News

In a field of yellow, a hand cradles the green shoots with buds on a camelina plant

Helping camelina catch on: This durable and versatile crop has potential for Ontario farmers

A so-called ancient oilseed called camelina is attracting attention in Ontario. Researchers believe it has potential as a superb cover crop here and are field testing it now in research plots in Simcoe, Winchester and Ridgetown.

Camelina, a member of the mustard plant family, originated in Europe. It was first identified in Canada in the mid-1800s. It’s realized significant growth in Western Canada over the past decade among producers who appreciate its winter hardiness and versatility.

Unique nutrient medium offers unparalleled support for apple tree growth.

Big plans for micropropagation

Efforts to replace agriculture and food imports with homegrown products are arising in even the most specialized market segments, such as micropropagated trees.

Micropropagation uses small parts of plants instead of stem or root cuttings, allowing more trees to be grown faster. This innovation is important—demand for apple root stocks and varieties is predicted to reach more than two million plants per year for at least the next decade.

A tractor travels across a dirt field

Soil: The Next Frontier

The relationship between agriculture and food is a natural one—at least for producers, who nurture it daily. But the agri-food connection is increasingly becoming a “eureka moment” for the public, too. People are waking up to the realization that agriculture precedes food, and that what they see on their plate comes from complex agri-food systems.

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.

Three goats laying together on a bed of hay

What's happening to these kids? Three-year study aims to unravel why goat kid mortalities happen

To support the demand for goat products, University of Guelph researchers are involved in an intensive, three-year, Ontario-wide herd health and management study.

Prof. Cathy Bauman, Department of Population Medicine, and a team of researchers have surveyed or visited almost 60 goat farmers over the past 18 months to investigate mortalities and management practices among their herds.

The researchers are also wrapping up a project to conduct autopsies on all goat kids under four months of age that died on about half of the farms.

Dairy cows in stalls with tractor driving down station alley.

Focus on Sustainability

Feed costs represent about 70 per cent of cattle producers’ total expenses. Cattle are under the microscope for contributing to greenhouse gas emissions.

And breeding could address both matters.

That’s what one University of Guelph researcher is doing, with help from the Ontario Agri-Food Innovation Alliance. Using genomics, she’s identifying cattle that naturally use their feed more efficiently.

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.