Friday, April 26, 2019

Active & Recently Completed

Ontario Pork has a call for research proposals twice a year (fall and spring). These projects were approved for funding by the board on recommendation of the research committee. If you have questions or need further information about the research posted here please contact Kathy Zurbrigg at

Strategies for detoxifying vomitoxin using innovative chemical and biological approaches in post-weaning piglets

Project 17-022 - Lead Researcher: Dr. Joshua Gong, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Guelph

The contamination of feed with the mycotoxin, deoxynivalenol (DON), has detrimental effects on the production of farm animals, with pigs being the most susceptible. Typical negative effects of mycotoxin consumption includes reduced feed intake, digestive dysfunction (e.g. gastroenteritis,...

Relationship between feed, genetics, health, and growth performance up to market weight in pigs

Project 15-015 - Researchers: Brandon Lillie and Vahab Farzan, University of Guelph

Reduction of the pig production through novel feeding strategies is currently an active research topic.  A study by Kees de Lange that was conducted under controlled conditions at the University of Guelph’s Arkell Research Station, indicated that lower-cost, reduced animal-protein...

Reducing pathogens and greenhouse gas emissions from swine manure using anaerobic digestion

Project 17-006 - Lead Researcher: Dr. Brandon Gilroyed, University of Guelph, Ridgetown Campus

Pork production contributes about 9% of total manure production in the Canadian livestock sector. During storage and land application manure undergoes natural degradation leading to the emission of greenhouse gases (GHGs) such as methane(CH4) and nitrous oxide (N2O), as well as pollutants such...

Precision Feeding of Gestating Sows: Use of Electronic Sow Feeders to Reduce Feed Costs and Nutrient Losses into the Environment, While Improving Sow Productivity and Welfare

Project 16-004 - Researchers: Ira Mandell and Lee-Ann Huber, University of Guelph

The ultimate goal of this work is to examine how sow management using ESF can influence lifetime sow productivity and retention in the herd, and carry-over effects on to her progeny.

Nutritional strategies for improved market hog competitiveness - SIP Initiative

Project 14-009 - Researchers: James Squires, Ira Mandall, Julang Li

Feed cost is by far the greatest cost of pig production (65-70%) and growing-finishing pigs account for about 80% of feed consumed. The continued high cost of feed demonstrates the need to develop cost-effective feeding strategies for growing-finishing pigs to ensure the long-term...

Nitrogen Requirements and Utilization in Growing Pigs: Research into reduced feed costs and environmental impact of nitrogen

Project 11-005 - Lead Researcher: Kees de Lange, University of Guelph

Feed costs are the single largest contributor to the cost of pork production.  After energy, amino acids and protein are the largest contributors to nutrient costs of pig diets. Researchers at the University of Guelph investigated the digestibility and efficiency of feeding growing pigs...

Minimum duration of teat use required in first lactation to ensure optimal milk yield in second lactation

Project 13-001 - Researchers: Dr. Chantal Farmer (AAFC) and Dr. Bob Friendship, University of Guelph

With the combination of lean genetics and hyperprolific sows, producers may be faced with the challenge of first parity sows becoming too thin during lactation, which can reduce their future reproductive performance and longevity in the herd.  To alleviate this problem, producers...

Identifying the Cause of Death and Factors Associated with Hogs that Perish in Transit

Project 12-019 and 13-006 - Researcher: Kathy Zurbrigg

The actual cause of in-transit losses of swine is complex as they are likely the result of a combination of risk factors and situations the pigs may have been exposed to.  The commonly cited risks of high temperature and stocking density are part of the problem but do not fully explain all...

Evaluation of Compounding Iron-dextran with NSAIDs for Use in Piglets at Time of Castration

Project 13-003 - Researcher: Ron Johnson

As of July 1, 2016 the Canadian Code of Practice for the Care and Handling of Pigs states that piglets must be provided with appropriate pain control during castration and tail docking. The timing of these procedures often coincides with iron supplementation for piglets, leading many producers...

Evaluation of analgesia efficacy in piglets undergoing castration and processing through the scoring of pain related behaviours

Project 14-006 - Researcher: Dr. Pat Turner

Facial behaviours such as ear position, are increasingly being used to assess pain in animals. The development of a facial behaviour scale could lead to an easy and quick way to help producers to determine subtle cases when an animal is in pain and needs treatment.

Establishing value/utility of soluble CD163 as a biomarker for predicting PRRS-induced disease severity in swine herds

Project 17-011 - Lead Researcher: Dr. John Harding, University of Saskatchewan

The swine industry is economically burdened by porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome (PRRS) and PRRSV-induced coinfections partly due to the lack of fully protective vaccines and also by the absence of a reliable method to distinguish disease-susceptible (moderately to severely affected...

Establishing sensitivity and specificity of using rope samples (saliva) to test for PRRS virus antibodies

Project 17-016 - Lead Researcher: Dr. Tim Blackwell

Porcine Reproductive and Respiratory Syndrome (PRRS) causes disease and economic losses on swine farms. Producers strive to eradicate the virus if geographically feasible or “stabilize” the sow herd through vaccination or intentional field virus exposure. A cornerstone of any PRRS...

Epidemiology study: impact of simple nursery diet under commercial farming conditions - SIP Initiative

Project 14-008 - Researchers: Kees de Lange, Vahab Farzan

In a project funded both by Ontario Pork and Swine Innovation Porc, University of Guelph researchers demonstrated that a less expensive nursery diet (low complexity), had no adverse effect on growth rate and health of pigs at all production phases nor on carcass characteristic.

Efficacy of exogenous alkaline phosphatases to improve growth performances in pigs

Project 17-032 - Lead Researcher: Dr. Ming Fan, University of Guelph

The effects of systemic inflammation are well documented to adversely affect efficiency of energy and nitrogen utilization in pigs.  Weaned and grow-finish pigs are likely commonly experiencing mild inflammatory responses within the body, to the various challenges they experience (stress at...

Effects of improved design trailers on the welfare of pigs transported under Canadian transport and climate conditions

Project 17-012 - Lead Researcher: Dr. Luigi Faucitano

Pig losses during transit are largely dependent on vehicle design. This is particularly the case in Canada where most pigs are transported in pot-belly (PB) trailers. This vehicle type is questioned as it is not easy to load and unload due to the presence of multiple and steep ramps and provides...