Friday, December 30, 2022

Pork exporters to China catch a break

 Canadian pork exporters are catching a break for sales to China.

Beginning Jan. 8, China will no longer require imports to be tested for COVID-19.

It will also no longer require all imported chilled and frozen foods to enter centralised warehouses for disinfection and testing before they reach the domestic market.

The dropping of measures follows a similar announcement from the customs authority on Wednesday that it will stop testing cold-chain food arriving at the country's ports.

"This policy means we will have much lower cost and risk on both product storage and transportation," said a Beijing-based meat importer that buys beef and pork.




Saskatchewan engages truckers to reduce disease spread

Farm Health Guardian of Guelph is partnering with the Saskatchewan Pork Development Board to test truck-tracking monitors that could reduce the risk of diseases spreading among hog farms.

Rob Hannam, chief executive officer for Farm Health Guardian, said  Saskatchewan has remote locations, cell service can be spotty and not every barn has WIFI so not all technologies work on all farms.

There are 26 different pig farms that volunteered to be part of the pilot.

We placed different technologies, different devices in 10 different trucks that go to those farms on a regular basis just so we could monitor do those devices work on those 26 farms, he said.

Disease can move through the air, it can move from pig to pig but when pigs move, they move on a truck so the trucks and whether they're cleaned out or not or whether they're washed or baked, those are important factors and so monitoring those livestock trucks is quite important, the partners said.

But, if there is a disease outbreak, it's more than just the livestock truck.
It's the feed truck, it's the maintenance truck, who else was on the farm so we're trying to link that whole network together, they said.

To do that we need to also respect the confidentially and privacy of those different haulers, Hannam said.

Thursday, December 29, 2022

Needle-free injection for pork producers

Needle-free injection systems are gaining popularity in the hog industry.

They eliminate the problem of broken needles that contaminate hog carcasses and are a challenge for pork packers, they eliminate needle-carried cross contamination of diseases such as PRRS and they improve safety because workers aren’t accidentally stuck by needles.

The device settings typically control the delivery depth so that the medication or vaccine can be delivered into the intradermal, subcutaneous or intramuscular tissue. 

Intramuscular delivery is most common, although some needle-free devices are specifically engineered to deliver a small dose of vaccine into intradermal tissue. 

The dose volume may be either fixed or adjustable, depending on the type of device. 

Some needle-free devices can inject large animals such as finishers, sows, and boars, while other needle-free devices are specifically designed to inject younger pigs. 

They are most commonly used in sow barns.

Some hog farmers have completely eliminated needles.

DNA analysis improve strep suis control

Using DNA analysis improves the effectiveness of home-made (autogenous) vaccines against strep suis in hog operations, says Dr. Matheus Costa of the Western College of Veterinary Medicine.

The technology can identify different strains of strep suis that can be infecting pigs in different barns of the same farm or even different parts of large barns.

It will change the way that we understand the epidemiology of Streptococcus suis so we'll know if there are any differences between barns, within barns,” Dr. Costa said.

“We'll be able to control when there's a new introduction in a barn that could be associated with a flareup of Streptococcus suis disease and it will also influence the way we choose strains to be included in autogenous vaccines and, who knows, in a potential future a universal vaccine as well.”

The technology is known as MLST.

Dr. Costa is also an adjunct professor at Utrecht University in the Netherlands.

Woolwich to hire rural planner

Waterloo Region is giving $157,000 to the Woolwich Community Health Centre so it can hire a rural planner.

The Health Centre, based in St. Jacobs, offers primary health care services to equity-deserving populations, such as rural and Mennonite communities, as well as the broader community. 

Some of the services include health education, community outreach programming focused on the social determinants of health, nutritional education for young children and parents, diabetes education and physiotherapy services.

Rosslyn Bentley said needs have increased.

"Because of just general population growth, both the aging population but also movement into the community, new Canadians arriving from overseas, people commuting and coming to the Waterloo region, we are finding there are more and more people that don't have a regular family physician," she said. 

Bentley said the plan is to partner with seven other organizations including those in North Dumfries, Wilmot and Wellesley to hire a rural planner.

