Utilizing vaccines to reduce antimicrobial use

Utilizing vaccines to reduce antimicrobial use

By controlling certain viral diseases with vaccination, producers can reduce on-farm antimicrobial usage.

Nesting in enriched cages

Nesting in enriched cages

While multiple studies have uncovered some of what affects nesting and pre-nesting behaviour, much remains to be learned.

Maximizing broiler performance

Maximizing broiler performance

Reaching genetic potential through best management practices.

Chicken Farmers of Canada (CFC)’s antimicrobial use reduction strategy is well thought out and ideally paced. This is evidence of the strong leadership that continues to elevate the importance of responsible use of antibiotics in animal agriculture.
Low uniformity and delayed growth in a flock can have many causes and contributing factors. Are these problems in your barn? Are they recurrent in specific barns despite changing feed or breed?
An Ontario ILT Biosecurity Advisory Area for the eastern part of Norfolk County remains in place.
Cyberbullying by vegan activists is a growing source of stress for farmers and agricultural producers who already face significant mental health challenges linked to the job, a farmer and a psychologist working in the agriculture sector say.
For last year’s Who’s Who issue, we tried something new. We sought nominations for people to be profiled based on a theme – rising poultry stars.
Two biosecurity advisories remain in effect.
Disease found in small backyard flock.
An ILT Disease Biosecurity Advisory Area has been established for a 10 km area east of Simcoe in Norfolk County.
Biosecurity Advisory put in place.
Two disease updates from Quebec.
Lawmakers are calling on the federal government to better support farmers who they say are especially vulnerable to mental-health issues like stress, depression and suicidal thoughts.
I’ve written before about a growing frustration within the industry. Increasingly, global food companies are coming out with their own welfare programs for poultry and egg sectors. Many of them include their own unique commitments suppliers must adhere to. Adding to this frustration, some of these pledges appear to be driven not by evidence but by pressure activists put on brands.
The decisions on which alternative system to choose is complex for producers, involving a wide range of factors, from market forces to durability. To help you, Canadian Poultry has contacted housing manufacturers to point out particular features of their systems that are unique, and also their best pieces of advice for making your choice.
Cargill this week introduced Feeding Intelligence, a new platform aimed at helping farmers navigate the changing food production landscape while raising awareness of their role as everyday heroes.Feeding Intelligence provides resources for farmers on the latest intelligent production practices aimed at helping them improve their operations. These resources, support and stories of commitment and care are featured on a new website, www.feedingintelligence.com.Farmers can find information on a variety of topics including technological advancement, animal health and well-being, performance, sustainability and much more.
One of the biggest complaints surrounding the poultry barn – apart from flies – is the smell of the manure. The excessive amount of ammonia gas released from poultry manure not only contributes to this smell but can be harmful for both the birds in the barn and the workers who frequent the barn.
Across the country, researchers are evaluating lighting systems for their potential to improve growth, reproductive efficiency, health and welfare. Here are some of their most interesting observations.
It’s been five years since a revolutionary new made-in-Ontario biosecurity system called Be Seen Be Safe (BSBS) debuted. It was joined by its feisty sidekick – an early-warning livestock heath system app called Farm Health Monitor (FHM).
New and emerging mycotoxins can now be analysed by the Alltech 37+ Laboratory. In total, five new mycotoxins have been added to the testing panel, bringing the total number of detectable mycotoxins to 54. These new additions further increase the understanding of mycotoxin occurrence and the potential risk to animal performance.Emerging mycotoxins refers to mycotoxins that are neither routinely analysed nor legislatively regulated. However, research has shown more evidence of their increasing incidence and potential toxicity to animals. The emerging mycotoxins analyzed by Alltech 37+ include beauvericin; moniliformin; enniatins A, A1, B and B1; phomopsin A and alternariol. Fusaric acid also features in this emerging mycotoxin category.“The Alltech 37+ mycotoxin analysis test is the cornerstone of the Alltech Mycotoxin Management program,” explains Nick Adams, global director, mycotoxin management, Alltech. “We now test for 54 mycotoxins. With this new analytical capability, Alltech is better equipped to understand how contaminated feedstuffs might impact animal performance and health.”Due to their toxic properties, mycotoxins are a concern for livestock producers, as they can impact feed quality as well as animal health and performance. Alltech’s 37+ test results provide a realistic picture of mycotoxin contamination in feed ingredients or total mixed rations, speeding up the process of diagnosis, and suggest effective remediation and help move toward an effective mycotoxin control plan.“Since adding these mycotoxins to our analytical capabilities, we have already seen a high frequency of samples with these contaminants,” says Patrick Ward, Ireland analytical services laboratory manager, Alltech. “As we test more samples and accumulate more data, we will strengthen our understanding of these mycotoxins.”Between Alltech’s 37+ mycotoxin analytical services laboratories in Lexington, Kentucky, and Dunboyne, Ireland, they have run over 30,000 samples, each searching for up to 54 mycotoxins in animal feed.
