Country 105

Country 105


Agriculture Report

How to Make Rodeo Bulls Happy

By Fadi Didi

University looking into whether bucking bulls would be happier with a shady place to rest before rodeos.


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A University of Calgary study is looking into whether bucking bulls would be happier and perform better if they had a shady place to rest before a rodeo.

The bulls weigh between 680 and 900 kilograms and are selected for their tendency to leap, plunge and spin when a rider is on their backs.

Ed Pajor, a professor in animal welfare, says the bulls will be watched to see whether shade or sun have any influence on their behaviour and if there are any signs of heat stress.

Pajor says it could be that the bulls are accustomed to change in temperatures since they perform at rodeos around North America.

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Agriculture experts in Florida are enlisting the state's residents in a war against an invasive species, and are recruiting people to something called the ``air potato patrol.''

The University of Florida and the Florida Department of Agriculture say experts are starting a citizen science project that trains residents to identify and report air potato vines in Florida and the Southeast.

Air potato plants grow aggressively and can quickly overtake and kill other vegetation. The plant is found in 60 of the 67 counties in Florida, as well as in Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana and Texas.

Researchers also want to know if folks see air potato leaf beetles, which eat the plants and reduce the scourge.

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Farm Credit Canada says farmers should review their financial strategies following this week's modest increase in the Bank of Canada's overnight interest rate.

Chief agricultural economist J.P. Gervais says the increase is not significant enough for most farmers and agribusiness operators to revise their business strategies.

But he says they should consider reviewing their long-term financing options with the expectation that this could be the beginning of a slow and gradual increase.

He says if a producer is already carrying significant financial risk, then reducing the risk of rising interest rates may be a smart strategy.

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A University of Wisconsin initiative is focusing on making dairy cows happier so they provide more milk.

Nigel Cook, who directs the Dairyland Initiative at the University of Wisconsin-Madison's School of Veterinary Medicine, visits farms to give advice about a myriad issues, including behaviour and easing cow stress.

Cook says major concerns include leg pain or lameness, especially among cows that stand for long periods without a comfortable resting place.

His advice is give cows a bigger stall, increase air circulation and provide some shelter to prevent overheating.
 

 


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