December 23, 2016


Canadian province seeks to reduce mastitis in dairy cattle



Five new agricultural research projects in Manitoba--one seeking to reduce the risk of a common, costly and potentially fatal infection in dairy cattle -- are being funded by the Canadian national and the Manitoba provincial governments, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada said.


Manitoba Agriculture Minister Ralph Eichler and Parliament Member Terry Duguid, on behalf of Federal Agriculture Minister Lawrence MacAulay, announced this new funding (totalling C$365,000, or US$ 270,65) at a dairy farm near Rosser town, Manitoba, on Thursday, Dec. 22.


Out of the total funding more than C$61,000 will go to Dairy Farmers of Manitoba (DFM) to identify more effective preventive and control programmes for mastitis, a costly disease affecting dairy cattle.


Mastitis results in decreased milk yields, lower milk quality, higher veterinary treatment costs and the loss of animals. The project will study the microorganisms in dairy cows' mammary glands during various points of lactation to determine the most effective times to prevent and control mastitis infections.


Dairy Farmers of Manitoba David Wiens said, "Dairy Farmers of Manitoba is pleased to receive this investment for mastitis research. Providing excellent care to animals is a priority for dairy farmers. This research will help to continually improve the level of care we provide our animals".


Other funded projects include:


-- XiteBio Technologies Inc.'s research that seeks to determine whether bacteria living near the roots of wheat and barley can be used to help control the damage caused by fusarium head blight, a serious fungal disease that affects crop yield and quality (with C$180,000 funding);


-- The development and performance of yield trials on a non-genetically modified soybean that is high-yielding and suitable for Manitoba's shorter growing season, to be conducted by CanaMaize Seed (C$50,000);


-- Evaluation of prairie cordgrass as a potential source of biomass energy as compared to other perennial grasses, with the goal of developing a breeding program in Manitoba, to be conducted by the University of Manitoba (more than C$47,000); and


-- Manitoba Pulse and Soybean Growers' general weed survey in Manitoba, which is the fifth to be undertaken since the 1970s, and herbicide-resistant weed survey, the third since the 1990s, with the results helping measure changes in the number and type of weed populations and assess weed management strategies (nearly C$27,000).


Additionally, industry partners have contributed another C$374,000 to these five projects.


The research projects are funded through the Growing Innovation – Agri-Food Research and Development Initiative (ARDI), and focus on a range of issues affecting Manitoba's agriculture industry.

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