Two major developments on the egg production front are making the transition to alternative layer housing interesting.
Sponsored by USPOULTRY, hatchery and breeder professionals recently gathered in Nashville, Tenn., for a two-day clinic covering a variety of topics focused on best practices in hatchery and breeder management.
Note: Pest management expert Alice Sinia is our guest columnist for tihs question, stepping in to answer a question submited to our Ask the Vet team.Q. We could really use some advice on eradicating mites from our flock, or at the very least, controlling them over the long term. We have used been using sulphur powder (dusted and ingested), Eprinex/Ivermectin as a spot-on, as well as regularly spraying the housing with pyrethrins. We have switched from litter to sand as well. However, though the mites do seem to disappear for a month or so, they always come back. We have had more than 10 per cent losses in the flock due to anemia caused by this problem over the last year, as well as increased diarrhea and respiratory illness this winter, which we think is due to a decrease in the birds' immune function because of the stress and anemia caused by the mites. We have seen evidence of northern fowl mites, red mites, and possibly feather lice. What is the recommended treatment in free-range barns for this terrible problem?A. Controlling bird mites and other poultry parasites can be very challenging, and you need an integrated approach. Focus treating the facility and on treating the birds with the following steps:Treatment: If mites are detected, it is important that treatment be performed right away, as mite populations can establish and grow quickly. Start by emptying the holding or rearing room and working with a pest management provider to treat the area with a residual insecticide. Be sure to focus on cracks and crevices, cages, baseboards and resting poles, as these are sites were mites commonly hide. Next, treat the affected birds directly with dust or approved insecticide product. Consult your pest management provider before treatment and follow product labels exactly. Mites can be hidden or concealed in the bird’s feathers. So, be thorough when applying the treatment to ensure it penetrates these areas for maximum effectiveness. Overall, it is best to use a combination of liquid application, dust and ingested medication. These should all be coordinated in a timely and consistent manner for maximum efficiency. Contact a veterinarian to coordinate ingested medication as well. Ongoing Control: Often times, mites can hide in the bird’s feathers, so start by thoroughly inspecting all birds that come into your facility. Practice good, consistent sanitation. Remember, if there is no mite activity during the growing season, there will be no population growth later on. So, it’s best practice to have a preventive strategy in plan for treating potential harbourage sites. In most cases, wild birds are the source of mite infestations and re-infestation. So, establish an ongoing bird control program to control nuisance populations.
