Getting ready for disease challenges requires national planning.

Co-ordinated animal disease response sought

The National Farmed Animal Health and Welfare Council is working with government and industry representatives

Reading Time: 3 minutes Glacier FarmMedia – The catastrophic consequences of a potential foot-and-mouth disease outbreak in Canada terrify the livestock industry. Different sectors have already experienced the impact of foreign animal diseases like BSE, avian influenza, porcine epidemic diarrhea and bovine tuberculosis, said veterinarian Megan Bergman, head of the National Farmed Animal Health and Welfare Council. Why it […] Read more

The box can hold up to 50 chicks and is designed to prevent dead-on-arrivals.

4-H youth solves problem of chick death with “Safer Chick-ments”

A 14-year-old Canadian created a new design for the boxes in which chicks are shipped and applied for a patent

Reading Time: 3 minutes Glacier FarmMedia – It all started with a 4-H project for 14-year-old Mac Dykeman. A member of a 4-H poultry club at Langley, B.C., she was often dismayed when her orders from the United States arrived with dead birds in the shipment. “I would receive them and open the box and many times find them […] Read more

Brett Schuyler checks new apples that are just starting to appear in the orchards.

Sheep complement fruit production on Ontario farm

The Schuylers raise sheep, maintain apple and cherry orchards and grow corn, soybeans and wheat

Reading Time: 4 minutes When farmers are told they have a good story to tell, a prime example may be found at Simcoe, Ont. Schuyler Farms is a diversified livestock, crop and fruit farm owned by brothers Marshall and Drew Schuyler, and Marshall’s sons Brett and Ryan. They grow about 3,000 acres of corn, soybeans and wheat, maintain 1,200 […] Read more

Bovine respiratory disease is the leading cause of sickness and death in newly received feedlot calves.

Preconditioning gives calves better start when entering feedlots

Calves that are properly vaccinated, given protein-rich feed and taught to use a waterer before leaving home tend to better manage feedlot stress

Reading Time: 3 minutes Bovine respiratory disease is the leading cause of sickness and death in newly received feedlot calves. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure for these youngsters that may be immuno-compromised after weaning and transportation. “When you look at the entire North American feedlot industry this disease alone and the losses associated with […] Read more

Eddie Gibson and his wife, Marcy, own Ed-Mar Dairy in Walton, Ky. With fewer than 60 cows on 130 acres of land, 
they are diversifying to deal with low milk prices.

U.S. dairy farm branches out to make ends meet

Smaller U.S. dairy farms have to diversity in order to stay in business during the long-term price slump

Reading Time: 4 minutes Eddie Gibson is unsure how many generations of his family have farmed at Walton, Kentucky, but he fears he may be the last. He and his wife, Marcy, own Ed-Mar Dairy where they milk fewer than 60 cows on 130 acres of land. Even with diversification into cheese making and agri-tourism small farms like theirs […] Read more

Increased packaging is a greater concern for the public than food waste. Photo: agnormark/istock/getty images

Addressing food waste may mean more plastic

Better packaging to extend shelf life creates dilemma as non-biodegradable material ends up in landfills, oceans

Reading Time: 3 minutes The food business is caught in a Catch-22 situation. The public wants to control food waste and one way to do that is with better packaging to preserve freshness and prevent spoilage. On the downside, better packaging often means plastic but more people are concerned about the amount of plastic being thrown away, accumulating in […] Read more

Low unemployment rates in the overall population are making it even more difficult to find farm workers.

Farm workers increasingly in short supply

Surveys found that 70 per cent of the agriculture sector is challenged to find staff it needs

Reading Time: 2 minutes Agriculture employers know hiring, training and retaining workers is an ongoing challenge. Jobless rates are going down and that increases the staffing problem. Surveys from AgCareers show more than 70 per cent of the sector struggles to find suitable staff. Why it matters: Farms need a flexible supply of workers in order to remain competitive […] Read more

The Jersey breed is experiencing a surge in interest as more dairy farms add the brown cow to their Holstein herds.

Jersey cow registrations in Canada are highest since 1963

The breed continues to grow in popularity, especially with existing Holstein herds

Reading Time: 1 minute This may be the year of the Jersey cow. Last year more than 11,800 head were registered with Jersey Canada and growth for the breed is poised to continue. This is the highest number of Jerseys registered since 1963. Membership in the Jersey association has been growing each year. In 2000, there were about 550 […] Read more

Canadian beef exports add at least $600 per head in value, compared to the domestic market, and numbers show that trade is accelerating.

Canadian beef exports worth $600 per head

More capacity is needed to certify producers with cattle that qualify for EU export

Reading Time: 2 minutes Canadian beef exports add at least $600 per head in value, compared to the domestic market, and numbers show that trade is accelerating. Deals like the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership with Pacific Rim countries push down tariffs and open doors to high-value markets like Japan. “There has been triple the volume of […] Read more

As corn yields rise, so does the need for more water.

Balance needed between crop rotation, profit and productivity

Simple rotations are easier, but long-term profitability may be tied to longer rotations

Reading Time: 3 minutes Decreasing agricultural diversity could affect sustainability. “The trend is toward simplification of our systems with fewer crops dominating the landscape,” said Bill Deen of the University of Guelph. Why it matters: More diverse crop rotations can improve soil health while boosting yields and long-term sustainability. He and other scientists are studying the importance of longer […] Read more