Some other countries use regular surveillance of milk to track disease, such as the Netherlands and Ireland.

Province-wide bulk tank samples to track disease prevalence

Research project could help with individual farm and provincial disease management

Reading Time: 2 minutes Ontario bulk tank samples will be screened for diseases in a broad look aimed at determining disease prevalence in Ontario herds. The provincial government recently announced financial support for the Dairy Farmers of Ontario (DF)-led effort to establish annual testing of bulk tank samples for a roster of infectious diseases. Why it matters: Some diseases […] Read more

The rumen bolus is usually inserted prior to first calving.

Automating dairy cattle health monitoring – from the inside

Ontario inventor creates dairy cattle bolus system to monitor internal metrics

Reading Time: 3 minutes A Toronto-based start-up has developed a real-time cattle monitoring system it says will help farmers increase the efficiency of their operations. Cattle Scan’s Bovine Monitoring Bolus tracks dairy cattle health 24/7 from inside the animal to provide early alerts of potential health issues before the onset of visible symptoms. Why it matters: Earlier intervention means […] Read more

Research is ongoing to determine cows that are genetically more tolerant of heat stress.

Study shows heat stress challenges increasing in Ontario dairy cows

Data suggests Quebec cows have been less affected than those in Ontario

Reading Time: 2 minutes Ongoing research aimed at identifying genetic determinants for heat stress tolerance in Canadian cows has, as a side effect, turned up interesting comparisons between the long-term impact of rising average temperatures on dairy farms in Quebec versus Ontario. According to analysis conducted by Masters student Ivan Campos at the University of Guelph, decreases in milk […] Read more

Calves can experience poor nutritional absorption if removed from milk too early.

Rumen development critical for young calf health

Supplements and management can help develop the rumen to allow nutrient transport

Reading Time: 3 minutes Keeping calves longer on milk helps ensure the rumen is developed well enough to absorb important nutrients. By the time ruminants are weaned, it’s imperative that rumen epithelia are functioning optimally to ensure the proper absorption of volatile fatty acids (VFA) into the blood stream. Why it matters: Better absorption of nutrients after weaning means […] Read more

Transition cows often have low neutrophil activity before calving, meaning it’s more difficult for them to fight infections.

Neutrophil system plays big role in dry cow immunity

Extra bunk space is good buffer to reduce health risks and improve immune activity

Reading Time: 3 minutes It’s believed transition cows have suppressed immune systems, but Dr. Stephen LeBlanc of the University of Guelph says it’s not as simple as just blaming compromised immune systems for all transition dairy cattle problems. “Metabolically, yes cows have reduced aspects of immune function through the transition period and part of some of the reasons for […] Read more


Feed is one of the largest costs on farms and a feed efficiency index will help farmers make better genetic decisions.

Work continues on dairy feed efficiency evaluation index

Planned Canadian release date pushed back to April 2021

Reading Time: 3 minutes Lack of data has pushed back the planned implementation of a genetic tool targeting dairy cattle feed efficiency, but the project’s researchers remain confident it will be ready for dairy breeders by April 2021. Working in the researchers’ favour, meanwhile, is the fact that the heritability is relatively high for the three genetic traits being […] Read more

COVID-19 aid ‘falls short,’ farm groups warn

Aid package includes AgriRecovery for cattle, hog sectors

Reading Time: 5 minutes Ottawa — Despite Prime Minister Justin Trudeau saying more money will be provided if needed, the agriculture sector continues to criticize Ottawa’s $252 million in COVID-19-related financial aid offered to producers and processors. “If we have to add more, we will,” said Trudeau, after announcing new funding and programming. The federal government is offering an […] Read more

Beef Farmers of Ontario ask for curb on cull sales

BFO concerned over processing 'backlogs'

Reading Time: 3 minutes Updated, April 15 — Ontario’s cattle producer organization is asking members to consider delaying sales of cull cows until market conditions “normalize.” Beef Farmers of Ontario’s board on Thursday published a memo to beef and dairy cattle producers, asking them to help “prevent a further surge in cull cows in the market” — especially of […] Read more


Dairy sector shuts down most visits from off-farm providers

In agriculture, dairy farms are among those most called-on by outside services

Reading Time: 3 minutes New additions to Gerrit Herrema’s dairy barn have made it easier for his family to abide by recent directions to avoid contact with milk truck drivers to reduce COVID-19’s spread. “We have boot washes and other biosecurity measures in the barn. We need to take these measures in order to minimize the damage,” said Herrema, […] Read more

Canadian dairy cows have increased in stature by 2.5 centimetres over the past decade.

Separating stature from major Holstein traits

A new composite index should help maintain desirable traits, while de-emphasizing stature

Reading Time: 3 minutes Canada’s dairy breeding sector is attempting to slow a gradual increase in the average size of the nation’s Holstein. At Lactanet Canada’s recent Open Industry Session held in Guelph, geneticist Dr. Allison Fleming provided information about the development of a composite index of four well-established dairy genetic traits. Why it matters: As the average height […] Read more