The role would connect with hard-to-reach communities to make sure their perspectives are reflected in the programming and make changes to ensure accessibility. 

"What we want to do is really listen to the communities that are generally not as well represented in the typical methods that we use to find out what the needs of community are with regards to health and social services. So we're talking about the Indigenous community, the low income community, LGBTQ+ community," she said.

She hopes this will help identify gaps in current services and work toward solutions.




Taste and cost hinder plant protein sales

After booming two years ago, sales of plant-based proteins have cooled and manufacturers are revamping plans.

Forty-seven per cent say it’s the taste.

Thirty-six per cent say it’s the cost.

Twelve per cent say it’s nutrition.

Maple Leaf Foods found its sales expectations changed so much that it re-assessed the market in the midst of constructing a large production facility in Indiana. Now it’s planning for much more modest sales, but is hanging in.

Beyond Meat was the leader.

It went public in 2019 and investors flocked to buy stock. But this year its stock price is down by83 per cent, sales have stalled and in October the company said it was laying off 200 people, or 19 percent of its work force.

Four top executives have departed in recent months, including the chief financial officer, the chief supply chain officer and the chief operating officer, whom Beyond Meat had suspended after his arrest on allegations that he bit another man’s nose in a parking garage altercation.

McDonald’s burger chain tried, then dropped Beyond Meat’s products.

Sales were projected to increase by 33 per cent this year. In fact the company struggled to keep sales flat.

Meanwhile demand for real-meat burgers remains strong. Next year might be different because of drought.

This year drought prompted farmers to cull cows and to send heifers to market rather than keep them in the breeding herd.

That meant plenty of hamburger-quality meat was available. Next year there won’t be nearly as much and prices are likely to soar.

What that means for the relative market share for real and plant-based burgers remains a big guess.

Wednesday, December 28, 2022

Immigrant veterinarians gain way to practice here

The Western College of Veterinary Medicine in Saskatoon is offering a path for immigrant veterinarians to gain accreditation to practice as swine veterinarians in Canada.

But it won’t be easy.

They will need to have at least permanent residence status in Canada, be fluent in English, have a strong resume in swine medicine and pass an American Board of Veterinary Practitioners entry exam.

Dr. John Harding, a professor in the Department of Large Animal Clinical Sciences, said “once we have applicants that meet these criteria, we'll short list and then start a vetting process by an academic committee.”

And then they face three years of training during which they will spend 60 to 70 per cent of their time working in the industry and 30 per cent at academic studies.

The first cohort might be ready as soon as later this year.

Monday, December 26, 2022

Final trade pay given for dairy farmers

The federal government announced it is doling out $468 million as the final payment to dairy farmers to compensate for trade concessions Canada made in trade agreements with Europe the Trans-Pacific Partnership.

It is based on a dairy farmer’s quota and is about $475 per cow.

This compensation is in addition to a total of $1.2 billion for the trade agreement with the United States and Mexico.

However, the countries that signed those trade agreements are complaining that the way their access to the Canadian market is administered is defying the spirit, if not the legality, of the deals.

The government is also paying compensation to the poultry industry – chickens, eggs, turkeys and hatching eggs.

Friday, December 23, 2022

CFIA licences due to expire

Safe Food program licences will expire Jan. 15 and the Canadian Food Inspection Agency is reminding licence holders of the deadline.

The CFIA said if licence expires, the affected business may be subject to enforcement actions and removal from export eligibility lists.

Or they will have to re-apply for a licence and while they wait for it to be approved, their business may be disrupted, including the ability to request export certification.

There is no penalty for renewing early. The renewed licence will remain valid for two years as of the original expiry date, the CFIA said.

When renewing a licence, businesses should review their Party Profile to ensure all information is up-to-date and accurate. If any changes were made, businesses are to ensure that their Party Profile is Validated, the CFIA said.


Alexis Taylor chosen for U.S. ag. trade post

The United States has Senate has confirmed the Biden administration’s choice of Alexis Taylor to be Under Secretary of Agriculture for Trade and Foreign Agricultural Affairs.

One of her first tasks will be negotiating dairy-industry complaints against Canada.

