Sask Pork Calls for End to Support Caps

CANADA - The Saskatchewan Pork Development Board is calling on government to remove the caps on agricultural support programs designed to help livestock producers contend with the economic crisis currently affecting their industry.
calendar icon 5 April 2008
clock icon 3 minute read

With losses in excess of 40 to 60 dollars per pig sold, pork producers have been forced to rely on agricultural supports such as the federal AgriStability program and the Saskatchewan Hog Loan Program to stay in business.

The problem for the larger units, highlighted this week by the bankruptcy of Stomp Pork Farms, Saskatchewan's second larger pork producer, is that these programs limit the amount of support an individual farm can access.

Sask Pork Chairman Joe Kleinsasser says that is impacting the ability of the larger units to stay alive.

Joe Kleinsasser-Saskatchewan Pork Development Board

When you do the numbers, a 600 sow unit would max out the AgriStability caps.

When you've got Big Sky with 60 thousand sows and Stomp Pork Farms in the 30 thousand and up, in Saskatchewan these two production units produce 60 percent of our pigs and if they are not able to access the safety net programs in a reasonable manner then they will not be able to survive or have a very hard time doing it.
>br> They are such a huge part of our industry.

The have raised the standard of pork production in this province.

The government has to decide whether or not they want a pork industry in this country because there is no way you can sustain the level of losses that have been sustained for any length of time.

Kleinsasser believes producers should be able to access the same level of support per hog whether they sell 500, 5,000 or 500,000 hogs.

He suggests consumers, the government and retailers have to decide if they want a pork industry of they want to import their pork from the United States or from some other country because if things aren't done quickly the industry is finished.

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