Research Priorities

Research Call for Proposal 

OSF invites researchers with project proposals that match Ontario Sheep’s Research Priorities (See below) to complete the attached Letter of Intent Form and submit it no later than Monday, June 1st, 2020. Full proposals will be solicited in June with the target of having proposals approved by September 2020.

To review the full call for proposal click here 

To view, the letter of intent form (Fillable Pdf) click here 

Sheep Research Strategy 

Ontario Sheep Farmers (OSF) and the Livestock Research Innovation Corporation (LRIC) met to develop a Sheep Research Strategy. This strategy and list of priorities has been approved by the Ontario Sheep Farmers board and will serve as the new research priorities.  

OSF's Research Priority Document click here 


1. Environment 

Outcome: Ontario sheep production positively impacts the natural environment. 

Potential area(s) for investigation:
• A literature review of existing data to determine its applicability to sheep production, the
landscapes and climatic conditions in Ontario
• Identifying methods for improving whole farm water use efficiency
• Determine the cost and environmental benefits of wool as a replacement for synthetic fibers.

2.  Nutrition 

Outcome: The economics of various feeding strategies for sheep and lambs in Ontario are available to and useful for producers.

Potential area(s) for investigation:
• Could winter wheat or rye be grazed with a minimal impact and/or improvement to the crop
• The impact of dietary ingredients on meat quality
• Options and methods for forage and grass grazing during drought conditions
• Assessment of feed sources and their impact on the gut microbiome

3. Nutrition & Health 

Outcome: A measurable decline in on-farm lamb mortality and morbidity compared with that which was reported in the OMAFRA (Appendix 3) report of 2010.

Potential area(s) for investigation:
• Maternal Nutrition: Identify nutritional strategies that will reduce variations and optimize ewe
body condition score in accelerated rearing systems
• Vaccinating ewes to reduce mortality and morbidity of lambs
• Assessment of passive immunity and the factors that determine its efficacy
• The development of water-based delivery options for nutraceuticals and alternatives to
antimicrobials within the various production systems (This work could be linked to identifying
methods for improving whole farm water use efficiency)
• Nutritional/gut health management to help guide antimicrobial use (AMU) decisions
• Efficacy of immunobiotics including immune stimulants and/or probiotics
• The relationship between genetics and lamb mortality and morbidity

4. Health Management 

Outcome: Producers have access to the information they need to make appropriate management decisions that will positively impact flock health within their individual farm system context.

Potential area(s) for investigation:
• Cost-effective tests for identification of parasite loads
• Methods including grazing systems to improve control of parasites
• Management and nutritional methods to manage gastrointestinal parasitism
• Selecting sheep that are better able to manage parasite infections
• Investigate the ability to have the CARLA saliva test administered in Ontario without needing to ship samples to New Zealand
• Housing system design to help the control of bacterial infections
• Air quality/ventilation systems for improved manure management in-housed flocks