M-COOL Results in Substantial Sow Liquidation

CANADA - A Steinbach area weanling producer estimates a minimum of 10 to 15 thousand sows have been depopulated in Manitoba since March as a direct result of Mandatory US Country of Origin Labelling, writes Bruce Cochrane.
calendar icon 4 November 2008
clock icon 3 minute read

As a result of the September 30 introduction of Mandatory U.S. Country of Origin Labelling several U.S. pork processors have indicated they will no longer purchase Canadian origin hogs.

Rick Bergmann, a Steinbach area weanling producer, says Canadian weanling producers, especially in Manitoba, who once had standing agreements with U.S. buyers are finding themselves without contracts and are slashing production.

Rick Bergmann-Manitoba Pork Council

Since last March there's been a tremendous amount of sow base going to slaughter and, in some instances, barns being left empty for a long period of time and possibly for good.

You're seeing five year old barns, significantly sized barns that are depopulating because of the economics and the horrific money loss over the last little while.

I would say within the last month here in Manitoba 10 to 15 thousand sows for sure that I'm aware of that have depopulated and are searching for options for the future.

Some producers are thinking they can possibly repopulate next year so the isoweans that they do sell will go into a 2010 market place this trying to avoid the rest of the bloodshed that's going into the industry right now.

Certainly, with all the newer well built facilities, producers are going to need to have to do that because of the cost of putting up these barns.

Bergmann observes there's a lot of uncertainty on both sides of the border.

He says Canadian weanling producers are uncertain whether they'll be able to sell their pigs at all and U.S. buyers are uncertain whether they'll be able to sell the finished hogs so they're unsure whether they can buy Canadian born pigs.

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