Sustainability is a subject that is on everybody’s lips today. The poultry industry is making many efforts to tackle this issue and comes up with various solutions concerning energy saving, CO2 footprint, food safety, traceability and water use. For responsible water use, Marel Poultry offers solid practical solutions. One clear example of this is the Mazzraty poultry processing plant in Qatar, equipped with a well thought-out water management system.Chicken production has a naturally low carbon footprint and requires a limited amount of resources, such as fertilizer, land and water. Using 2,000 liters of water to produce 1 kilo of chicken meat, poultry production needs a fairly modest amount of water. Just to compare, 1 kilo of chocolate uses 17,000 liters of water.Water isn't lostHowever, water use doesn’t mean that this water is lost. Recycling options are available to treat the water and make it fit for renewed use. The poultry industry has elaborated solutions for this. Mazzraty in Qatar called in the help of Marel Water Treatment to set up today’s most modern water treatment installation. This poultry facility is located in the desert, where nothing grows, so Mazzraty is highly aware of the importance of clean water in these circumstances.TreatmentWater Treatment starts already in the poultry processing plant. All water used for transport, for cleaning and for the various stages of processing, is collected and drained to the waste water treatment facilities. In the first phase, the physical pretreatment takes out fat material and larger coarse parts. After that, the biological process in a big basin decomposes the pollution and converts it to biological sludge and purified water.IrrigationIn the direct surroundings of Mazzraty’s poultry processing plant, four large green circles in the middle of the yellow sand plain catch the eye. This is irrigated land, made fertile with the help of Mazzraty’s treated water. Besides being used for truck washing, the purified water is excellently fit for artificial irrigation of areas that are otherwise dry land. Mazzraty manages to drive four center pivot systems with this recycled water to irrigate four quarter sections (each 800 x 800m). The company grows mainly grass, which they can use in their feed mills.Lowest impactMazzraty’s facility has been designed to not waste or leave behind residual material and all activities aim at causing the lowest possible impact on the environment. The reuse of cleaned waste water from the factory as irrigation water is part of Mazzraty’s bigger environmental plan, which also involves a reduced CO2 emission and production of their own chicken feed. In this way, Mazzraty demonstrates one of the most sustainable ways of working in the poultry industry.
It’s been many years since heat exchangers arrived on the poultry industry scene. As with countless technologies, designs of new models are greatly improved over those of the past. Heat exchangers have become much easier to both clean and install, and in terms of efficiency, some manufacturers claim that current systems cut barn heating bills in half. The higher indoor temperatures of broiler operations make them more worthwhile than egg producers.
The phrase ‘energy efficiency’ in a poultry industry context likely brings to mind shining rows of LED lights. It’s true that an increasingly large number of Canadian poultry farms have LEDs now.
During the International Egg Commission Global Leadership Conference, held September 22 to 26 in Copenhagen, Denmark, Canadian Peter Clarke was named International Egg Person of the Year.The award recognizes individuals who contribute to a thriving future for the egg industry.Clarke, who owns Skyview Farms in Nova Scotia’s Annapolis Valley with his wife, has been active advocating for the industry both nationally and internationally.In a press release, Egg Farmers of Canada CEO and IEC president Tim Lambert highlighted some of Clarke's achievements.“Peter’s dedication to agriculture runs deep, and his passion for the egg industry is very apparent,” Lambert says. “Throughout Peter’s farming career, he has been a regular on numerous industry organisation boards showcasing his commitment to the success of the wider industry.”Lambert presided as chair of Egg Farmers of Canada from 2001 to 2007, where he helped to guide the organization towards notable achievements, such as launching a Canada-wide on‐farm food safety program. He also helped set a new course for egg farmers in Canada through a national housing transition to phase out conventional production methods as well as created several research chairs within universities, which continue to focus on key issues facing egg producers in Canada.“Peter firmly believes in the concept of social license, and that as farmers we owe it to consumers to be transparent about how our foods produced, sharing knowledge of what producers do on farm, which has contributed significantly to the success of the industry in Canada,” Lambert adds.“He was instrumental in helping to bring egg production to Project Canaan in eSwatini through his work with the International Egg Foundation and is a very worthy recipient of the Denis Wellstead Award.”For an in depth profile of Clarke, click here.
Barn Spotlight highlights new and retrofitted barns and hatcheries. Do you know a good candidate to be featured? Let us know at
It’s been just over a year since I, Egg Farmerette, did any writing about our enriched colony housing barn. So, here’s an update on our experiences since our first flock hen placement.
Just minutes from the main core of Sudbury, Ont., nestled in an area known as Blezard Valley, you’ll find Triple Star Acres Farm, owned and operated by Ginette Simon-Labine and her husband, Pete Labine.
When brothers Christian and Gislain Houle were growing up on their parents’ poultry farm near Drummondville, Que., the trucks that brought feed for the family’s egg and broiler birds always left empty on the return trip to the local feed mill.
