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The 2018 Grain Corn Ear Mould and DON survey by the OMAFRA field crop team indicates that mould and mycotoxins will be in issue in some areas of the province this year. The survey and a new series of articles on managing the problem are available on at fieldcropnews.com.   The information covers testing and laboratories, with harvest, storage, and end use tips for mouldy corn.  Stay informed: You can sign up to be notified when they post more news to the website.

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OMAFRA, Ontario Pork, Ontario Pork Industry Council, and The Prairie Swine Centre, with support from industry, are holding a Group Sow Housing and Management Seminar (December 4th, 2018 in Stratford Ontario) to help pork producers address challenges of sow management, in particular related to group housing.  Visit the website for details.

The focus of the day will be “Overcoming Challenges”.

Brought to you by the London Swine Conference, this seminar will feature practical information on various aspects of group housing. The program will focus on overcoming many of the common challenges that arise with group housing, as well as management techniques to help make the transition period and years to follow smooth for you and your herd. Group housing options will also be discussed.

There will be several producer profiles, and a discussion panel with plenty of opportunity to ask questions.

Seminar Program*

9:00 am Registration

9:25 am Welcoming Remarks

9:30 am Common Challenges with Group Sow Housing
Sylven Blouin, Animal Welfare Director, Jyga Technologies, QC

10:10 am Producer Profile 1
Scott Hyshka, Mountain Vista Sow Unit, Sunterra Farms, AB

10:40 am Networking Break

11:10 am Mixing Practices & Social Behaviour of Sows
Dr. Jennifer Brown, Prairie Swine Centre, SK

11:45 am Producer Profile 2
Matt Davis, Hord Family Farms, Ohio

12:15 pm Lunch

1:15 pm Breakout Sessions (see below)

2:00 pm Producer Profile 3
Francis Jolin St-Laurent, Production Porcs Plus/Ferme Porc-Saint, QC

2:30 pm Health Management in Groups
Dr. Karine Talbot, Hylife, MB

3:10 pm Networking Break

3:40 pm Lameness: Causes and Prevention Strategies
Dr. Laurie Conner, University of Manitoba, MB

4:15 pm Panel Discussion

5:00 pm Closing remarks

5:00 – 6:30 pm Social Time

Breakout 1: (for producers who haven’t made the change yet or have within the last year):
Start-up Challenges: What to Expect
Mark Chambers and Scott Hyshka, Sunterra Farms Ltd., AB and ON

Breakout 2: (for producers who have been in GSH for >1 year):
Improving Production Efficiencies and Benchmarking
Dr. Greg Wideman, South West Ontario Veterinary Services, ON

*Program subject to change without notice

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The following material was prepared by the London Swine Conference planning committee.

LSClogo

 

“London Swine Conference has become the meeting place for the Ontario Swine industry”

 

London ON, April 6, 2018 – For the 18th year in a row, large numbers of pork producers and industry professionals gathered for the London Swine Conference. The event has come of age as the meeting place for Ontario’s swine sector. A large number of swine producers and staff made up the attendance of 385 on Tuesday and 265 on Wednesday March 27 and 28.

Attendees were encouraged to think beyond the farm gate, with topics related to consumer education, public opposition, retail trends and the future of processing. On-farm topics had producers sharing experiences of bad days, success with niche programs, and management to reduce antimicrobial use. As in the past LSC presented expert knowledge from academics and leaders in the industry, blended with practical on-farm applications.

For the second year, LSC presented the C.F.M.(Kees) de Lange Lecture in Swine Nutrition. Dr. John Patience of Iowa State University delivered a popular session related to swine nutrition. Dr. Patience looked at the many influences impacting nutrition choices for today’s producers. The factors he considered included legislation, regulation, market preferences and changing economics.

The planning committee extends their thanks to Premier Sponsors: Better Pork Magazine, Farm Credit Canada, Total Swine Genetics Inc., and Zantingh Direct Inc. The support of these and over 35 additional industry sponsors make LSC possible. With their support, LSC continues to be a premier education event for the swine industry in Ontario.

Conference proceedings are available online at http://www.londonswineconference.ca along with proceedings from all past conferences.

The London Swine Conference began in 2001, and continues as a joint effort of the University of Guelph, Ontario Pork, the Ontario Pork Industry Council and the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs. Its main aim is to provide a forum for the exchange of credible, science-based information for decision makers and influencers in the pork industry, to encourage the exchange and adoption of knowledge for the betterment of the industry

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For more information:
Sandra McCann, OMAFRA, (519) 482-3333
sandra.mccann@ontario.ca
http://www.londonswineconference.ca

 

 

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LSClogoThe 18th London Swine Conference will be happening soon.

View the program and register online at www.londonswineconference.ca

 

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This was a hot topic in 2014 and with the warm weather we are having this week its a good reminder.

