Farmscape for December 22, 2020
The General Manager of Sask Pork says protecting the province's pork sector from disease and developing strategies to address hog price volatility will be among the organization's top priorities in 2021.
The Saskatchewan Pork Development Board represents the province's pork producers with the goal of fostering a positive business environment and high standards of on farm production while stimulating long term growth of the sector.
General Manager Mark Ferguson says since March COVID-19 has shaped the industry and he's been proud of how producers, processors and supporting businesses have handled the situation.
Clip-Mark Ferguson-Saskatchewan Pork Development Board:
The hog industry is famous for just in time delivery, probably one of the first businesses to work this way.
Our barns are designed to hold a maximum number of hogs and there's just not a lot of extra room to park hogs in if you can't market hogs in a given week.
Processing and the ability to deliver hogs normally is a key part of the industry and that's the part that has been impacted by COVID.
Some of these large plants, particularly in the U.S. early in the pandemic in April, were forced to temporarily close due to COVID-19 among the workers and this resulted in a glut of hogs.
There were many hogs that didn't make it to market.
They were backed up in barns and at the same time you had a shift in demand.
A lot of food service, restaurants were closed or operating at reduced capacity throughout the spring and summer and on to today.
Basically, that's a lower demand for pork and an increased supply and that means depressed prices and that's certainly what the farms faced over the spring and summer months.
Ferguson notes representatives of the western Canadian pork organizations and the processing sector have met several times to discuss the pricing formulas, which are mostly based on U.S. prices, and explored new pricing mechanisms designed to reduce the volatility.
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