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

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

Canada’s food system faced a severe jolt when the vast majority of food purchasing moved to grocery stores.

Study looks at COVID-19 and food system

The hope is that the results will help strengthen food system emergency planning

Reading Time: 2 minutes Two of Canada’s leading think tanks in agriculture and food policy are working together to try to understand the implications of and lessons from COVID-19’s effects on the Canadian food system. Why it matters: The COVID-19 crisis has shown some weaknesses in the Canadian agri-food system, although food has remained widely available. The Arrell Food […] Read more

Chris Grainger, one of the founders of Harvest Genomics, receives the official winner’s cheque after winning the Gryphon’s LAAIR pitch competition.

Mobile genetic testing technology wins Guelph pitch competition

Harvest Genomics aims to provide on-location genetic testing of food

Reading Time: 3 minutes A Guelph-based start-up with plans to bring mobile genetic testing to agriculture was the winner of the second annual University of Guelph Gryphon’s LAAIR pitch competition, held online May 27. Harvest Genomics will use its $10,000 prize to develop and bring to market a portable DNA system that will make testing capabilities currently only available […] Read more

There’s value in local food production, but having global systems can reduce food risk.

OPINION: In a COVID-19 world, is local better?

While there might be value in bolstering Canadian food production, there’s resiliency in global trade

Reading Time: 3 minutes Our food system has weathered an unprecedented demand shift and shock over the past month. Overall, we have come out of it reasonably well. We have seen short-term shortages on grocery store shelves (flour and other products) and some rationing when product was there (milk, eggs). At the same time, we have heard stories of […] Read more

Private and public crop research will likely slow, but it continues.

Field-level research continues, but with COVID-19 distancing

Private and public research continues in the field, but some lab work is shut down

Reading Time: 2 minutes Universities and private companies continue the develop and research crops, but they are dealing with the imperative to conduct the research apart to assure farmer and co-operator safety. Why it matters: Plant research is an essential service. Trying to continue the research for the agriculture sector while maintaining safety of those involved is important. What’s changed? […] Read more

The Ontario Veterinary College building at the University of Guelph.

Livestock research evolves under COVID-19

University of Guelph research in livestock is an essential service

Reading Time: 3 minutes Livestock research is moving quickly to adjust to the COVID-19 reality. The disease also means new research opportunities at the University of Guelph. Most active livestock research at the university falls into three categories: shut down, scale back, or continuing/new, said Ontario Agriculture College Dean Dr. Rene Van Acker. “We aren’t closed as we fall […] Read more

How to get more accurate DON toxin readings

Elevator operators are advised to grind the entire sample before testing to get more consistent results

Reading Time: 3 minutes An industry committee has recommended changes to elevator testing procedures for deoxynivalenol (DON) after probing into the inconsistent results farmers found so frustrating during the fusarium-plagued 2018 corn harvest. While many have blamed the sampling probe used to collect samples as trucks pull into the elevator, subsequent testing has shown the inconsistent results arose from […] Read more

Veterinarians more likely to have suicidal thoughts: study

Reading Time: < 1 minute Canadian veterinarians, particularly women practitioners, think about suicide more often than the general population and suffer poorer mental health overall, a study by University of Guelph researchers has found. As an occupation, veterinarians have higher levels of stress, burnout, compassion fatigue, anxiety and depression, and reported more suicidal ideation and lower resilience than Canadians generally, […] Read more

The winning hackathon team: Justin Dellandrea, left, Caroline Duvieusart-Dery, Taylor Paradis, 
Connor Russell, Jyothi Shiva Swaraj Vutukuru, Alexandra Mazanko, Marvin Dyck.

Guelph students ‘hack the farm’ for innovative solutions

Students tackled agricultural issues ranging from improved food packaging to better crop yield predictions

Reading Time: 3 minutes An idea for better waste water management at a local brewery won top honours in the third annual Improve Life Challenge Hackathon at the University of Guelph on March 6. The theme for this year’s day-long event was Hack the Farm in a Climate of Change where teams of students worked with community partners to […] Read more