Impact Stories

Showcasing the success of Partnership programs and research

Virology staff performing tests at a bench at the Animal Health Lab

Animal Health Lab safeguards animal health behind the scenes during pandemic

When it became apparent that SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, was coming to Canada, the Laboratory Services Division at the University of Guelph followed its emergency preparedness plan to ensure services could continue in the event of staff illness or supply chain disruption.

Beat disease, eat your beans: Researchers develop motivators for bean consumption in older adults

Beans and other legumes are vital, affordable, nutrient-dense keys to reducing risk of disease, such as obesity and diabetes. That’s especially true for Ontario’s aging population—in Canada, a quarter of all citizens are 65 years or older and naturally prone to health challenges.

To effectively promote the benefits of beans, researchers set out to benchmark and encourage bean consumption in older adults.

Bonnie Mallard and Lauri Wagter-Lesperance look at a petri dish

Building their best herd: HIR technology carries big benefits for dairy producers looking to naturally improve herd health and reduce veterinary treatment costs

Treating sick cows is never fun, for either the animal or the farmer. Just ask dairy producer Brad Hulshof. While he’s in the barn tending an animal, everything else he has to do around the farm takes a back seat. Plus, it’s costly—producers like Hulshof invest about $1,800 in life’s usual necessities (particularly feed) from the time a calf is born, up until the animal calves in turn and starts producing milk. Add the cost of extraordinary veterinary treatment to the mix, and that number can climb appreciably.

Field of muck crops in rows

Marvellous muck: Muck soil’s loose particles let vegetables grow with ease

Hidden in plain sight—if that’s even possible, with Ontario’s bustling Highway 400 cutting through it—is one of North America’s most influential vegetable field research facilities, the Government of Ontario’s Bradford Muck Crops Research Station.

As field research stations go, it’s hidden because it’s relatively small. At just four acres, it’s about the size of four football fields.

A line of dairy cows

It pays to be environmentally friendly: Carbon footprint-friendly dairy farming leads to a healthy planet…and a healthy bottom line

Being a carbon footprint-conscious dairy farmer improves the planet and farm profitability, say University of Guelph researchers. They’ve determined that environmental best practices, such as manure management, also improve producer profit margins.

Research associate Susantha Jayasundara and Prof. Claudia Wagner-Riddle, School of Environmental Sciences, collected production data from dairy farms across Ontario and classified them as having a high or low carbon footprint.

Four men walking down the aisle of the beef research barn. The one on the right is speaking to the other three.

$15.5-Million Beef Research Centre Opens, Most Sophisticated in Canada

The most sophisticated sustainable livestock production research centre in Canada officially opened today. At the Ontario Beef Research Centre, University of Guelph researchers will hone the latest technologies in health, welfare and production to benefit the province’s 6,800 beef farms and others across Canada.

Man connecting wires on lab equipment

Less environmental impact found through new analytical method

Veterinary drugs and pesticides detection in food tested at the U of G Agriculture and Food Lab (AFL) has been improved through a new method that increases the number of detectable compounds in samples, while simultaneously using a more environmentally friendly compound to reduce the impact of volatile emissions.

Yellow robotic arm in a tomato greenhouse

A robot that lends a hand in greenhouses

The labour-intensive task of harvesting and pruning has become a challenge for greenhouse vegetable growers, making up to 30 per cent of their overall costs.

Can robots help?

Prof. Medhat Moussa, School of Engineering, thinks so. He’s developing a robot system he hopes will be able to harvest, package and de-leaf greenhouse crops without assistance from humans. A prototype is currently being put to the test by harvesting tomatoes, peppers and cucumbers—Ontario’s main greenhouse crops—in Leamington greenhouses. 

Man in field gathering flock of sheep

Deeper analysis means better answers

One of the greatest challenges of big data for researchers is the sheer volume of information generated by the rapidly expanding number of studies on any given subject. Another is the wide range of conclusions at which seemingly similar studies arrive. For example, consider the many conflicting reports about the benefits or hazards of a particular food or ingredient, depending on which study is quoted.

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