CANADA - The newly elected chair of Manitoba Pork has said increasing the province's pork production to match processing capacity and creating a hog industry income stabilisation program will be among his top priorities, writes Bruce Cochrane.
Last week, following Manitoba Pork's 2015 Annual General Meeting, the organisation's Board of Directors elected Stonewall area pork producer George Matheson as its new chair, replacing retiring chair Karl Kynoch.
Matheson, who joined Manitoba Pork as a delegate in 1997, says, in light of the Manitoba government's relaxation of restrictions on new hog barn construction, his priorities will include increasing pork production in the province and developing an income stabilization program.
George Matheson-Manitoba Pork:
We do have a shortage of hogs in this province in relation to our processing plants, most notable Maple Leaf at Brandon would like to process 90,000 hogs per week.
They're short that number by 20,000 every week so, we need another million hogs produced in this province every year.
I think between getting the moratorium completely lifted and getting some kind of stabilisation from the government in regards to cash flow and security when a producer is trying to achieve financing for a hog barn, if we could get those pieces in place, get those barns constructed I can't help but think that there are farms in this province that would be a good fit for a finishing hog barn.
Mr Matheson said that while the industry has faced a range of challenges including Circovirus a few years ago, and more recently PED, trade issues, most notably US Country of Origin Labelling and labour shortages, hog farming is no less viable than any other segment of agriculture.
ThePigSite News Desk