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University meat and egg sales room thrives through pandemic

URBANA, Ill. – Back in March, the University of Illinois meat science research group was wrapping up a big project and the meats judging team was preparing to host a regional contest. Then, in the blink of an eye, COVID-19 hit, sending everyone home.

“Our coolers were absolutely full,” says Anna Dilger, meat scientist and associate professor in the Department of Animal Sciences.

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Ribeye-eating pigs demonstrate protein quality for humans

URBANA, Ill. – Nearly a decade ago, the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) developed a new index to assess protein quality in foods. The goal, writ large, was to address food security for the world’s most vulnerable populations, creating more accurate tools for food assistance programs seeking to provide balanced nutrition.

Hans H. Stein at the University of Illinois knew he could help.

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Sugar promotes sperm longevity in pig reproductive tract

URBANA, Ill. – For many livestock species, artificial insemination (AI) is standard. But it can be tricky to achieve success the first time, thanks to variability in ovulation timing across the herd.

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Novel sperm imaging technique could improve cattle, human fertility

URBANA, Ill. – University of Illinois researchers have developed a new technique to determine the fertility of sperm samples in cattle.

“This work is a part of a five-year project to develop dairy cattle that are resistant to heat and diseases in tropical areas. We want to donate these cows to developing countries to increase their food production,” said Matthew B. Wheeler, professor in the Department of Animal Sciences at Illinois. 

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University of Illinois Feed Technology Center to feature Vortex products

URBANA, Ill. – Vortex Global is pleased to announce a donation of slide gates and diverters that will optimize operations within the new Feed Technology Center at the University of Illinois and the College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences. The facility, currently under construction, will be a national hub for new discoveries and advancement in animal management, nutrition, and production.

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Isoflavones in soybean help protect pigs against viral infections

URBANA, Ill. ­– Pigs that eat soybean as a regular part of their diet may be better protected against viral pathogens, a new study from University of Illinois shows. The researchers attribute the effect to isoflavones, a natural compound in soybeans.

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Care for farm babies flourishes with COVID-19 modifications

URBANA, Ill. – Life is unpredictable during foaling season, in the best of times. When a pregnant horse is due to give birth, foaling attendants are on call 24 hours a day.

In the case of the University of Illinois horse farm, the 70-80 students enrolled in FoalWatch sign up for all-night shifts on the farm, ready to assist veterinarians and mama horses. But when COVID-19 hit, all that changed.

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Pig probiotics prove positively promising

URBANA, Ill. – Recent regulatory restrictions around antibiotic use in livestock challenge the feed industry, but research from the University of Illinois shows a probiotic product – Clostridium butyricum – can achieve the same growth-promoting results as antibiotics.

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Copper boosts pig growth, and now we know why

URBANA, Ill. – Pigs have better feed conversion rates with copper in their diets, but until now, scientists didn’t fully understand why. Existing research from the University of Illinois shows copper doesn’t change fat and energy absorption from the diet. Instead, according to new research, the element seems to enhance pigs’ ability to utilize fat after absorption, resulting in increased energy utilization of the entire diet.

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Common feed ingredient tested safe in bulls

URBANA, Ill. – Cattle feeders choose distillers grains in feedlot diets as an inexpensive alternative to corn and soybean meal. But until now, no one had studied the effects of the common feed ingredient on bull development and fertility. With bull fertility to blame for a significant portion of reproductive failures in cow-calf operations, University of Illinois researchers decided it was worth a look.

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