Manitoba Pork Producers Call for Changes to CAIS

CANADA - Manitoba Pork Concil says those farmers who followed the advice of government by diversifying their operations are falling through the cracks of the Canadian Agricultural Income Stabilization Program, writes Bruce Cochrane.
calendar icon 30 January 2008
clock icon 3 minute read

A combination of low hog prices, escalating feed costs and a soaring Canadian dollar has created what many are describeing as the worst economic crisis ever faced by Canadian hog producers.

In resoponce to requests for action the federal government has created the Targeted Advance Payment under the Canadian Agricultural Income Statbilization program to get money into the hands of producers.

Manitoba Pork Council Chair Karl Kynoch says where the program fails is where losses in the grain sector have reduced the reference margins on which the eleibibility for payments is based rendering the majority of producers who produce both grain and livestock ineligible for payouts.

Karl Kynoch-Manitoba Pork Council

What's happened to a lot our diversified producers is it's just been a race to the bottom and over the past few years where grain has had low margins and been very poor it's pulled their reference margins down.

Now we've got the oppositie scenario so basically we're into a real crunch in the livestock industry and producers don't have margins there to be able to actually receive any funds on it.

Where they arrive at their reference margin is they take the past five years, exclude the low year and the high year, they average the other three and then they try to bring you back to 90 percent of your reference margin.

With low grain prices that reference margin has been on a continuous decline.

Over the years government has always pushed producers to diversify but now we have a program that is actually penalising the producers that have taken the better management to go an diversify and try to make their operatons viable.

Kynoch beleives changes need to be made to the CAIS program to address these concerns.

He notes when working with government getting change is slow but he stresses the livestock industry is in crisis so time is of the essence right now and he fears by the time the prblems have dealt with we will have lost a lot of our producers.

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