ONswine

We may not be quite experiencing a heat wave yet, but there is sure to be hot weather coming. Anyone caring for livestock needs to be prepared for high temperatures.

OMAFRA has produced a free Heat Stress in Livestock and Poultry app for smartphones that can help determine when livestock are at risk of heat stress on the spot, either in the barn or at time of transport.

By entering the current temperature and relative humidity on your smartphone you can estimate heat stress risks quickly and easily. The app also suggests steps to take to reduce heat stress to maintain feed intake and productivity.

appCheck it out here.

The app is useful in assessing a whether a crisis is imminent, but routine maintenance can help avoid risk too. This would be a good time to clean fans, check that louvers and inlets are moving freely, and clean up the…

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“That project taught me some important lessons like just because something looks profitable in Excel does not necessarily translate into actual profitability.  That project was an unmitigated disaster from a production standpoint and the timing coincided with a run up in corn values and collapsing hog prices.  As fall turned to winter in 2012, our financial position deteriorated rapidly and losing everything that Mum and Dad had built became a real possibility.  I internalized this, blaming myself entirely for the failure of the project and causing the extra level of vulnerability for my parent’s finances.  I could not sleep nor could I communicate with loved ones as I retreated down the dark path of depression.  My self-hate knew no bounds, I would scream at myself in the barn when I made simple errors, I would be paralyzed in the seat of my car when I got to the barn, dreading actually going in to the building.”  

“Everyone was frustrated and angry about the cows being sick, frustrated about losing money, frustrated that we were failing, but my husband seemed to take the full weight of our troubles onto his shoulders.  If he was in a bad mood, nothing I could say would be able to cheer him up.  He was never angry towards me or the rest of the family, but he would just be so mad some days.  I would worry when something else bad happened, fearing how he would react.  I would put a lot of effort into trying to hide as many problems from him as I could.  I was beginning to feel that I had to constantly be ‘up’ to balance him being so down.  Many days, I wanted to rant and be angry too but I bottled it up not wanting to add to his worry.”

 

These two excerpts are taken from blogs written by Ontario farm families who have bravely shared about their mental health journeys.

Until recently, there wasn’t data about the mental health of Canadian farmers.  Dr. Andria Jones-Bitton and PhD Candidate Briana Hagen of the Ontario Veterinary College are changing that.  During Phase 1 of their project (September 2015 to January 2016), they conducted a nationwide survey on producer stress levels and resilience, with 1,132 farmers responding.  The results showed that approximately 45 percent of farmers surveyed were classified as having high levels of stress, while 58 percent were classified with varying levels of anxiety and 35 percent met the definition for depression.

Evidence of higher than average stress levels among farmers is perhaps unsurprising given the unique patchwork of risks and challenges – drought, pests, disease, extreme weather, volatile prices, pressure to carry on family legacy, etc.  However, these scores were two-to-four times higher than previous studies of farmers in the United Kingdom and Norway using the same scales.  Even more alarming, the results showed that we have a long way to go on the stigmatization of mental health: 40% of farmers said that they would feel uneasy seeking professional help because of what other people might think and one-third said that seeking such help can stigmatize a person’s life.

Dr. Jones-Bitton and Hagen are passionate and committed to transforming these results into action that will leave a positive impact on our industry.  For Phase 2 of the project, they will be conducting one-on-one interviews with producers, industry support staff, government personnel, and veterinarians to discuss their thoughts and experiences with respect to mental wellness and resilience in the agricultural community as well as hear ideas about what resources and support the industry needs.  From these interviews, a mental health literacy training program will be developed specifically for agriculture, along with a mental health emergency response model for times of crisis (i.e. outbreaks, barn fires).

What an opportunity this is to share our stories and be a part of improving mental health in Canadian agriculture!  Please consider making time to participate in this worthwhile project.

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Interviews will take approximately 1 hour and can be scheduled in a location of your convenience between now and early fall.  In appreciation for your time and valuable insight, an honorarium will be provided.  Please contact Briana Hagen (bhagen@uoguelph.ca  or 306-381-8927) or Dr. Andria Jones-Bitton (aqjones@uoguelph.ca or 519-824-4120 ext. 54786) if you are interested in participating.

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Are you starting or growing a food business?dscf3272

Learn how you as a producer or small processor can access new market channels at these one day workshops. Topics include market channel opportunities, basics of food regulations, costing and pricing your products for success, food packaging and labelling, getting your product listed, and food trends: consumer and industry expectations.

For more information and to register visit: www.omafra.gov.on.ca/english/busdev/facts/sellingfoodwkshop.htm

Other dates and locations planned are Renfrew, March 7, Smiths Falls, March 8, Huron county, and Middlesex county (dates TBD). Information on these workshops will be added to the OMAFRA website shortly.

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