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Prolonged Downturn Erodes Pork Producers' Access to Support Programs
Neil Ketilson - Sask Pork

Farmscape for May 3, 2010   (Episode 3417)

The Saskatchewan Pork Development Board says the extended down-turn in Canada's pork industry has eroded the ability of producers to access funding through federal support programs designed to assist them.

Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada is consulting with agricultural groups to gather suggestions for improving Canada's suite of business risk management programs.

As part of the process the Canadian Pork Council and its provincial member organizations are evaluating several alternative proposals including a production insurance program, a price option program being used in Alberta's beef industry and an Agristability companion or top-up program.

Sask Pork general manager Neil Ketilson says the prolonged down-turn has eroded the ability of pork producers to access support through existing programs.

Clip-Neil Ketilson-Saskatchewan Pork Development Board:
Most of the business risk managements are based on an individual's reference margin we call it.

That is an amount of money that these people would have built up over time.

It's an averaging process so what they try and do is average your reference margin in terms of what kind of payments you would be eligible for.

In the hog industry, because we've had such a down-turn over the last three years, those reference margins have virtually been eliminated for many of the producers so for a large part of our industry they won't be eligible for a lot of the Agristability because our reference margins are so low.

We need to somehow address that over the short term while we're building reference margins again and see whether or not there is some companion programs like the Agristability Plus that could make a contribution and help these people through if we see another down-turn in the short term.

Ketilson notes the various proposals are being evaluated to determine what offers the most potential for the pork industry and input will be provided to Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada over the next four to six to eight months as the consultations move forward.

For Farmscape.Ca, I'm Bruce Cochrane.

       *Farmscape is a presentation of Sask Pork and Manitoba Pork Council

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