Livestock sector gets support

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The Ontario government is investing in two projects at Ontario Research Centres in Elora.

With $14.4 million from the Government of Ontario, and $3.6 million from Ontario Pork, construction is now underway on a new $18 million swine research facility that will use state-of-the-art technology to build Ontario’s capacity and expertise to support cutting-edge research that drives innovation in the swine sector and contributes to the sector’s competitiveness and productivity.

In addition, the governments of Canada and Ontario are advancing beef nutritional research with an investment of $1.3 million through the Canadian Agricultural Partnership (the Partnership) at the Ontario Beef Research Centre.

The beef nutrition research investment supports the purchase of 96 Insentec feeders, a digitized precision feeding system that tracks and adjusts the nutrition for each individual cow as needed.

Results from the research will produce healthier cattle and reduces waste, making beef farmers more competitive in the global marketplace.

The investments announced recently build on previous initiatives and programs that support the livestock sector, including:
– $500,000 for precision feed handling and mixing equipment which supports nutritional research for the expanded beef and dairy research herds at the Ontario Beef Research Centre – Elora.
– $7 million in the Meat Processors Capacity Improvement Initiative for provincially licensed meat processors to help them purchase equipment to increase productivity and efficiency, and prevent slowdowns.
– $10 million in the Agri-Food Workplace Protection Program to help provincially licensed meat processors maintain a safe workplace.
– $2 million to cover immediate needs like feed, water and fencing with an additional investment of up to $15,000 per eligible farms for permanent water projects in northwestern Ontario.
– Financial assistance provided to beef and hog producers to help offset the feeding costs during processing delays caused by COVID-19.

Ontario’s cattle and hog sectors contribute $5.2 billion in GDP through the agri-food value chain and supports over 98,500 jobs.

The Ontario Beef Research Centre – Elora is a partnership between the Government of Ontario through its agency the Agricultural Research Institute of Ontario (ARIO), the Beef Farmers of Ontario (BFO) and the University of Guelph.

The site includes 300 acres of pasture, two barns with state-of-the-art feeders to accommodate 288 mature cows and 120 heifers with four laboratories, including a sample storage lab and a clean lab for genomics research.

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