Taylor was born and raised on a farm in Iowa, served in the U.S. Army Reserves , then became director of Oregon's Department of Agriculture in 2016. 

She might also have to negotiate with Canada’s pork and beef industries if politicians pass proposals to try once again to force labeling about country of origin.

New avian flu threatens people

A new strain of avian inluenza that can infect people has been detected in blue-winged teal bird in Manitoba, the first time the H5N6 strain has been detected in North America.

It differs from the H5N1 that has caused havoc in the North American poultry industry, but is no threat to people.

In April China reported 20 people were infected with the H5N6 strain.

The report of the Canadian case came to light in a report from the World Organization for Animal Health.

There have been 274 outbreaks of H5N1 in Canada, leading to the death or culling of more than six million birds.

Public Health Canada said about H5N6 that it is a highly-pathogenic avian influenza virus that can cause severe disease and high mortality in infected poultry. 

Outbreaks of H5N6 were reported in birds in Laos, China, and Vietnam prior to the report of the first human case in China in 2014.

Human cases of H5N6 have continued to be reported since, with a marked increase in detections in 2021. Although it is possible that this increase coincides with heightened surveillance and diagnostic systems resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic, other factors like the spread of avian influenza viruses in poultry populations likely also play a role in the increased number of cases .

Thursday, December 22, 2022

Dr. Tom Baker retiring from Feather Board Command Centre

Dr. Tom Baker is retiring from the Feather Board Command Centre at the end of the year.

After a career with the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs where he was head of animal health and welfare, he became the first executive director of the Feather Board Command Centre in 2013.


“We owe Tom a huge debt of gratitude for all of his work, especially during this past year which has not been easy. We will miss him,” said Ingrid DeVisser, chair of the FBCC. 

Dr. Harold Kloeze who has been with the Canadian Food Inspection Agency for 20 years will be executive director on a part-time basis and Maggy Watson will transition to Operations Lead on a full-time basis. 

The Command Centre has had a busy time coping with outbreaks of highly-pathogenic avian influenza.

Yet another meat price-fixing lawsuit

This time it’s beef and follows a number of successful class-action lawsuits against poultry and pork processors in the United States for price-fixing shenanigans.

Most of the chicken, turkey and pork cases have been settled out of court, some for more than $100 million.

Now Sonic, Arby’s, Burger King, Whataburger, Hardee’s and Carl’s Jr. have filed lawsuits in Florida against the four largest beef packers, alleging the processors have been fixing prices and artificially constraining the supply of beef since 2015, according to court documents.

The initial 94-page complaints name Cargill, JBS, Tyson and National Beef as defendants.

Missing is Agri Stats Inc. which was named in most of the previous price-fixing lawsuits.

The plaintiffs are asking for a jury trial and verdicts to award three times the amount of damages the restaurants claim they suffered.

Last month, a federal district court in Minnesota consolidated the antitrust claims of several large retailers and wholesalers against the four largest beef packers into a lawsuit originally brought by R-CALF USA and the National Farmers Union.

Haverkamp appointed chair

Tonya Haverkamp of Listowel has been appointed to a three-year term as chair of the Business Risk Management Programs Review Committee.

The committee handles farmers’ requests for a review of their applications.

It does not have power to enforce its decisions, but makes recommendations to AgriCorp which administers the programs.

Haverkamp is an egg producer who is a director on the Egg Farmers of Ontario marketing board.

Wednesday, December 21, 2022

Food prices still rising

Food prices were 11.4 per cent higher in November than a year earlier, reports Statistics Canada.

That compares with 11 per cent higher in October.

But the overall rate of inflation inched down from 6.9 per cent in October to 6.8 per cent in November.

Gasoline prices declined by 3.6 per cent from October, yet were 13.7 per cent higher than a year ago.

Within the food index, Statistics Canada reports that edible fats and oils are 26 per cent more expensive than a year ago, coffee and tea 16.8 per cent, eggs 16.7 per cent, cereal products 15.7 per cent and bakery products 15.5 per cent.

Third U.S. dairy complaint unfolding

The United States has asked Canada for another set of negotiations over trade in dairy products under the agreement among Canada, the United States and Canada that came into effect in January, 2020.

