Sask Pork Calls for Short Term Provincial Loans

by 5m Editor
25 February 2004, at 12:00am

CANADA - Farm-Scape: Episode 1454. Farm-Scape is a Wonderworks Canada production and is distributed courtesy of Manitoba Pork Council and Sask Pork.

Manitoba Pork Council

Farm-Scape is sponsored by
Manitoba Pork Council and Sask Pork

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Farm-Scape is a Wonderworks Canada production and is distributed courtesy of Manitoba Pork Council
and Sask Pork.

Farm-Scape, Episode 1454

Sask Pork is urging the Saskatchewan Government to provide the province's pork industry with a short term hog loan to assist in recovering from two years of unusually low prices.

A prolonged lull in the North American hog market due to a combination of factors, chief among them spin off from BSE in the cattle industry, has eroded the equity of swine producers and forced many to refinance their operations.

Sask Pork Chair Shirley Voldeng says the hog industry has faced two years of very difficult financial times and producers need short term assistance, by way of a hog loan, to help pay creditors and operate their businesses.

"In the past six or eight months the price has been at least 20 dollars below the cost of production. A lot of this was based on the BSE.

Consumption of beef went up and consumption of pork went down and hence the price went down. The BSE also affected the rendering situation because now, we are being charged to have our deadstock taken away and that's an extra cost that we've got.

The strong dollar has also had a major effect on the price. Right now the price of hogs is going up but we're still looking for a hog loan to cover the hurt that we experienced in those last months.

Even though the price is up, it's still going to take a lot of time to recover so we're still looking for some assistance just to get us through.

Having the prices up just a little bit shows there's confidence in the industry but, again, it takes time to recover".

Voldeng stresses producers are not asking for a direct subsidy because that could result in countervail action by the United States.

She says previous loan programs have been very successful in assisting the industry at very little cost to government and offering such a program now would be of tremendous help in getting producers back on a solid financial footing.

For Farmscape.Ca, I'm Bruce Cochrane.

5m Editor