Page 14 - Australian Pork Newspaper
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DNA damaged (green) and intact (blue) boar sperm at 400 times magnifica- tion detected by TUNEL assay.
Heat stress models could
predict heat-tolerant boars
with higher fertility
TROPICAL summer year-round.
screening tool to se- lect heat-tolerant boars better suited to service the pig breeding in- dustry of the tropics.
causes 16 times higher DNA damage in boar sperm that can sig- nificantly reduce litter sizes in pigs.
The in vivo 'boar hot room' model induced a biologically significant increase in sperm DNA damage, which varied widely between indi- vidual boars.
The work was sup- ported by an Australia Awards Scholarship to Dr Peña, and has re- cently been published in the scientific journal Tropical Animal Health and Production doi. org/10.1007/s11250- 020-02516-y
However, the ability to study and solve summer infertility in boars is dif- ficult due to the seasonal nature of heat stress.
Interestingly, the in vitro 'sperm heat shock' model showed that sperm from sev- eral boars were more resistant to heat-induced DNA damage at in- creasing temperatures compared to others.
Associate Professor Damien Paris, Pro- fessor Bruce Gummow and PhD student Dr Santiago Peña Jr from the Gamete and Em- bryology Lab at James Cook University, have developed heat stress models that can be used
This suggests that this 'sperm heat shock assay' could be used as a diagnostic fertility
For more informa- tion, contact Assoc Prof Damien Paris on 07 4781 6006 or email au
Australian producers can now apply for grants
AUSTRALIAN farmers, producers and manufacturers can now apply for finan- cial support from the Coles Nurture Fund to help them innovate and grow.
Coles Nurture Fund has recognised and re- warded Aussie farmers who are leading the way in ingenuity and innova- tion.”
Coles has opened a new round of the Coles Nurture Fund to pro- vide grants of up to $500,000 for small and medium-sized busi- nesses to develop new products, technologies and processes.
drive differentiation, sustainable practices, extend growing seasons and improve produc- tivity.”
nology, improve sus- tainability, establish new products and drive productivity.
“Each round of the Nurture Fund un- covers inspiring farm businesses pushing the boundaries when it comes to processes, technologies and value- adding.
Coles chief executive officer Steven Cain en- couraged businesses to apply for financial sup- port in Round 9 of the Coles Nurture Fund.
Businesses with inno- vative ideas, fewer than 50 full-time employees and a turnover of less than $25 million in an- nual revenue are eligible to apply.
Previous Nurture Fund projects include Australia’s first quinoa processing plant, an au- tomated indoor facility that grows highly nu- tritious cattle fodder in just six days, and fence posts made from recy- cled soft plastic.
“The Fund’s focus on sustainability and increased efficiencies is in direct alignment with the NFF’s vision to grow Australia’s overall farm gate output to $100 billion by 2030, up from $60 billion today,” Mr Mahar said.
“At Coles, we want to win together with Aus- tralian producers by funding projects which drive innovation to in- spire customers or im- prove sustainability on Aussie farms and pro- duction facilities,” Mr Cain said.
Since it was estab- lished in 2015, the Coles Nurture Fund has awarded more than $24 million in finan- cial support to over 60 Australian businesses to help them introduce ground-breaking tech-
National Farmers Fed- eration chief executive officer Tony Mahar said Australian farmers are among the most innova- tive in the world.
To apply for Round 9 of the Coles Nurture Fund, log onto coles.
“Together we hope to
“For five years the
Applications close at 5pm AEST on Friday March 19, 2021.
Virocid strengthens the fight against African swine fever
VIROCID has been ap- proved by the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority, Permit 88135v2, for use as a disinfectant for farm decontamination as part of the emergency disease control of African swine fever and classical swine fever.
disease which can lead to catastrophic outcomes.
ogens entering the farm and spreading through the herd.
Virocid is a concentrated disinfectant that is highly effective at killing bac- teria, viruses, fungi and yeasts at a very low dilu- tion rate (0.25-0.5 percent) – just 1L of Virocid covers 1600sqm.
