Lack of Support Threatens Smaller Family Hog Farms

CANADA - Manitoba Pork Council says the province's failure to help hog producers prepare for a planned 2013 ban on winter manure spreading has prompted many smaller operations to shut down and threatens to force more producers out of business, writes Bruce Cochrane.
calendar icon 6 January 2011
clock icon 3 minute read

In March 2008 the Manitoba government announced moratoriums on the construction of new or expanded hog barns in much of the province and stricter requirements in areas not covered by the moratoriums, including extending a ban on the winter spreading of livestock manure to all operations by 2013, ending the exemption for smaller operators.

Manitoba Pork Council chair Karl Kynoch says, despite assurances that the province would provide transition assistance, nothing has been offered so far and, in discussions with government as recently as this past month, there's still nothing on the table.

Karl Kynoch-Manitoba Pork Council

For the winter spreading producers would now have to have 400 days of manure storage so that they can go over one year and the cost of that is basically restricting some of the producers to carry on.

If you're a producer maybe producing one thousand or two thousand pigs a year and you have to look at spending 100 to 150, even as high as 200 thousand dollars to build 400 day storage you just can't work that into your numbers.

It basically makes the operation unprofitable for the future so we're going to see a lot of family farms that aren't going to be able to meet these regulation deadlines.

In fact, due to the financial burden that it puts on them, they're actually going to be forced out of business so we're going to see a lot of people that are producing anywhere from four thousand pigs and down or for example producers that maybe have 300 sows and smaller, it's really going to put a restriction on these producers and it's going to force a lot of them out of business.

Mr Kynoch notes during Manitoba Pork Council's annual district meetings this past fall he talked to several producers that are shutting down, have shut down or are planning to shut down before 2013 and yet there's nothing to ease producers' minds that they'll be assisted in meeting these regulations.

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