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Archive for the ‘Production’ Category

In December, 2018 OMAFRA, Ontario Pork, Ontario Pork Industry Council, and The Prairie Swine Centre, with support from industry, held a London Swine Conference special seminar in Stratford, ON. Its objective was to help pork producers address challenges of sow management, in particular challenges related to group housing.

Videos of presentations are available on the London Swine Conference YouTube site (click here). Read more information about the seminar and our sponsors by following this link to the LSC website: www.londonswineconference.ca/index.php/gshms.

Following are the presentations on the program. Click on the titles below to watch the videos. 

Best Mixing Practices in Group Housing

Health Management in Groups

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Comparing Livestock Productivity Since 1993

A study using the ratio of livestock production to the breeding herd, or “foundation herd” illustrates that (quote) “Productivity of hog production stands out. It was 68% higher in 2014-2018 than in 1993-1997…”.

Reference (click the title to go to the full article):
Comparing Livestock Productivity Since 1993 • farmdoc daily Zulauf, C. “Comparing Livestock Productivity Since 1993.” farmdoc daily (9):96, Department of Agricultural and Consumer Economics, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, May 24, 2019.

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Knowing your costs and where your money goes is key to improving your bottom line. The OMAFRA monthly  Swine Budget provides a guide and format to estimate the cost of production for a swine enterprise. Accurate and up to date information is essential to determine an individual farm cost of production and to make management, financial, and marketing decisions.  Check out how your compare.

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course splash screens (2)Are you looking for a convenient option for gaining skills and knowledge in the areas of food safety, traceability and farm business practices?

A series of free online courses is now available for producers, processors and agri-food businesses. These courses will provide foundational information to help you:

  • Reduce risks to your businesses and customers
  • Improve efficiencies
  • Learn more about industry best practices
  • Develop a more competitive edge and access new markets
  • Grow your business

Available courses:

  • Producer: Food Safety Foundations
  • Producer: Worker Practices
  • Producer: Water Use
  • Processor: Food Safety Foundations
  • Processor: Recall
  • Processor: Personnel
  • Processor: Sanitation
  • The Basics of Traceability
  • Producer: Maximizing Your Traceability Investment
  • Processor: Profiting From Traceability
  • Producer: Growing Your Farm Profits

Producers and processors have found the following benefits when taking these online courses:

  • The convenience of doing it on their own time and schedule
  • Interactive exercises, helpful templates and relevant examples
  • Ability to print or refer back to the content again later

How Do I Get Started?

Register for your FREE account today at agandfoodeducation.ca. Then simply log in and begin learning — wherever and whenever it is convenient for you. Accessible versions of the courses are available. For more information, contact the University of Guelph, Ridgetown Campus at rcagfood@uoguelph.ca or 519-674-1500 ext. 63295.

This project was funded in part through Growing Forward 2 (GF2), a federal-provincial-territorial initiative.

 

 

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dry pond and ban

flooded corn field

In 2016, many areas of the province saw very warm and dry conditions, and many wells were still dry leading into the winter. In other years, like the start to the 2017 growing season, the province experienced periods of excessive rain, leading to saturated soils and flooding. Both situations create many challenges for livestock and poultry farmers.

No one can control the weather, but we can plan for it. The Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA) encourages you to plan for future weather – conserving water and using it efficiently can help during low water conditions, and having effective drainage systems in place can help with saturated soil and runoff.

Things to consider for low water conditions:

  • Plan ahead: Know how much water your animals need and try to predict how long it would take for your water sources to run dry. Have a contingency plan ready that you can carry out in case your water sources have maxed out. Use the Ontario Soil and Crop Improvement Association’s Emergency Plan low water worksheet to help you with the contingency plan.
  • Include a list of alternative water sources in your contingency plan. This can include water haulers and well drillers. Keep in mind that these sources may be unavailable at the height of low water conditions, so you’ll need to plan ahead.
  • Think about installing water-metering equipment to get accurate measurements of water use.
  • Apply for a Permit to Take Water through the Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change (special rules and circumstances apply).
  • Monitor heat stress in your livestock and have management solutions on-hand when heat stress runs high, but water levels run low.
  • Look at your feed inventory now. If stocks are low for this time of year, consider looking for additional or alternative feed for fall and winter. It’s not too early!

Things to consider for excessive water conditions:

  • Look at your feed supply, as excessive rain can affect planting and harvesting times.
  • Make sure you have enough straw or other bedding materials.
  • Examine your property, your buildings and hard surfaces (like loading areas and parking lots) for flood risk areas. Install eavestroughs to redirect water away from your buildings and create a drainage plan. Plan the steps you’ll need to take to move livestock, feed and equipment in the event of a flood.
  • Create a plan to manage barnyard/feedlot runoff. Determine if you have enough liquid manure storage capacity to store extra material from wet barnyards, and have a plan ready if you don’t (such as using a neighbour’s storage). Also consider what you’ll do to avoid manure storage overflow from rain and flood water.
  • Have a plan ready in the event that manure spreading is delayed due to rain and your storages are full.
  • Think about your electricity generators – are they adequate for your farm’s needs in case of a power outage?
  • Pre-plan alternate routes to avoid travelling on flooded roads, considering services both into and out of the farm (such as feed trucks).

OMAFRA is working with other provincial ministries, conservation authorities and other partners to develop ways to help you manage water. There are existing resources that can help you, too:

Ontario has business risk management programs in place to help you when factors beyond your control affect your operation. Contact Agricorp for more information about these programs.

Visit OMAFRA’s Adverse Weather, Low Water, Irrigation and Drainage web pages for resources to help you prepare for various weather conditions.

Do you have questions about contingency planning? Contact OMAFRA’s Agricultural Information Contact Centre at 1-877-424-1300 or ag.info.omafra@ontario.ca.

ontario.ca/omafra

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Give your company a competitive edge – take free eLearning courses to learn more about industry best practices and to be more competitive in the marketplace!

Access the new Food Safety and Traceability eLearning courses online on the Agriculture and Food Education in Ontario online learning system through the University of Guelph, Ridgetown Campus.

The new Traceability eLearning courses show how good practices can:

  • maximize productivity, improve business efficiency, reduce costs and improve business processes
  • be used to increase competitive advantage by accessing new markets
  • improve supply chain management

The new Food Safety eLearning courses will help you to:

  • identify food safety hazards that can occur in your operation
  • understand best practices and develop programs to control these hazards
  • decrease the likelihood of food safety hazards that can lead to a foodborne illness outbreak or product recall

Visit the University of Guelph website to register for a FREE account. Then simply log in and begin learning – wherever and whenever is convenient for you! Accessible versions of the courses are available. For more information, contact the University of Guelph, Ridgetown Campus at rcagfood@uoguelph.ca or 519-674-1500 ext. 63295.

Do you prefer classroom-based learning? Food Safety and Traceability courses and workshops are still offered by the Ontario Soil and Crop Improvement Association (OSCIA). Visit their website for the dates and locations of upcoming in-person opportunities.

Online course development was funded through Growing Forward 2, a federal-provincial-territorial initiative that encourages innovation, competitiveness and market development in Canada’s agri-food and agri-products sector.

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budgetsNew for 2017

  • Switchgrass and non-GMO corn budgets have been added.
  • Machinery costs updated with 2015 Ontario Custom Farmwork Rates.
  • Straw yields updated from Ontario Cereal Crops Committee Performance Trials results.

Available online (English and French) and in print via ServiceOntario

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