“African swine fever’s changing distribution means it’s a significant biosecurity threat,” Dr McKay said.
Strict biosecurity meas- ures are now more than ever at the forefront of sustainable production farming, with the aim to prevent the introduction of
“The Australian Federal Government is respon- sible for border protec- tion, while producers are responsible for ensuring good biosecurity practices on farm.”
A key element of achieving good farm hygiene is having a sys- tematic cleaning and dis- infecting protocol, using high quality products.
While no cases of Af- rican swine fever have been detected in Australia, the disease’s high mor- tality rate means farming communities must be pre- pared with an emergency response plan should this status change.
Zamira Australia gen- eral manager Dr Andrew McKay said, “Strong bi- osecurity standards are everyone’s responsibility.”
Farm hygiene plays a vital role in any biosecu- rity plan.
As there is no treatment for ASF, prevention along with a prompt response is crucial to stop this highly transmissible disease from devastating herds in Aus- tralia.
Internal and external biosecurity practices are critical in preventing path-
“Only a few disinfect- ants have the ability to in- activate the African swine fever virus,” Dr McKay said.
For more information, contact Zamira Australia on 07 3378 3780, custom au or via
ABARES and ABS deliver new Australian farm database
A NEW secure database of Australian farms has been constructed as part of a multi-year collabo- ration between the Aus- tralian Bureau of Agri- cultural and Resource Economics and Sciences and the Australian Bu- reau of Statistics.
understand, measure and potentially forecast the ef- fects of drought and cli- mate change across dif- ferent types of farms.
Project work was sup- ported by the Australian Government’s Data Inte- gration Partnership for Australia.
Hatfield-Dodds said.
As with all DIPA pro- jects, the privacy and ano- nymity of an individual’s information is protected, with the database de-iden- tified and held in a secure environment to be used only for policy analysis
The final report of the Agricultural Data Inte- gration Project released by ABARES details this innovative work that in- tegrates several existing datasets to unlock new in- sights and applications for Australian farms.
“This database provides a clearer picture of long- term trends in the agri- culture sector, allowing us to publish datasets at finer spatial scales and with more consistency over time, than has been possible in the past,” Dr Hughes said.
ABARES executive di- rector Dr Steve Hatfield- Dodds said the construc- tion of this database was a significant achievement, providing government with a long-term asset that can be used to in- form key issues, ranging from the drivers of farm productivity, to the effects of drought and climate change, to understanding policy impacts in areas such as water reform.
and research purposes. ABS industry statistics general manager John Shepherd said the project was a testament to the close relationship between AB- ARES and the ABS and their shared commitment to modernise Australian
The report presents a range of new analysis undertaken with the data- base, exploring fine scale trends in crop production, the effects of seasonal cli- mate and drought on farm outcomes, and measuring trends in water produc- tivity in the Murray-Dar- ling Basin.
“There are exciting future applications, in- cluding supporting new approaches to drought risk management for farmers and undertaking detailed evaluations of government programs or farm manage- ment practices.”
“The project represents an important milestone both for efforts to extract the best possible value and insight from existing government datasets, and for the development of a new, modern approach to agricultural data and sta- tistics that delivers more to industry and government users, while reducing the respondent burden asso- ciated with surveys,” Dr
agricultural statistics. “The ABS Five Safes Framework and secure Da- taLab environment allow this valuable work to be undertaken while strictly protecting privacy and confidentiality,” Mr Shep-
The project combined ABS Agricultural Census and survey data since 2000-01 to construct the Farm-level Longitudinal Agricultural Dataset, which was then integrated with the ABS Business Longitudinal Agricultural Data Environment.
herd said.
The Agricultural Data
Page 14 – Australian Pork Newspaper, February 2021
ABARES senior econo- mist and project lead Dr Neal Hughes said the dataset can help us better
Integration Project report can be viewed by visiting research-topics/climate/ag ricultural-data-integration- project

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