Improved Profitability Offers Opportunity for Pig House Maintenance

CANADA - The president and CEO of the Prairie Swine Centre says that, thanks to improved profitability in 2014, pork producers are in a much better position to consider investing in swine barn upgrades and repairs, writes Bruce Cochrane.
calendar icon 13 January 2015
clock icon 3 minute read

The Prairie Swine Centre, with the support of FGC Construction in Ontario, has compiled a Swine Barn Integrity Assessment Check List.

Prairie Swine Centre president and CEO, Lee Whittington, explains the check list was designed to help the producer objectively assess three main areas, structural, utilities and operational aspects of the barn to identify maintenance priorities.

Lee Whittington - Prairie Swine Centre:

We've had 10 consecutive months of profitability in the pig industry in Canada and have significantly paid down our lines of credit and the debt associated with our 2005 to 2013 losses and because we have to address many years of reduced repair and maintenance expenditures during that period of time, the time is right where profitability will now meet the fact that we have a great need in our maintenance of buildings. So the question really is, where do I spend my first dollar?

I would expect every pork producer is looking for ways to make significant reinvestments into their businesses as their balance sheet improves over the next year, and so this is the first step in trying to come up with what's a reasonable list of reinvestment areas that I need to look through my barn.

Because we're in time of profitability, because we're getting control of some of the new debt that was incurred since 2005, producers are now in a position where they can reasonably start to look at that list of maintenance items and come up with a realistic time line for when they can get at them.

Mr Whittington notes the check list can be accessed through the Prairie Swine Centre web site at and is freely available for everyone in the industry to use.

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