After six years as executive director, Keith Robbins has left Poultry Industry Council to become general manager of the Ontario Processing Vegetable Growers.PIC is actively seeking his replacement.“I have truly enjoyed my time at PIC and the many contacts made with the industry representatives,” Robbins said in a parting statement.“This is a very dynamic and innovative sector that has moved the bars in an number of areas.”A Centralia College grad with an agricultural business management diploma, Robbins joined PIC after 20 years with Ontario Pork.Since joining the council in 2013, membership increased by 30 per cent, organizational revenues increased by 20 per cent, event attendance grew by 11 per cent and sponsorships grew threefold.“We have also seen consistent growth at the National Poultry Show by eight per cent each year while still being the show that producers attend to make their business grow,” Robbins noted.
Aviagen’s vice president of veterinary services Eric Jensen has been elected as the new president of the American Association of Avian Pathologists (AAAP).He replaces outgoing president Nathaniel Tablante, a professor at the Department of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Maryland.A long-time and active member of the AAAP, Jensen will hold this office for one year, after having served on the board of directors for five years and as president elect the previous year. He was officially appointed on Aug. 4 during a ceremony at the 62nd annual AAAP Business Meeting, which took place Aug. 2-5 in Washington, D.C.Jensen has more than 30 years of experience as a veterinarian specializing in poultry medicine. He joined Aviagen in 1995 as program veterinarian and in 2015 was promoted to his current role as vice president of veterinary services. He holds a Master of Avian Medicine and a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree, both from the University of Georgia in the U.S.During his tenure as president, Jensen explains that the organization will focus on improving diversity in its membership, as well as advocating the profession to new veterinary and research graduates. “It’s an honor to continue serving the AAAP as President,” he says. “The future of the industry depends on attracting bright young minds with a passion to supply today’s and tomorrow’s generations with a secure, healthy and sustainable source of protein.”
LUBING Systems, a manufacturer of poultry watering and egg conveying systems, recently announced two staffing changes.Firstly, the company promoted Christopher Hawk to vice president. Hawk is a University of Tennessee of Chattanooga graduate with a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering. He's been working in the engineering department and field technical services with LUBING since January 2016 and has been directly involved in the development of several new products. Prior to his role in engineering, Hawk grew up working jobs in the LUBING factory and learning the company from the ground up. “We are excited to have him in this new role and are looking forward to his future contributions to our industry,” the company said in a statement.LUBING also promoted Dustin Hicks to the position of technical director. Hicks has a history dating back to 1998 designing automated equipment for various industries.   View the embedded image gallery online at: https://www.canadianpoultrymag.com/index.php?option=com_k2&view=latest&layout=latest&Itemid=1#sigProGalleriaa65ab2a67b “He brings a lot of technical experience, knowledge and a fresh perspective to our product offering,” the company said. Hicks has been with LUBING since September 2008 and has helped develop new products and ideas for the poultry industry.
The vice-president of Mountainview Turf, one of Quebec’s largest turf farm and turf maintenance companies, has – for a grass guy – an unexpected side business.
Canarm Ltd. has acquired Faromor Ltd., a leading manufacturer of natural ventilation systems based in Shakespeare, Ont. The two companies have shared a close relationship over the years.This move provides Canarm AgSystems, a business unit of Canarm Ltd. in Brockville, Ont., with a huge strategic competitive advantage.“By acquiring Faromor, we gain the necessary resources to solidify our position as a global leader in innovative ventilation solutions for the agricultural industry,” said CanArm from a statement.“Not only will we be able to offer more comprehensive and complete ventilation packages, but our newly combined, dedicated group of industry experts will now be able to anticipate, develop and supply advanced ventilation solutions for livestock producers in all agricultural sectors.”Faromor has a history dating back to 1978 when it began manufacturing and marketing natural ventilation systems for the agricultural industry. The company has become successful by strongly promoting and emphasizing product development, improvement and continually adding to their product offering.Canarm AgSystems is an Arthur, Ont., based manufacturer of ventilation, housing and technology solutions for barns. It has been a supplier to hog, dairy and poultry farmers for 80 years, providing animal-housing solutions from the simplest penning to the most technologically advanced systems.“We are excited for this step forward in our vision to become a recognized leader in agricultural ventilation serving the dairy, swine, poultry and other agricultural markets and providing a proven solution for any farm anywhere,” said the company.Faromor will continue to operate from their Shakespeare, Ont., facility with the same people.