If not resolved, the U.S. could file for resolution via a disputes-settlng panel.

The complaint is similar to previous ones about the way Canada is administering imports that don’t pay the full Canadian tariff rates. 

The U.S. is complaining that Canada gave most of the import rights – administered by quotas – to dairy-processing companies which, it argues, want to preserve Canadian markets for themselves. It wants more of the import permits, which are rationed out to keep imports within the agreed-upon quotas, to be spread around to, for example, retailers and foodservice companies.

Canadian Trade Minister Mary Ng said previous dispute settlement panels “have repeatedly confirmed that our supply management system is in line with our international trade obligations” and that the CUSMA terms surrounding import tariffs are being upheld.

In response, Canada's trade minister Ng said “we look forward to demonstrating how Canada is meeting its CUSMA obligations during the new consultations on allocations of dairy tariff-rate quotas.” 

“As we have always done, and we will continue to do, we will stand up, work with, and defend our dairy farmers and workers.” she said.

A tribunal ruled in December that Canada violated the terms of CUSMA by setting aside the vast majority of low-tariff imports from the U.S. exclusively for use by Canadian dairy processors. The final report, released in early January, said Canada’s practices were “inconsistent” with the trade deal.

Yet the decision prompted both countries to declare victory, with Ng saying the ruling was “overwhelmingly in favour” of Canada’s dairy industry.

Over the latter months of 2020 when the quotas first came into effect, the U.S. dairy industry found it was unable to fill them because permit holders were not importing as much as the permits allow. That prompted the first formal complaint which went to a disputes-settling panel which ordered Canada to make changes.

Canadian officials did make changes, but not enough to satisfy the U.S. which filed a second complaint in May which is likely to head to another disputes-settling panel.

And now there’s this third request for negotiations which expands the complaints filed in May.

New Detroit-Windsor bridge facing challenges

 Covid-19, supply chain issues and labour shortages are all challenges facing the companies building a new bridge between Windsor and Detroit that is scheduled to open by November, 2024.

The Gordie Howe bridge is a $5.7-billion project and Michael Hatchell, chief executive officer for Bridging North America said the challenges mean he doesn’t know yet whether the completion goal can be met.

“Has it impacted our schedule? Yes, it has. Are we trying to mitigate that as best we can? We are. We’re working with [Windsor Detroit Bridge Authority] to see what those impacts of COVID really are to the project. It’s not resolved yet, but it’s something we’ve realized, and we’re trying to work through,” Hatchell said.

Work is currently underway on the bridge tower legs on both sides of the river. The two legs have now joined together and are more than 500 feet tall. When complete, the towers will reach 722 feet.

Throughout 2023 more work will be done on the 35 cable stay anchor boxes that will eventually connect and support the bridge deck.

“We’re working back on the land side to the first set of anchor piers, you can see the deck going into place. Early next year, we’ll start going out into the river, and you’ll start seeing the cables come down to try to support that as we go,” Hatchell said.

Tuesday, December 20, 2022

Salami on recall

Finocchiona Salami Sweet Fennel is on recall because of salmonella food-poisoning bacteria.

The contamination was spotted during product testing.

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency said it has not received any reports of consumers falling ill.

Three escaped cows captured

Three of 20 Holsteins that escaped from a dairy farm in central Quebec in July have been captured.

There have been major efforts to capture them, including cowboys in October.

The local chapter of the Union des Producteurs du Quebec said new-fallen snow helped in their recovery mission which was kept so secret that not even the cows’ owner knew, said chapter president Martin Marvouiller.

Israelis’ GMO hens lay only female eggs

Researchers in Israel have developed gene-edited hens that lay eggs from which only female chicks hatch, according to a report this week by the British Broadcasting Corp.

The breakthrough could prevent the yearly slaughter of billions of unwanted male chicks which is why Compassion in World Farming, an animal welfare group, helped fund the research.

“I am happy that we have developed a system that I think can truly revolutionize the industry,” said Yuval Cinnamon, a scientist with the Volcani Institute near Tel Aviv.

