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Canada's dairy, poultry and egg farmers teamed up to host a 1950's style pop-up diner in downtown Ottawa
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Have you gotten a notice about unvented heaters in your poultry barns and wondered what it meant?
Producers have very clearly defined goals and objectives when it comes to growth and production in commercial poultry operations.
Honey Bee AirFLEX...
North American Manure Expo comes to Canada...
For the first time ever, the North American Manure Expo is being hosted within a Canadian province. The annual show is being held August 20 and 21, 2013, at the University of Guelph’s Arkell Research Station, located near Guelph, Ontario. So, what's a Manure Expo and why should you attend? This video will provide all the dirt.
Expert Dr. Susan Watkins discusses Water Sanitatio...
Expert Dr. Susan Watkins discusses Water Sanitation
The population explosion...
With the world's population increasing exponentially and farmland staying the same, BASF took to the streets to ask consumers if this trend is sustainable.
April 15, 2015 – Brent Royce of Listowel has been named the 2015 recipient of the Farm & Food Care Champion Award. The award was presented at Farm & Food Care’s annual meeting on April 15 by Bruce Christie, a Farm & Food Care board member. Royce was nominated for the award by Turkey Farmers of Ontario (TFO) and the Ontario Federation of Agriculture. Royce grows crops and raises turkeys on his family farm and has been involved in farming for his entire life. Royce is a strong advocate for agriculture, using every opportunity available to him to talk about farming with non-farming Canadians. He was among the first to sign up for Farm & Food Care’s Speak Up ambassador training, and has since become a regular interviewee by many Canadian (both rural and urban) media sources. Royce also actively engages the public through social media using Twitter. Since 2011 he has posted over 4,500 tweets about the day-to-day workings of his farm, and has engaged audiences with several blog posts. Royce and his family also hosted a television crew to film their farm for a virtual turkey farm tour which is now housed at www.virtualfarmtours.ca. He is a graduate of the Advanced Agricultural Leadership Program, is a long-serving volunteer on the Perth Federation of Agriculture, is a director representing Huron and Perth counties for the Ontario Federation of Agriculture and is chairman of the Uncontrolled Electricity Working Group –a committee working to help manage uncontrolled electricity and its adverse effects of livestock farmers. Royce is also involved with both the Innovative Farmers’ Association of Ontario and the Perth County Soil and Crop Improvement Association. In its nomination, Turkey Farmers of Ontario described Royce as “a passionate turkey farmer and great agricultural advocate.” His industry involvement and public outreach, said TFO General Manager Janet Schlitt, makes him an ideal candidate for the recognition. Bruce Christie, chair of the Farm & Food Care Foundation, describes Royce as a worthy candidate for the award. “Ontario agriculture needs strong spokespeople to talk about food and farming," says Christie. "Mr. Royce uses every opportunity to do just that whether it’s engaging through social media or talking with consumers one on one.” The award was originally created in 1999 by the Ontario Farm Animal Council (OFAC) to recognize individuals, organizations and businesses. With the amalgamation of OFAC and AGCare in 2012, the award was renamed and is presented annually to a worthy agricultural advocate.
