Manitoba Producers Frustrated over Bill 46

MANITOBA, CANADA - Manitoba Pork Council is expressing its frustration over the provincial government's passage of new legislation that further limits the ability of the province's pork producers to expand their operations, writes Bruce Cochrane.
calendar icon 17 June 2011
clock icon 3 minute read

Bill 46, which was passed yesterday in the Manitoba legislature, contains new provisions designed to reduce the amount of nutrients, particularly phosphorus, entering Lake Winnipeg including extending a 2008 moratorium on new hog barn construction or expansion in the eastern part of Manitoba, to the entire province.

Manitoba Pork Council chair, Karl Kynoch, says suggestions that hog manure is being allowed to enter Lake Winnipeg are completely unfounded.

Karl Kynoch – Manitoba Pork Council

When the premier comes out and is always linking Lake Winnipeg to the hog industry, that's a real challenge for us and a lot of people believe what the government says and that.

The hog manure is not getting into Lake Winnipeg and the reason it isn't getting into Lake Winnipeg is the process that the farmers go through to apply it.

About 88 per cent of the manure today is actually incorporated, injected right into the ground and there's very little that is even top applied.

For a farmer to be able to spread manure, he actually has to fill out a manure management plan, he has to take soil tests and then he has to say what rate he's going to apply it to to meet the uptake of the crop over a period of time.

The safeguard that's put in place to make sure he does that is that he actually has to send that plan into the government, get the government to sign off and approve that he can do it and then the producer is also subject to the government coming out, auditing the field and making sure he did that.

Another regulation that is in place, it is actually against the law for a producer to allow any manure to run off of his field so there's numerous regulations and laws in place to safeguard that and make sure we are doing exactly what we say.

Mr Kynoch notes hog producers have come up with several approaches for reducing the industry's environmental footprint but they have been ignored.

He is confused by the fact that, on one hand, the Manitoba government is pushing the position that farmers need to have a say on the Canadian Wheat Board issue yet it is saying the hog farmer should have no input.

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