Many in the poultry industry are heartbroken by the sudden passing of Paul Leatherbarrow on August 16, 2019 at the age of 67.Born and raised in Elora, Ont., Leatherbarrow was a respected poultryman with 50 years of experience in the industry.He spent much of that time with Clark Companies and was also on the Poultry Industry Council (PIC)’s board.In recognition of his contributions to the industry, Leatherbarrow won the Poultry Worker Award in 2002.Leatherbarrow was particularly fascinated by innovation in the industry and travelled internationally to bring to Ontario the technologies he learned of abroad.Condolences poured in following his sudden passing.“We are deeply saddened to hear of the loss of Paul Leatherbarrow, an industry icon,” said a statement from PIC. “Paul will be missed by our board and staff. Our most heartfelt condolences.”
In the year 1761 a man named Deacon John Newcombe received a land grant in Nova Scotia. He packed up his family and was among the New England Planters that settled in the Annapolis Valley to farm the land that was vacant following the Acadian Expulsion.
Researchers at Iowa State University recently looked at using black UV light to improve air quality in poultry barns.Jacek Koziel and colleagues have completed a research project where they developed and tested a novel mitigation technology for ammonia and odour concentrations and barn emissions.The researchers combined black UV light and a special chemical coating for barn ceilings, barn walls and barn exhaust fans.Results of this research project showed a reduction in gaseous emissions utilizing this novel approach.For a summary of their research, click here.
As part of the Poultry Science Cluster III projects, Egg Farmers of Canada (EFC) has sponsored important laying-hen welfare research led by Tina Widowski at the University of Guelph. The project is titled Identifying developmental determinants of successful behavioural adaptation and musculoskeletal health of egg-laying hens.
In a recent column, I shared one agvocate’s call to arms. As a refresher, dairy farmer Andrew Campbell has been speaking at poultry events from coast to coast urging producers in supply managed sectors to raise awareness about the value of the system.
Eating chicken puts consumers at a higher risk of a rare form of blood cancer, non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, as well as prostate cancer in men, according to researchers from Oxford University.The research involved tracking 475,000 middle-aged Britons over a period of eight years between 2006 and 2014.Their diets were analysed alongside the diseases and illnesses they suffered with.Around 23,000 of them developed cancer.For the full story, click here.
Multidrug-resistant Salmonella was detected twice as often in samples of meat from conventionally-raised chicken and turkeys compared with antibiotic-free or organic poultry, according to findings from a study conducted in Pennsylvania.According to a second study presented at the conference, almost one-third of Salmonella-contaminated poultry, ground beef and pork chop samples were resistant to three or more antibiotics and more than one in six were resistant to five or more antibiotics.For the full story, click here.
Amit Morey in the Department of Poultry Science at Auburn University recently completed a research project where he evaluated a hand-held bioelectric impedance device for its ability to detect broiler breast fillets affected with the woody breast condition.The device was found to be able to successfully differentiate severely affected fillets from normal fillets by analyzing the electrical properties of the meat.This technique may be used by plant personnel to more accurately sort breast fillets.For the research summary, click here.
Elizabeth Bobeck and colleagues at Iowa State University in Ames, Iowa, recently completed a research project in which they examined the feasibility of using a novel laser device in a broiler house to stimulate enhanced bird activity.
