Farmscape for February 28, 2008 (Episode 2767)
Canadian pork producers are applauding proposed improvements to Canada's agricultural support programs.
Earlier this week the federal government announced proposed amendments to the Agricultural Marketing Products Act and the creation of a new cull sow program.
Changes to the Advance Payments Program will allow producers to use inventory instead of business risk management program payments as security for loans, allow severe economic hardship to be used to trigger emergency advances and increase the maximum from 25 thousand to 400 thousand dollars while the Cull Sow Program will supplement cull sows and boar prices to 225 dollars per head to support reduction of the Canadian breeding herd.
Canadian Pork Council President Clare Schlegel says these changes will provide the breathing room that producers facing the worst economic crisis in their farming history have been asking for.
Clip-Clare Schlegel-Canadian Pork Council
The outlook for our industry coming through this perfect storm is somewhat questionable and producers have a couple of major problems on their hands.
One is liquidity, having enough cash simply to stay current, pay the bills particularly in light of very high feed prices, very low hog prices.
And secondly thinking about the future.
Can we be competitive long term, where do we fit, where does my operation fit and how do we move forward?
So you have the two different programs that were announced.
You have one that gives better access to liquidity.
It isn't new money but it's better access, it'll make the program work better and then secondly the sow cull program which is in fact a new program and it gives those people who are considering exiting the business an opportunity to choose that route.
Schlegel notes Canada has good pork producers, good genetics and good animal health and, with the global demand for pork on the rise, he sees no reason to think the Canadian hog industry shouldn't succeed.
He concedes, the Canadian breeding herd will need to shrink and is shrinking to better reflect the market conditions that exist right now.
For Farmscape.Ca, I'm Bruce Cochrane.
*Farmscape is a presentation of Sask Pork and Manitoba Pork Council