Tuesday, November 30, 2021
Monday, November 22, 2021
Manitoba/Canada News Release
GOVERNMENTS INVEST IN "INNOVATION" TO "HELP INCREASE COMPETITIVENESS AND SUSTAINABILITY OF PORK PRODUCERS"
The governments of Canada and Manitoba are investing $2.2 million in three agricultural research projects, to be conducted by Topigs Norsvin Canada (TN), that will enhance the competitiveness of Manitoba pork producers by improving the precision feeding of sows and promoting higher animal welfare standards, Federal Agriculture and Agri-Food Minister Marie-Claude Bibeau and Manitoba Agriculture and Resource Development Minister Ralph Eichler announced today.
"These innovative projects will give the pork industry more tools in their sustainability toolbox," said Bibeau. "They will help to improve feeding and housing for the pigs, which leads to better resource efficiency and a reduced environmental footprint for producers. Topigs Norsvin plays a big role in making Canada a global leader in swine genetics, and we are proud to support their work."
"Our government is pleased to support the work of our producers through these innovative projects that will accelerate agricultural innovation, promote knowledge transfer to producers, advance value-added opportunities, strengthen competitiveness and support sustainable agricultural development in our provincial pork industry," said Eichler. "The results of these projects will be valuable in our continuing efforts to strengthen the sustainability of our provincial pork industry."
The three research projects, which will help the pork industry be more environmentally and economically sustainable, will focus on:
improving competitiveness and sustainability of pork production through increased feed efficiency, improved carcass quality and higher animal welfare standards by innovative application of microbiome profiling, computer tomography and genomics;
advancing sow reproductive knowledge and management practices for optimal lifetime productivity and embryo transfer success; and innovative application of artificial intelligence, machine learning, behavioural science and genomics to enhance resource efficiency for environmental sustainability of sow farms in Manitoba using welfare friendly production.
Funding is provided by the Ag Action Manitoba Program-Research and Innovation, through the Canadian Agricultural Partnership. The funded research will be beneficial to the province's first-of-its-kind sustainable protein strategy, ensuring Manitoba producers are well-positioned to remain leaders in plant and animal protein development in the face of increased global demand for high-quality protein, the minister added.
A key element of the strategy includes using innovation to grow livestock herds for animal protein and new acres for plant protein, while ensuring Manitoba remains a strong environment for investment and is responsive to the needs of producers.
TN is establishing an over $30-million new research and development facility in Plumas, Manitoba. It is to be completed by the end of 2022 and is aimed at sow management, where the funded projects will be conducted and results shared with industry stakeholders. The first of its kind in the world, these projects will utilize leading-edge artificial intelligence, computer vision, behavioural research, and precision feeding to generate a database comprised of important animal health and welfare data.
"Topigs Norsvin continuously monitors international developments in the pork industry and prides itself as a leader in the sector," said Hans Olislagers, Chief Technical Officer, Topigs Norsvin. "Implementation of loose housing of sows during farrowing is already legislated in several countries and we recognize our responsibility to breed and select pigs while maintaining the integrity of animal welfare. This assures our customers that our genetics will fit the housing systems and market demands of the future."
The Canadian Agricultural Partnership is a five-year, $3-billion investment by Canada's federal, provincial and territorial governments to strengthen and grow Canada's agriculture, agri-food and agri-products sectors. This commitment includes $2 billion for programs cost-shared by the federal, provincial and territorial governments that are designed and delivered by provinces and territories.
In Hogs we Trust - Part 11
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Wednesday, November 17, 2021
|Vast areas of rain forest habitat continue to be cleared for oil palm plantations like |
this in Sarawak. Photo credit: Ben Sutherland
Exposure to high concentrations of a dietary fatty acid contained in palm oil promotes the metastasis of mouth and skin cancer cells in mice, according to a paper published in Nature.
Changes in the uptake and metabolism of fatty acids have been linked to cancer metastasis — the process by which cancer cells spread to other parts of the body. However, it is unclear which dietary fatty acids in particular might be responsible for these changes, and the biological mechanisms involved.
Salvador Benitah and colleagues exposed human mouth and skin cancer cells to one of three types of dietary fatty acid — palmitic acid (the main saturated fatty acid in palm oil), oleic acid or linoleic acid — for four days, before introducing them into corresponding tissues in mice fed a standard diet. Although tumour initiation was not found to be influenced by any of the fatty acids studied, palmitic acid significantly increased both the penetrance and size of existing metastatic lesions. No such significant effect was observed for oleic or linoleic acid.
Pro-metastatic cancer cells also retained ‘memory’ of exposure to high levels of palmitic acid. For example, tumours from mice fed a palm-oil-rich diet for only ten days or tumour cells exposed to palmitic acid in the laboratory transiently for four days (before returning to normal medium) remained highly metastatic even when transplanted into mice fed on a normal diet. This process is associated with epigenetic changes — molecular modifications that alter patterns of gene expression without the DNA itself being altered — in metastatic cells that are suggested to mediate the long-term stimulation of metastasis.
The findings may aid in the identification of new therapies, the authors conclude.
Friday, November 12, 2021
Farmers on the Canadian prairies set fire to their fields - are they placing their reputation as "stewards of the land" on the line?
|Farmers commonly use specially-fitted quads like this to light fires on their land. |
Dozens of such fires could be spotted each day for many days this fall in the vicinity of my own community in southwestern Manitoba, too.
So, do they really "get" the adage, "Think globally. Act locally?"
You be the judge.
Tuesday, November 9, 2021
Airguns and ship sounds dangerously disrupt the natural behaviour of the "unicorn of the sea." Study
The Royal Society - Biology Letters
|A pod of narwhals in the Arctic.|
Please also read:
Wednesday, November 3, 2021
Scientists believe the ravenous appetites of baleen whales - Earth's largest creatures - and their prodigious waste - hold clues to the very health and productivity of our oceans.
by Larry Powell
Baleens include humpbacks, fins, minkes and blue whales, the latter being the largest creatures ever to live on Earth. The carnivorous marine mammals catch and consume vast amounts of prey. And they recycle ocean nutrients by excreting undigested food in what have been described as "volcano-like" movements.
A minke whale tagged by the research team off the coast of Antarctica in 2019. Credit: Ari Friedlaender under NOAA/NMFS permit 23095.
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A massive die-off of fish in Shoal Lake, in western Manitoba, has raised the spectre of a huge cleanup ahead.by Larry Powell Countless dead fish litter the shores. The magnitude of the die-off has emerged over the past few days, with spri...