While many people now keep chickens or ducks in their backyards, there has been little research into how many of these birds are carrying dangerous pathogens or what flock owners are doing to prevent pathogens from spreading until now.University of Guelph (U of G) researchers are the first to uncover that many Ontario backyard birds are carrying dangerous pathogens, and a significant number of flock owners are not following proper hygiene practices.“This is the first study to look at the health status of small flocks in Ontario,” says Leonardo Susta, who works in the Department of Pathobiology at U of G’s Ontario Veterinary College.Conducted in collaboration with colleagues at U of G’s Animal Health Laboratory (AHL) and OMAFRA (Ontario Ministry of Food and Rural Affairs), the research was published in two papers in the Journal of Veterinary Diagnostic Investigation.The team asked small flock owners to voluntarily submit any birds who died on their properties to AHL for a post-mortem examination. They also asked the owners to fill out a questionnaire about their infection-control practices.They received 245 specimens from 160 flocks. Most of the flocks consisted of 25 or fewer chickens kept for the purpose of laying eggs for family use.Infectious diseases were the most common killer, the team found, causing 62 per cent of deaths. Mixed respiratory disease (caused by a combination of bacteria, viruses and fungi) was found to be the primary cause of death in 21 per cent of the birds, and Marek’s disease, which causes fatal tumours, caused 11 per cent of the deaths.In addition to these pathogens, the research team also found a number of chickens with Mycoplasma, a bacterium that causes respiratory disease.“This is a disease that is rarely seen in commercial flocks, yet one in five birds in this study were carrying the pathogen,” Susta says.The researchers also found several birds with Campylobacter, a bacterium that can lead to severe food poisoning in humans.“The fact that we found so much Campylobacter is a testament to the fact that biosecurity measures need to be followed,” he says.The questionnaires revealed that while some flock owners had good knowledge of proper hygiene practices when interacting with the birds, many were not taking enough precautions to avoid the spread of disease.“We wouldn’t expect backyard chicken owners to apply the same biosecurity practices used with commercial flocks, but there are certainly steps that flock owners should be taking,” Susta says.Fewer than 50 per cent of owners reported having dedicated shoes or clothing for entering their poultry coops or barns, less than five per cent reported using a foot bath, and more than 60 per cent reported allowing visitors into the coop or barn, which is not recommended.“Many also allowed their birds to stray outside the coop or barn, where they might have access to wild birds or their habitats,” Susta says.Wild birds are considered potential reservoirs of many pathogens, and increased contact between birds could allow the spread of several infections, including avian influenza.Only 37 per cent of owners who said they bought their birds from hatcheries answered that their birds were vaccinated at hatch — a key step that could prevent several diseases including Marek’s disease.Given that this was a “passive surveillance” research project in which all participation was voluntary, the researchers say the flocks they tested may not be representative of all small flocks within the province.However, Susta said the fact that they uncovered the presence of certain worrisome pathogens is cause for the concern.“These results underscore the importance of flock owners obtaining birds from reputable sources, of monitoring birds for illness, and of practising proper sanitation and hand hygiene to protect both the birds and the public.”
Dr. Ken Macklin and Dr. Sarge Bilgili from Auburn University recently completed a research project where they studied the ability of Salmonella enteritidis (SE) and Salmonella heidelberg (SH) to colonize and persist in various tissues and organs of broilers inoculated by various routes and at different ages.They found that feeding broilers continuously with feed contaminated with a low level of either SE or SH resulted in every bird being contaminated.Additionally, they found that aerosol exposure was efficient in establishing colonization of SE and SH in broilers.Their results also showed that broilers could potentially become colonized by Salmonella at any time during their lives.For a research summary, click here.
The global poultry industry takes an estimated $6 billion hit every year from necrotic enteritis (NE). Intestinal damage caused by this condition means birds don’t grow well, and current prevention and treatment approaches centre around antibiotics, which are under increasing scrutiny.
Avian influenza, especially in its highly pathogenic form, remains a serious threat to the poultry industry worldwide. By early June this year, the World Organization of Animal Health had reported detections of the disease in a whopping 25 countries, including Mexico but fortunately not the U.S. or Canada so far. The strategy for avian influenza virus (AIV) surveillance around the world, therefore, matters a great deal.
