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Manitoba Pork Producers Express Concern Over Moratorium on Swine Barn Expansion

by 5m Editor
10 November 2006, at 11:47am

CANADA - Farm-Scape: Episode 2300. Farm-Scape is a Wonderworks Canada production and is distributed courtesy of Manitoba Pork Council and Sask Pork.

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Farm-Scape, Episode 2300

Manitoba swine producers are expressing shock and dismay after the provincial government announced it plans place to place a moratorium the on the development of new and expanding hog barns.

Manitoba Conservation has proposed an amendment to the livestock manure and mortalities management regulation which will suspend the issuance of permits for manure storage facilities for new or expanding hog operations while the Clean Environment Commission reviews the environmental sustainability of the industry.

Manitoba Pork Council Chair Karl Kynoch says it's widely accepted that water quality is everyone's responsibility but the government is clearly placing the blame for water problems on the hog industry.

Agriculture as a whole is only responsible for approximate 14 percent of the phosphorus run-off so, if you take just the hog industry, we're responsible for maybe one percent so we're really concerned as why we've been singled out in this. I know that our industry has grown a lot on the last few years but, for the last few years, we've leveled off in growth and the thing is we feel that we are very good environmental stewards of the land.

We spend a lot of money in doing research on better ways to use our nutrients and farmers are making excellent use of these nutrients today. We have some of the most stringent regulations out there today. We're not even allowed to apply without testing and monitoring of the nutrient levels.

At the price of the commercial fertilizers today people have to come to realize how valuable of a resource that these fertilizers are and how good they are for the land. With the new technologies of injection and incorporation, all this we've come a long way in how we utilize this.

The clean environment commission has been given no deadlines but Kynoch hopes the issue can be addressed within one year.

He is confident the commission's review will prove Manitoba's hog industry is responsible and environmentally sustainable but he notes when you suspend industry development or renewal there's going to be damage.

For Farmscape.Ca, I'm Bruce Cochrane.

5m Editor