The gene-edited DNA in Gold hens stopped the development of any male embryos in eggs they laid. The DNA is activated when the eggs are exposed to blue light for several hours, he said. 

Manure updates to environment farm plans propose

Farmers will need more land for manure if the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs follows through with proposals posted recently for the Nutrient Management Act.


The original average finished weight value of 362 kilograms for beef feeders would change to 394 kilograms which would result in an increase in the calculation of manure by eight per cent.

Milking cow weights have increased – by 6.4 per cent for Holsteins, by 10.2 per cent for Guernseys and 5.3 per cent for Jerseys.

Veal calves are being raised to heavier weights, so their manure volume is being increased by 3.5 per cent.

Housing capacity per animal is being reduced to reflect the difference with heifers being raised as milking herd replacements. Most veal are raised on manure packs, the proposals say.

For broiler chickens changes would reflect to reflect Chicken Farmers of Ontario’s revised production cycles, improved growth and feed conversion rates which has resulted in fewer days in barn to reach market weight and more down time between flocks when the barns are empty. By shortening the production cycles growers are able to reduce the amount of time their barns are empty during the year.This results in a 12 per cent decline in manure production

Monday, December 19, 2022

Sofina Mitchell shut down

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency shut down the Sofina poultry-processing plant in Mitchell because of an outbreak of avian influenza.

The virus was confirmed as the reason for a high rate of mortality in a flock of turkeys that arrived at the plant for slaughter.

The Canadian Food Inspection routinely issues e-mails to those who ask to be its news list about outbreaks of highly-pathogenic avian influenza, but did not identify Sofina as the place on that website.

The unusual death rate was spotted at the plant Dec. 12, CFIA testing confirmed the cause as highly-pathogenic avian influenza the next day.

The plant was shut down and underwent a thorough cleaning and disinfection and was due to re-open today.

The disease is no threat to people, but as a precaution the plant stopped slaughter and detained any turkey products that might have been contaminated or cross-contaminated.

New chair named to animal review board

 Stephanie Zwicker Slavens has been appointed to a two-year term as associate chair of the Animal Care Review Board tribunal, a position she will share with Jeanie Theoharis. 

Zwicker Slavens has also been appointed associate chair of the Ontario Fire Safety Commission and vice chair of the  Social Benefits Tribunal - Tribunals Ontario. She is a Toronto-based lawyer.

The Animal Care Review Board tribunal hears complaints filed by people who have run afoul of the animal welfare enforcement officials.

The Ontario Fire Safety Commission has drawn criticism from rural residents for its crack-down on barn parties.

Sunday, December 18, 2022

Another avian flu case in Lambton Shores

Two days after the first notice, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency issued a second notice of an outbreak of highly-pathogenic avian influenza in a commercial poultry operation in Lambton Shores.

Lambton Shores is in Lambton County, south of Grand Bend.

Friday, December 16, 2022

Ontario wheat fares well in competition

The best Ontario wheat fields produced yields of 150 bushels an acre for the second year in the Great Lakes Yield Enhancement Network competition.

The YEN included 18 Ontario winter wheat field locations, but expanded to include 50 Ontario field sites for the 2021-22 competition. 

That added more information to the understanding of wheat production capability. Most participants achieved yields well into the triple digits. 

Marty Vermey, senior agronomist with Grain Farmers of Ontario, said “we see average yields are higher than last year. We had lots of participants that were getting 130 to 140” bushels per acre."

Andy Timmermans of Stratford achieved the second highest yield potential percentage and was second in overall bushels – 79.07 per cent and 150.19 bushels per acre. 

Arnprior’s Kelsey Hill placed third in highest yield, with 144.13 bushels per acre. Ohio and Michigan wheat growers Aaron Stuckey and Jeffery Krohn took the other top spots.

Participants and competition partners will be at the Ontario Agriculture Conference Jan. 4 and 5 to share farming tips.   

Wellbeing measuring stick in the works

 The Rural Ontario Institute and the Canadian Standards Association are partnering in a project to measure rural wellbeing.

They will start with four counties and use the results as a benchmark to measure the effectiveness of various programs that aim to improve wellbeing.