Canadian farmers are cultivating some sustainable farming techniques that the United Nations' latest climate change report identified as particularly useful for an industry it concluded must make drastic changes to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.The UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change issued a report last week warning that global food supplies are at risk from climate change and land degradation.One major conclusion was that the agricultural sector needs to rethink traditional practices, including producing less meat and more plants – which require less room to grow and produce fewer emissions – otherwise Canada will not be spared from the global impacts of food shortages and price shocks if temperatures continue to rise.Along with setting out the potentially dire consequences of inaction, the report also outlined some of the techniques that could both reduce emissions and reverse the trend.One of the most decisively helpful options was to increase the organic content in soil, by using the land to capture carbon – a practice an increasing number of Canadian farmers employ using a variety of techniques.Crop farmers have been working to capture carbon, which helps not just on the climate front but also for the sustainability and resilience of the soil, said David Burton, a professor in Dalhousie University's department of plant, food and environmental sciences.''It's a rare example of one of the mitigation options that has really, really big positive advantages beyond greenhouse gas mitigation.''Decades of intensity farming have started to push down the organic matter in soil that helps keep it healthy and fertile and prevents erosion, he noted.''We're realizing we can't just push this thing to the max all the time, we're going to have to start thinking about the condition of the soil.''A key technique for farmers is to no longer till the soil, so the organic matter isn't disturbed and can properly break down.''That's how soil organic matter forms, by leaving it alone,'' said Burton.No-tillage seeding has grown significantly in the past two decades, from use in less than seven per cent of cropland in 1991 to 56 per cent in 2011.Manitoba farmer Wes Pankratz started using no-till many years ago and hasn't looked back, though he said at the time there was a lot of skepticism about it.He's now trying to adopt some regenerative techniques that capture more carbon in the soil, such as growing a non-cash crop simply to add organic matter to the soil.Farmers using the technique often plant the non-cash crop after the fall harvest, but Pankratz said that a shorter growing season has led him to plant his in the spring, in amongst his wheat crop, hoping it will continue to grow after the harvest.''If you can build up the soil organic matter, your soil will be healthier, you can maybe grow a reasonable crop with a lot less inputs, which is good for the bank account as well as the environment.''Pankratz said it's still early days for him, but hopes he can make it work.''When zero-till first came in, it just almost seemed impossible, and now we're getting into regenerative agriculture and hopefully we'll get that figured out too.''The UN report and others have targeted cattle production for its methane emissions, but Canadian farmers are finding ways to use regenerative practices to help the grazing grounds capture more carbon to help offset greenhouse gas emissions from that sector.Blain Hjertaas, a livestock farmer in southeastern Saskatchewan, was an early adopter after he decided conventional farming techniques weren't sustainable.''Agriculture is basically destroying our planet the way we're approaching the system,'' he said.Hjertaas uses a practice that involves letting the cattle forage in a controlled area, then moving the herd to another area every day. It allows the cattle to spread fertilizer and stimulate growth in the prairie grasses, which are then left to re-grow for two to three months until they approach waist height.''The principle is: keep it green as long as possible, so we always want tall grass,'' said Hjertaas.The scientific community is still debating the benefits of regenerative cattle farming. But Hjertaas said his techniques have him capturing more carbon than the animals produce.''It's not the cattle, it's our management that's the problem. To concentrate them all into a huge feedlot, that's an ecological disaster.''Hjertaas said farmers tend to be traditional and slow to change, but financial incentives could go a long way to making the switch and overcome cost and uptake challenges.''I'm all for a carbon tax, we need to tax bad behaviour. But what's missing is we need to reward the good behaviour.''
