Pork farmers say industry in crisis

NOVA SCOTIA - For Martin Porskamp, the math is simple. He ships 120 hogs a week from his farm in Sheffield Mills, Kings County. The problem is he’s getting paid $40 less per hog than it costs to raise them.
calendar icon 22 December 2006
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That’s a loss of $4,800 a week, or $19,200 per month.

Mr. Porskamp, president of Pork Nova Scotia, the provincial marketing agency, is one of the largest hog producers in the province.

But Nova Scotia’s 70 other producers are in a similar predicament. A farmer who raises 2,500 hogs is losing at least $100,000 annually.

"It’s a bad situation, really bad," Mr. Porskamp said in an interview Thursday. "I just hope it doesn’t get ugly."

He was referring to the difficulty farmers will have feeding their hogs this winter. Some are already required by feed companies to pay cash because of their financial woes.

Many are not going to have the money to feed their pigs.

The crisis has been brewing for some time, but the province has helped farmers in the past, injecting $2.8 million over the past 13 months to subsidize prices.

Source: Chronicle Herald
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