Manitoba Pork Producers Encouraged to Consider All Financial Support Programs

CANADA - Manitoba's minister of Agriculture Food and Rural Initiatives is encouraging the province's pork producers to consider all of the options available as contend with the economic challenges facing their industry, writes Bruce Cochrane.
calendar icon 26 February 2008
clock icon 3 minute read

Last week the Manitoba government announced it will make available, through the Manitoba Agricultural Services Corporation, a 60 million dollar loan program to help pork producers contend with low hog prices, soaring feed costs and the effect of a strong Canadian dollar.

Producers will be eligible to borrow 35 dollars per slaughter hog and 10 dollars per weanling sold from October 1, 2007, to May 31, 2008 to a maximum of 2.5 million dollars.

Rosann Wowchuk, Manitoba's minister of Agriculture Food and Rural initiatives, notes Manitoba's hog industry is a significant part of the province's agricultural economy.

Rosann Wowchuk-Manitoba Agriculture Minister

The hog industry right now is about a billion dollar industry.

There's somewhere in the range of 17 hundred people working in the industry so it is a significant part of the agriculture economy.

There is pressure and I believe that we will continue to see pork production in this province.

I think we'll see some changes but there are other challenges, the high dollar.

The whole Country of origin Labelling issue is one that is also putting uncertainty into the industry and one that we have to follow and work on to try to get the U.S. government to recognize what the impacts will be not only on Manitoba producers, Canadian producers but also on U.S. farmers.

Am I certain?

I believe that we will continue to have pork production in this province at a quite a significant level but I believe there's probably going to be restructuring because of the pressures that are there now.

Wowchuk believes producers have to use all of the tools they have available to get through this difficult time.

She encourages producers to examine this program and decide whether or not they want to apply and to consider the other programs that offer support, including the AgriInvest and the cash advance programs.

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