Manitoba Pork Council Proposes Provincial Hog Stabilisation Programme

9 November 2012, at 2:33pm

CANADA - Manitoba Pork Council is proposing the creation of a new provincial programme that would provide pork producers access to capital to cover operating costs during times when returns fall below the cost of production, writes Bruce Cochrane.

As a result of reduced corn production due to drought in the U.S., feed costs in Manitoba have approximately doubled since last year resulting in dramatic losses within the province's pork industry and impacting the ability of pork producers to access credit.

Manitoba Pork Council chair Karl Kynoch told those on hand yesterday in Portage La Prairie for the organisation's semi annual meeting, out of Canada's top three hog producing provinces, Manitoba is the only one without a provincial programme to support its hog producers.

Karl Kynoch-Manitoba Pork Council:

We know that there's going to be no cash injections. Government has made that very clear so we go to the next best alternative and what we're trying to develop is a hog stabilisation program where the organisation, Manitoba Pork Council, would actually borrow a very large sum of money and when the producers are losing money we would actually loan them some of that money based on the cost of production, based on the price that they're getting for the hog and help cover some of those losses.

The producers would have to commit to us to pay five dollars a hog back roughly. These are just estimates yet.

So when times are very challenging and they're losing a lot of money it would give them access to capital to keep paying those feed bills and when times are doing a lot better they wouldn't be accessing the capital but they would continue to pay the loan down.

It's basically some operating money that would allow them to continue on to get through the tough times and bridge them back to profitable times.

Mr Kynoch says the response of the provincial government to the proposed Manitoba hog stabilisation programme has been positive and it's working with Manitoba Pork Council on the development of the programme.

He says the sooner a programme can be in place and operational the better but, in reality, he's hopeful something can be in place in time to start cutting cheques 1 February.