What do poultry manure and emissions from Alberta’s oil sands have in common? They are both connected to a plant-like organism call micro-algae, which could help the province meet its greenhouse gas emissions reduction targets. Micro-algae grow by leaps and bounds when fed with poultry manure as an organic fertilizer, which in turn make them more effective for scrubbing greenhouse gases like carbon dioxide from industrial facilities and power plants before they enter the atmosphere. “Chicken manure is high in nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium. It contains the main nutrients that algae need,” says Bob Mroz, President and Chief Executive Officer of a Maryland-based biotech company called HY-TEK Bio. It is developing and marketing patented technology using micro-algae for mitigation of greenhouse gases. Alberta likes the potential of HY-TEK Bio’s technology, as the company was recently awarded a $500,000 grant as part of the $35 million international Grand Challenge: Innovative Carbon Uses competition offered by the province’s Climate Change and Emissions Management Corporation (CCEMC). The corporation collects a levy from large greenhouse gas emitters that in turn is used to fund promising technology aimed at reducing greenhouse gases, like the micro-algae technology offered by HY-TEK Bio. The company has identified a unique strain of micro-algae that is able to absorb 100 per cent of greenhouse gases like carbon dioxide from flue gases produced by industrial manufacturing and power generation. Micro-algae are photosynthetic, plant-like organisms that need light, water, carbon dioxide and nutrients, mainly nitrogen and phosphorus. They can feed on compounds like carbon dioxide, nitrogen oxide, sulphur dioxide and volatile organic compounds emitted from such facilities as heavy oil production plants and coal-fired power plants, releasing beneficial oxygen in the process and growing into a plant commodity with considerable commercial potential. The challenge for HY-TEK Bio has been to find an inexpensive source of nutrients to fertilize the micro-algae to accelerate its growth to perform as advertised in a greenhouse gas mitigation application. Addition of nutrients like those in poultry manure make the micro-algae grow faster and increases its production, like fertilizer added to a corn crop. Mroz says that as the company worked to develop its technology, it encountered organizations like the Chesapeake Bay Foundation, which expressed its concerns about poultry manure seeping into the region’s water drainage system, resulting in considerable algae growth in areas like the Chesapeake Bay. Because of this concern, and the availability of grants, HY-TEK Bio approached researchers at the University of Maryland, which has been working with micro-algae extensively for the past four years, to investigate poultry manure’s potential as a cheap nutrient source. The company already has a working demonstration facility with four bioreactors consuming flue gas emissions from a three megawatt, biogas-fueled power plant attached to a City of Baltimore waste water treatment plant. University of Maryland scientists are now testing poultry manure as a natural fertilizer to feed micro-algae. The overall plan is to develop a pilot project that demonstrates a process that, in addition to showing how the micro-algae mitigates greenhouse gases, also demonstrates how the poultry manure-derived nutrients can be applied to maintain the growth and health of the micro-algae. Should the application prove successful and commercially attractive, this could pay a significant environmental and economic dividend to poultry and egg producers, as well as help to solve a growing global problem. Not only would producers of poultry manure have a new and better method for manure disposal, but it could also create a new potential income stream for them. Dr. Feng Chen, Associate Professor at the University of Maryland Centre for Environmental Science, says there are about 800,000 tons of poultry manure currently being generated annually in the Maryland and Mid-Atlantic area of the United States alone. Most of the manure is land applied as a form of disposal, but the problem is that sometimes the nutrients leach into the water drainage system. An alternative use of this poultry manure as fertilizer for micro-algae would direct that manure into a new, non-polluting direction. Alberta is one jurisdiction that has shown an interest in what the university and HY-TEK Bio are accomplishing with the use of micro-algae in greenhouse gas mitigation in its massive fossil fuel industry. It has been identified as a notable contributor of carbon dioxide to the atmosphere, especially in its oil sands mining and processing operations. The University of Maryland research has just started and is being conducted at a basic level, with development of a system to economically extract the nutrients from the raw poultry manure, leading to methods of controlled release of the nutrients to the micro-algae to achieve certain performance targets. While the research project is still in its early stages, the University of Maryland researchers say that they are “quite encouraged” by the results they have witnessed so far in using poultry manure nutrients to encourage micro-algae growth. The poultry manure they are using was collected from various commercial operations in Maryland. Now, the University is working on such issues as how to develop a consistent liquefied nutrient product from raw poultry manure, given the variability of the raw material from one poultry operation to another. Mroz says while there is some variability, they all seem to work well as nutrients for micro-algae growth. The main issue is cost of production, taking it from its raw form to a liquid. “When you are talking about 500 to 1000 of these bioreactor tanks to mitigate a power plant, the nutrient has to be really, really cheap,” says Mroz. About 400 of the company’s micro-algae tanks can fit on one acre, “but we can use multi-storey facilities to increase land usage.” In addition to establishing an inexpensive process to convert the raw poultry manure to liquid form for use as a micro-algae nutrient, what HY-TEK Bio hopes to achieve through its research project with the University of Maryland is to determine if the brown color of the liquid manure is a deterrent to micro-algae growth because the algae needs as much light as possible to grow. Should the University successfully develop a method to cost-effectively manufacture a clear, odourless liquid nutrient product from raw poultry manure, Mroz says this also has potential as a marketable, commercial product. Dr. Russell Hill, Director and Professor at the Institute of Marine and Environmental Technology (IMET) at the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science, says the University’s research related to using poultry manure as a nutrient source for micro-algae is novel. “If greenhouse gas mitigation using micro-algae is ever going to really be used on a large scale, the nutrient requirement will be huge,” says Hill. “It could really help to solve the problem of disposal of chicken manure, and potentially it could even put greater value on the chicken manure.”