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Pork Commentary: New Sow Barn – Faith In The Future

09 March 2016
Jim Long on ThePigSite

Jim Long is President &
CEO of Genesus Genetics.

CANADA - This past week we had the honour of attending the new sow barn open house of long time Genesus customer Suncrest Colony in the province of Manitoba, Canada.

What makes the opening truly extraordinary is the fact that the new Suncrest sow barn is the first new sow barn in Manitoba in seven years. Manitoba has over 300,000 sows.

Seven years is a long time and it reflects some of the dynamics that have greatly affected the Manitoba industry. These have included US-Canada dollar exchange rate, US Country of Origin Labeling, industry low margins, and a moratorium on new sow barns imposed by the Manitoba government in much of Manitoba. These four points combined with general lack of enthusiasm (bullishness) in the Manitoba swine industry has led to next to no new barn infrastructure investment for the last decade.

This in itself leads to an aging barn and equipment inventory. Over time if there is no new investment the natural evolution will be to lower production as facilities go out of business. The price of new barns is going up as new building codes, animal welfare, environmental regulations, etc. continue to add costs.

It’s not that aging barns can’t get production, Suncrest’s old barns have achieved 30 pigs per sow and growth rate hovers around 160 days. All in barns that are approaching forty years old. Stockmanship trumps facilities in most any scenario.

Suncrest’s new barn is built with the latest technologies with Big Dutchman ESF system, Gestal feeding system in lactation and the latest equipment and feeders from Crystal Springs (a close neighbour). Genetics will be Genesus.


Last Friday we spent twelve hours at the open house which several hundred people attended (first new sow barn in seven years is an event). Producers wanted to see the latest technology.

By nature most if not all of us in the swine industry are optimistic people. Last Friday we saw a new barn built to last with the best technology designed by people who know pigs. It was fantastic to be with the Suncrest Colony people as they celebrated a big investment in the future. Faith in themselves and in the swine industry. At Genesus we appreciate the trust to supply genetics to the new barn. We salute Suncrest and all others who have the optimism and courage to believe in our industry and build for the future.

Author: Jim Long, President & CEO, Genesus Genetics

To find out more about Genesus Genetics,
please take the time to visit their website at

The opinions expressed in this commentary are entirely those of the author and can not taken to represent the views of, its owners or its management.

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