Development, implementation and evaluation of a bulk tank milk surveillance program for infectious and emerging diseases on Ontario dairy farms - Year two

The spread of endemic and emerging infectious diseases continues to plague the dairy industry. The convergence of human, animal, and ecosystem interactions results in emergence and re-emergence of diseases in dairy cattle such as salmonellosis and anaplasmosis. Adding to the mix, frequent buying of cattle contributes to rapid dissemination of infectious diseases in dairy cattle. The University of Guelph is exceptionally well-positioned to lead the development and implementation of a surveillance network based on bulk tank milk.

Early nutritional programming to enhance the gut health of chickens raised without antibiotics

One of the ways to reduce the use of antibiotics in the poultry industry is to produce healthier and stronger chicks right from the hatch. In traditional practice, newly hatched chicks are not fed until they are transported to the production units. The hatching widows and transportation lead to delays in feeding and starvation of chicks. Providing bioactive nutrients to chicken embryos before the hatch could help chicks sustain the starvation at the hatch and stimulate gastrointestinal development, resulting in healthier chicks raised without antibiotics.

Regulation of granulosa cell autophagy and estradiol production by microRNA in the pig ovary

Fertility improvement is important in both human being and livestock industry. Increasing the oocyte competence is one of the most critical measures for fertility improvement. miRNAs are small non-coding RNAs which can regulate the estrogen production in the ovarian follicles which in turn affecting the oocyte development and competence. However, its underlying mechanism remains unknown.

Comprehensive investigation of pesticides in honey, pollen, bees and soil collected from canola fields

In 2018, Health Canada proposed to phase out all agricultural uses of thiamethoxam and clothianidin neonicotinoids. However, after a comprehensive review, Health Canada decided (in March 2021) not to implement any changes for the use of neonicotinoids in canola production. While many stakeholders in the Canadian agriculture industry are pleased that Health Canada changed its original position on using thiamethoxam and clothianidin for canola corps, many (e.g. environmental groups) are not. In addition, many policy makers among various countries (e.g.

Use of food waste in beef cattle production systems

The purpose of this project is to evaluate the current and future potential of beef cattle to up-cycle and redirect food loss and waste (i.e. surplus food) to feed. This project will identify short and long term solutions for incorporating surplus food into beef cattle diets.

The application and validation of predictive models to establish indices of protein quality in companion animal feed ingredients

This project will result in the generation of mathematical models that will predict the quality and sustainability of protein-based ingredients that are commonly used in dog diets. With the projected growth of human and pet populations, and increases in food production necessary to meet growing demands, providing Canadian pet food companies (such as our industry partner, Champion Petfoods) with the ability to rapidly identify ideal protein-based ingredients to select for dog diets based on environmental, financial, and biological sustainability is a top priority.

Use of an alternative source of dietary nitrogen on amino acid requirements and utilization in growing pigs

Determining methods to improve nutrient utilization in pigs is critical to improving the environmental, social, and economic sustainability of pork production in Canada. The objective of this project is to examine the use of an alternative source of dietary nitrogen and its impact on amino acid requirements and utilization in growing pigs. In disseminating results of this project, Gowans will achieve its mandate of providing novel nutrition information its client base for the benefit of the commercial swine operations.

Effects of reducing the omega-6 to omega-3 fatty acid ratio in milk replacer on intestinal health in neonatal calves

Dairy calves are generally fed whole milk or milk replacer during the first weeks of life. Compared with whole milk, milk replacer containing vegetable oils has a higher polyunsaturated fat content. More specifically, it is high in omega-6 and low in omega-3 fatty acids, making the omega-6 to omega-3 fatty acid ratio ten times higher in milk replacer compared with whole milk.

Utilizing Remote Sensing and Machine Learning to Improve Poultry Farm Productivity

Within the Canadian context, poultry farmers are constrained by regulations that predetermine chicken prices and market supply. As a result, they are limited in the approaches they can take to improve the profitability of their operations. Within this regulatory framework, farmers must rely on measures that can be applied on their farms to improve chicken’s growth performance while reducing production costs. In this project, we aim to find the effective approach to utilizing remote sensing and machine learning to improve poultry farm productivity.

Simulation of nitrogen and phosphorus losses from native pasture at large spatial scales

Detailed assessments of water and nutrient dynamics in grasslands and its relationship to land management are scarce in the Canadian Prairies. The impact of climate change on these dynamics is even more uncertain. The purpose of this project is to address this knowledge gap by estimating the impact of climate change on water cycling, nutrient dynamics, and management practices in pasture landscapes in Manitoba. The intern in this project will use desktop custom models and state-of-the-art hydrological models to address this research question.

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