The Ontario government will consider all options including new legislation to shield farmers from animal rights activists, the province's agriculture ministry said Friday.The assurances from Agriculture Minister Ernie Hardeman's office come as livestock producers press for action to prosecute those who trespass on their properties and aggressively protest at processing plants.Ministry spokesman Avi Yufest said the government shares the producers' concerns following a number of high-profile protests in the past year.He said the government is meeting with farmers and other stakeholders to come up with a strategy which could include legislation.''(The Minister) is working hard to protect the safety and security of our farmers, our food processors and the sector as a whole so nothing is off the table at this time,'' Yufest said in a statement.Demonstrations from animal rights activists often violate the biosecurity of farms or trucks delivering livestock to a processing plant, putting the province's food system at risk, Yufest said.The consultations come after a number of farming groups called on the government to hold animal rights activists who break the law accountable.In May, the Ontario Federation of Agriculture – speaking on behalf of eight livestock producer associations – expressed disappointment when charges were dropped against an animal rights activist who allegedly trespassed on a Lucan, Ont., hog barn and took two animals.''Our system of law and order is based on consequences for breaking the law,'' Federation spokesman Keith Currie said at the time. ''Without meaningful prosecutions that act as a deterrent to future crimes, activists become bolder in their actions.''Yufest could not immediately provide details of the government's plan or say how the current laws are falling short.''Those are questions we're looking to answer with these consultations,'' he said.The executive director of animal protection group Animal Justice said Hardeman's comments are troubling and could result in the government trampling activists' rights.''What we've seen time and time again is that governments are friendly to farmers and willing to crack down and violate the civil liberties of animal advocates,'' Camille Labchuk said. ''It helps them hide the reality of what they do to animals.''Activists are pushing the boundaries of the law more often because the province's animal protection laws aren't strong enough, she said.''The reason that we're seeing animal advocates going onto farms is because it's the only way for them to see the conditions animals are kept without any regulations, without any government inspections,'' she said. ''The public has no way of understanding what happens on farms so citizens are taking these matters into their own hands.''Ontario Pork chairman Eric Schwindt said livestock producers across all sectors are subject to strict rules and inspections in order to ensure animals are treated safely and humanely.''We have high standards of animal care, food safety, biosecurity and we abide by the Canadian code of practice,'' he said. ''We are overseen by veterinarians. We're in agriculture because we love working with animals so we look after them well.''Schwindt, who operates a pig farm near Aylmer, Ont., said he's glad to hear the government is considering taking action but said a balance needs to be achieved between the needs of farmers and activists' right to free speech.''We understand the right to protest,'' Schwindt said. ''If you're on public property that's fine. But we firmly believe that people shouldn't be allowed to take our property or harass our families or employees.''This report by The Canadian Press was first published Sept. 20, 2019.
Egg Farmers of Canada is excited to announce the launch of the new Eggs Anytime marketing platform. The ads show Canadians that ‘it’s not weird’ to have eggs for lunch and dinner.
Canadian dairy farmers who lost domestic market share resulting from free trade agreements with Europe and countries on the Pacific Rim will share $1.75 billion in compensation over the next eight years, Agriculture Minister Marie-Claude Bibeau announced Friday.
Canada's Agriculture Minister, Marie-Claude Bibeau, reinforced her commitment to supply management at the Dairy Farmers of Canada AGM in Saskatoon this week.During her announcement of over $11 million of Government funding for the Dairy Research Cluster Tuesday, July 16, Bibeau touched on the Government's plan to compensate supply managed producers.The Government included a $3.9 billion compensation package in the 2019 budget, with up to $2.4 billion to sustain the incomes of producers, as well as up to $1.5 billion to protect against any reduction in quota value.They say they've been working hard with industry working groups to finalize these delivery mechanisms.For the full story, click here.
The Chinese Embassy said Tuesday it has asked Canada to suspend all meat exports, a surprise move that comes amid the diplomatic dispute over the December arrest of Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou in Vancouver.
When companies and organizations talk about sustainability, they generally focus on three different aspects: environmental, economic and social. Chicken Farmers of Canada (CFC) released their Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) for the Canadian chicken industry in 2018, providing a glimpse of the chicken industry over the past 40 years in all three categories.
Third-generation farmer Ron Lamb remembers his father pulling six-metre-wide crop-seeding equipment around his southern Alberta grain fields in the 1990s, overlapping on each pass to make sure he covered all the ground.
This week, Canadian egg, chicken, turkey and hatching egg farmers co-hosted their annual pop-up diner in downtown Ottawa. The event is a special celebration of Canadian farming families and the system of supply management that provides year-round access to fresh, local, high-quality ingredients from coast to coast.
Canada has fired the starting gun on the race to ratify the new North American free-trade pact – but the United States is setting the pace.
Global Affairs Canada has launched public consultations on how it allocates and administers tariff rate quotas for a number of supply-managed poultry and dairy products.
Turkey Farmers of Canada, the Canadian Poultry and Egg Processors Council and Turkey Primary Processing Sector Members have together launched the first national, bilingual campaign to boost turkey consumption since 2004.
Chicken, turkey and egg producers say a big hit is coming and the federal government needs to help them adapt.

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