herds, as shown in […] Read more

The cattle herd in Eastern Canada grew slightly to 2.9 million head in 2020.

Eastern Canada cattle herd grows

National cattle herd size drops, part of a decline happening since 2005

Reading Time: 3 minutes Glacier FarmMedia – Eastern Canada saw a slightly larger cattle herd in 2020 compared to 2019 but nationally there were fewer cattle and sheep and slightly more hogs. Statistics Canada released its livestock 2020 inventory March 1, showing a one per cent decline in the national cattle herd, totalling 11.2 million animals, and a two […] Read more

Farmers like Mike Patterson of Kenyon, Minnesota, would be devastated if an outbreak was to occur in the United States.

Early control would ease ASF damage in U.S.

Officials predict costs of an outbreak could be reduced to $15 billion from $50 billion if it was controlled within two years

Reading Time: 3 minutes Glacier FarmMedia – African swine fever could become endemic in the United States if it arrives in North America. Paul Sundberg of the Ames, Iowa-based Swine Health Information Centre said the virus is a looming threat that could cost the American pork industry $50 billion over 10 years. Why it matters: The American and Canadian […] Read more

Small-scale pig farmers are being targeted by a new survey.

Small pig farm survey part of ASF initiative

Learning more about small-lot producers could make it easier to communicate with them about African swine fever

Reading Time: 3 minutes Glacier FarmMedia – Whether pigs are kept as pets or for a personal pork supply, Canadians who keep a small number of pigs on their property are the target respondents for an online survey expected to be distributed in early 2021. Why it matters: There’s little good data on what motivates small-scale hog producers, and […] Read more

Consumers have become more interested in pork over the last 10 years as they learn more about its preparation.

Pork’s affordability may create opportunities

Industry told it can capitalize on COVID-19-driven changes with cheaper meat and convenience

Reading Time: 2 minutes Glacier FarmMedia – Sylvain Charlebois sees opportunities for pork, and by extension hog producers, amid trends emerging from the pandemic. The Dalhousie University professor and researcher, who has become known as The Food Professor, told participants at the Banff Pork Seminar that the hog industry should find new ways to present pork to capitalize on […] Read more

A professor from the University of British Columbia says social licence to continue raising food animals depends on the industry’s ability to keep in step with community values.

Education campaigns about agriculture have drawbacks: professor

Engaging the public about animal agriculture’s vision is called a better option than abruptly pulling back the curtain

Reading Time: 3 minutes Glacier FarmMedia – Engaging the public rather than trying to educate the public could be the best path to ensure continued trust in animal agriculture. Marina von Keyserlingk, a professor in animal welfare at the University of British Columbia, said she has given a lot of thought about the future of animal agriculture and the […] Read more

Early results indicate lower chick mortality when hatched on the farm, as well as better average daily gain of the chicks.

On-farm hatching may benefit bird welfare

A poultry company is studying the logistics and benefits of bringing the eggs to the farm and hatching them there

Reading Time: 2 minutes Glacier FarmMedia – Hatching chicks on the farms where they are raised, rather than in a hatchery for later shipment to the farm, might improve bird welfare and performance. Groupe Westco, a New Brunswick poultry company, has undertaken research on the subject, with full results expected in 2021. Why it matters: Concerns about chick mortality […] Read more

Many plant operators are pondering greater automation of the process as a hedge against future disruptions.

Meat plants consider automation

Tyson hires former Google research executive as president

Reading Time: 2 minutes Glacier FarmMedia – Hundreds of meat plant workers in North America fell ill with COVID-19 when the pandemic hit earlier this year. It caused many processors to temporarily close or slow production. That was combined with high absenteeism because workers feared getting sick and higher rates of worker absence persist in some regions. Why it […] Read more

China was forced to cull 60 per cent of its hog herd starting in 2018 because of an African swine fever outbreak.

China’s hog herd recovery forecast questioned

Inventory levels aren’t expected to reach pre-ASF levels this year, and sow herd quality is likely to be lower than before

Reading Time: 3 minutes Glacier FarmMedia – Claims from China that hog production in that country will recover by next year to pre-2018 levels do not pass the smell test, says economic analyst Brett Stuart of Global AgriTrends. African swine fever forced the culling of an estimated 60 per cent of the Chinese herd after an outbreak began there […] Read more