Miss the Producer Meeting? – Here are some Key Take-Aways

January 1, 2020

ProAction Update (Dairy) – Dr. Shannon Walsh

Biosecurity Module: Began Sept 2019, has (4) components
Signage: Posted at main point of access, including a phone #
New SOPs (4): 1) Vaccination, 2) New cattle, 3) Returning cattle, 4) Visitor biosecurity
Disease event records: Mandatory for diseases listed below even if not treated

  • Cows (6): DA, RP, mastitis, pneumonia, diarrhea, death
  • Calves (3): pneumonia, diarrhea, death

Biosecurity Risk Assessment Management Plan (RAMP): Questionnaire completed
with a vet once every two years

  • Graded on completion (not scores)

Applied Cattle Handling – Dr. Derek Haley

Differences in productivity between farms can largely be explained by how cars are handled.
Negative handling = decrease in productivity and vice versa; this is due to effects of stress and
elevated cortisol on production. Useful resources for principles of cattle behaviour and

  • Temple Grandin
  • Paul Rapnicki
  • CowSim by Nicholas Free

Precision Technology for Calf health – Dr. Dave Renaud

Calf Health Category Technological Aids Description / Comments
Calving Management Body temperature monitor Decreases 1°C 48hrs prior to calving
New & coming soon
Activity/Pedometers Increases 48hrs prior to calving
NOT the same as estrus monitors which have insufficient sensitivity
Rumination monitors Decreases 70%, greatest 4-6hrs prior to calving
Tail position (“Moo-Calls”) Raised tail 2-6hrs prior to calving
Feeding Management ATP swabbing (luminometer) An accurate, quantitative measure of bacterial contamination.
A U of G study shows that a high-level of bacterial contamination of
feeding equipment is common and that visual assessment alone greatly
underestimates contamination.
Early Disease Detection Calf pedometers
(automatic feeders)
Activity decreases by ~1000 steps if sick
Undergoing validation for automatic calf feeders
Infrared thermography Measure of core body temperature
Under development
Lung ultrasound If incorporated into automatic calf feeders, would ease growth tracking
Growth & Development Weigh scales If incorporated into automatic calf feeders, would ease growth tracking
Blood ketones Tool for weaning decision-making. A blood ketone of ≥0.2mmol/L is
consistent with the calf eating 1kg starter for 3 consecutive days.

Vaccination Decision Making for Farmers – Dr. Robert Tremblay

Unfortunately, vaccines do not provide protection against all disease-causing microbes. Your vaccination program should match your herd’s disease risk and strike a balance between optimum protection and convenience of use.

FAQ: Does it matter when I vaccinate my cattle? For some vaccines, yes: i.e. fertility and scours vaccines

  • Can’t I just vaccinate my beef cows at preg-check time? – Yes BUT must be done at roughly the same time each year with a vaccine that provides a sufficient duration of protection (ask your vet).
  • Can’t I just vaccinate my dairy cow herd once a year? – This may cause some gaps in protection (e.g. cows may be boosted after they need the protection, may miss heifers’ pre-breeding vaccine)

Aquaculture – Dr. Myk Kamaitis

Aquaculture is an established and growing industry in Ontario. Aquaculture producers face similar challenges as other food producing operations (actually, challenges may be magnified as a result of managing larger numbers). Successful aquaculture operations remind us that:
– A pinch of prevention is worth a pound of cure
– Consistent data collection and analysis is critical for efficient management practices and profitability, applicable in:

  1. Prevention (e.g. health monitoring)
  2. Production performance (e.g. growth parameters)
  3. Troubleshooting (e.g. disease, growth, etc.)

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7643 ON-6, Arthur, ON N0G 1A0
1139 Settlers Rd., Sheffield ON L0R 1Z0

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