“Rural Ontario communities stand to benefit from a practical, applied service that allows benchmarking,” said Ellen Sinclair, the executive director with the Rural Ontario Institute.

Benchmarking will allow communities to compare progress internally or externally with neighbouring rural communities over time. The project has been made possible through funding support from the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs.”

Rural researcher Nelson Rogers said “this project offers a significant opportunity to improve the understanding of wellbeing in rural communities and provides an evidence-based approach to take action on important issues.”

Thursday, December 15, 2022

Carlsberg buying Waterloo Brewing


The Carlsberg Group of Denmark is buying Waterloo Brewing Ltd. now based in Kitchener.

The all-cash deal is worth $144-million and needs shareholder approval. They are offered $4 per share, about 20 per cent above the current market price.

Jim Brickman founded the business in1984 as Brick Brewing and was Ontario’s first craft brewery. It struggled through imbalances in production, storage and distribution and emerged as a profitable competitor.

Operations moved from the main street in Waterloo to an industrial area in Kitchener and where it produces Laker beer, LandShark Lager, various Seagram’s-branded products, as well as its Waterloo Brewing lineup. Until mid-2019, the company was known as Brick Brewing Co. Ltd.

It is the second time this year that a Danish brewer has agreed to purchase a Canadian beer producer. In July, Royal Unibrew bought Toronto-based Amsterdam Brewery in a deal valued at $44-million.

Waterloo’s TSX-listed stock has lost more than half its value over the past 18 months, falling more than 57 per cent from a mid-2021 high of $7.88 per share to $3.35 per share as of Wednesday’s market close. The company’s total market value as of Wednesday’s close was roughly $120-million.

George H. Croft, who has been president and CEO of Waterloo Brewing since 2008, said in an interview that it was too early to determine what sort of role he will play at the new company.

Automating feeding to improve dairy cow health

Dairy cows sometimes suffer negative energy balance because their rations are short of what they need for good health, but automating feeding systems could resolve that issue.

Patty Kedzierski, a PhD candidate in the Department of Animal Biosciences at the University of Guelph, is handling data collection and research for solutions under supervision by Dr. John Cant.

“Current dairy cattle feeding practices can cause a negative energy balance (NEB), resulting in adverse effects on the cow’s health and productivity,” she said. “Automated technologies could  . . . target the individual needs of each cow.”

Kedzierski said most farms feed their cattle a total mixed ration (TMR), meaning all cows are fed the same diet based on a cow representative of the top percentile of the herd. Cows have varying nutritional and metabolic needs, so feeding a TMR can result in a large proportion of the herd being over- or underfed.

“During early lactation, if the energy intake provided by the TMR is insufficient for milk synthesis, cows experience a negative energy balance,” she said. “Negative energy balance leaves cows more susceptible to disease and reduced productivity, which can be costly for milk producers.”

Data will be collected from various sensors, including a 3-D camera and an emission monitoring system. 

These automated technologies will measure daily dry matter intake, milk yield, body weight, body condition score and respiratory gas exchange of oxygen, carbon dioxide and methane. 

Kedzierski anticipates that automated data collection may help to reduce negative energy balance during early lactation. She says implementing individualized feeding plans could help optimize productivity, lower feed costs, minimize nutrient excretion and curb disease.

“In the future, I hope to be able to integrate all of these technologies onto a singular platform,” she said. “Doing so would make it easier to implement individualized care practices on farm and would thus reduce NEB and its associated costs.”

New leadership team for Maple Leaf Foods

Maple Leaf Foods is shuffling the executive deck as it prepares for the departure of Michael McCain as president and chief executive officer and makes way for Curtis Frank to take those roles in the spring.

McCain will remain as executive chairman of the board.

Casey Richards, senior vice president of marketing, is promoted to the newly-created position of president and chief growth officer. Richards will assume accountability for the value-added prepared meats and poultry businesses under one combined organizational unit to drive profitable growth, Maple Leaf said in a news release.

