Experts use rapid cooling to preserve bovine eggs

A Canadian initiative to preserve rare livestock genetics is taking a closer look at the germplasm of the bull’s better half. The effort may help develop an improved protocol for preserving bovine eggs for posterity. Genetic preservation in cattle has focused on male genetics, said Muhammad Anzar, a cryobiologist with the Canadian Animal Genetic Resources […] Read more


Large eggs in demand

Fewer medium eggs are coming off Alberta farms, and Christina Robinson says that’s a good thing. Medium-sized eggs are less sought after in the marketplace than larger eggs and fetch producers a smaller return, yet Alberta sees a larger percentage of these than other provinces. The national average of medium-sized eggs compared to total egg […] Read more


Bill urges tax deferred transfer of assets to siblings

NDP motion opposed by Conservatives, saying it would ‘loosen the application of the anti-avoidance rule’

A motion from an NDP member of Parliament seeks to “correct” income tax rules and simplify complex farm succession regulations. Under one section of the Income Tax Act, siblings aren’t considered related, leaving them unable to re-ceive the same tax exemptions on asset transfers as spouses and children. An NDP-sponsored bill — C-661, Facilitating the […] Read more



Manitoba milk heads west

Manitoba is shipping 75,000 litres of milk to Saskatchewan for processing every day. It’s a good problem to have, said David Wiens, chair of Dairy Farmers of Manitoba. “The point is we’re able to produce the milk as is required for our markets,” he said. “And we hope that processing will come along as well […] Read more


Stable hemp acres expected across Prairies

Western Canadian farmers are seeding the same number of hemp acres this spring as they did last year, says an industry official. About 100,000 acres were contracted last year, said Kim Shukla of the Canadian Hemp Trade Alliance, although only 90,000 acres were seeded. She expects this year’s total will fall into the same neighbourhood. […] Read more



Longer days yield more fibre: hemp researcher

While an Alberta processing facility is busy, contracted fibre acres remain on the horizon

Most of Alberta’s hemp acres are located in the southern part of the province, but the crop has a “northern advantage,” says a researcher. Ongoing work in the province is showing the crop’s potential in the Peace region, where growers can produce a taller, more fibrous stalk, said Jan Slaski of Alberta Innovates Technology Futures. […] Read more


B.C., Sask. oppose chicken quota deal

The agreement would give more quota to provinces with faster growing populations

Chicken Farmers of Canada is moving forward with a new quota allocation agreement while processors appeal the deal that will see some provinces grow faster than others. Late last year, CFC announced the signing of a memorandum of understanding between all 10 provincial chicken boards. The agreement would see 55 percent of future growth in […] Read more


Canada holding back in TPP talks as U.S. debates fast track

Canadian officials negotiating a new free trade agreement could take a page out of the country’s pact with the European Union. Ongoing talks for the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a 12 nation deal linking North American and Australian economies with growing markets in Asia, have put Canadian supply management in the crosshairs of foreign officials seeking greater […] Read more



Experts eye retina for BSE link

U.S. researchers found infected animals respond more slowly to light and the retina begins to thin

A cow’s eyes are a window to the animal’s brain, say American researchers studying BSE. In a recently published paper, scientists with Iowa State University and the U.S. Department of Agriculture document how they used retina tests to detect animals infected with the disease months before they showed traditional signs of illness. Today, their tests […] Read more


Biosecurity protocols emphasized to control transmission

The deadly virus can be spread by wild birds — small poultry producers with backyard flocks are urged to take sanitary precautions

Avian influenza outbreaks in Canada and the U.S. have poultry producers on high alert, but biosecurity isn’t just a concern for commercial quota holders.  Industry-issued reminders for careful sanitization and transportation are also directed at smaller producers making farmgate sales and backyard flocks kept for show and sustenance. A tight biosecurity plan is seen as […] Read more