Iain Stewart, senior vice president of operations and supply chain, is promoted to the newly-created role of chief supply chain officer. He will lead an effort to further refine the company's manufacturing strategy to leverage its expertise in operations, purchasing, supply chain and engineering into a sustainable competitive advantage, Maple Leaf said.

Adam Grogan, president of Maple Leaf's Greenleaf Foods subsidiary, is appointed president of alternative protein. Grogan will continue to lead the Greenleaf business and will add responsibility for commercializing and broadening the company's innovation and investment strategy in meat protein alternatives to deliver long-term financial and sustainability performance.

Jumoke Fagbemi

Jumoke Fagbemi will join Maple Leaf's senior leadership team in January as the new senior vice president for people.  She comes from Merck and since 2020 has been senior vice-president of human resources for Airbus.

Patrick Lutfy, vice president of marketing, is promoted to senior vice president of marketing, replacing Casey Richards.

Wednesday, December 14, 2022

Avian influenza in Lambton Shores

Highly-pathogenic avian influenza has been detected in a commercial poultry flock in Lambton Shores.

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency has established a quarantine zone and any vehicles involved in the poultry industry will require its permission to enter or leave the zone.

In Europe there are reports of devastation of wildlife birds felled by the highly-infectious disease, especially in Scotland.

The CFIA and poultry farmers are having difficulty containing the virus in an area of British Columbia with a concentration of poultry farms near Chilliwack and Agassiz.

Province intends to allow carbon sequestration

The Ontario government has served notice it intends to amend legislation to allow for carbon sequestration.

Projects are most likely to be located in rural areas.

The notice said we are proposing to amend the Oil, Gas and Salt Resources Act to remove the prohibition on carbon sequestration (i.e. the permanent storage of carbon dioxide in deep underground geologic formations). 

If approved, these changes would represent a first step towards enabling geologic carbon storage in the province, it said.

Global meat producers facing challenges, says Rabobank

Livestock and poultry farmers around the world will face high costs along the full supply chain, swings in consumption, and other areas of uncertainty such as elevated disease pressure and regulatory and market-driven changes next year, said Justin Sherrard, global strategist for animal protein at Rabobank.

As a result, margins will be squeezed as buyers push back on higher production costs. But opportunities still exist, although they will be more restricted, he said.

The overall trend for 2023 is for production growth to slow further, he said.

Slow growth is expected in China across all species groups, and ongoing growth is expected in Brazil and Southeast Asia. Oceania will experience slow growth, while North American and European production will decline.


Poultry is set to maintain its consistent growth pattern, beef production will decline slightly and pork will see a decline. 

In Europe production will come under pressure for all species, on disease risks, market and regulatory-driven changes, and reduced exports. Consumption is expected to hold steady, with poultry benefiting while pork and beef will decline slightly.

Plant proteins will have a year of consolidation. The recent stellar growth of plant-based products is on hold, and investors are shifting focus, Sherrard said.

Researcher offers a way to make more money from pork

Dr. Manuel Juarez has developed technology that enables meat packers to characterize pork cuts so they can be sold to the most profitable markets.

Juarez, who is a livestock phenomics scientist at the federal agriculture department’s research station at Lacombe, Alta., headed a multi-institutional team that worked on behalf of Swine Innovation Porc.

New technology tools will enable the classification of the primal pork cuts based on quality and end use characteristics, the team said.

Juarez said these technologies range from very low to very high tech but they all need to be applicable to commercial conditions, they have to be user friendly and they all need to have a minimum level of accuracy.

The approaches and the technologies are going to be different for the different defects or quality characteristics but the way we are developing all of these systems in general is quite similar, he said.

“We work with the packers. We identify what we are doing today in terms of classifying for these attributes. We discuss with them also how that can be enhanced, if there is value in doing so because in some cases classification may not be worth any change. 

“From there we come up with different concepts, with different prototypes, we test them at the research level to start with. We have our own abattoir and animals here at Lacombe so we start developing some of these prototypes and testing them on site,” he said.

“After that we bring in meat from commercial packers, we test the meat in our lab with these commercial primals.

“From there we start testing them in the actual commercial plants, either by us going to the plant or, during COVID-19, most likely sending the equipment to our collaborators and they can test it,” he said.