Farmscape for February 22, 2008 (Episode 2760)
Manitoba's pork producers are applauding yesterday's announcement that the province will provide a 60 million dollar loan program to assist Manitoba's struggling hog industry.
The Manitoba government will make available 60 million dollars in loan supports through the Manitoba Agricultural Services Corporation to hog producers facing significant cash flow challenges.
The program is part of a package to help cattle and hog producers cope with low livestock prices, high feed costs and a high Canadian dollar and will be provide 35 dollars per slaughter hog and 10 dollars per weanling sold between October 1, 2007 and May 31, 2008, repayable over eight years.
Manitoba Pork Council Chair Karl Kynoch says, with losses ranging as high 50 to 70 dollars per hog over the past year, producers have run out of money to buy feed and pay bills.
Clip-Karl Kynoch-Manitoba Pork Council
Producers have been forced to spend all the money that they have available through operating loans or even money that they've put away for savings accounts and producers have finally just run out of money.
They're at then end of their ropes to be able to even buy feed for the animals.
By being able to access this 35 dollars a market hog or ten dollars a weanling will give them some much needed cash injection right now so that they can continue to run their operations and get through to better times.
In Manitoba here, this is the place to be raising hogs.
We have very good access to the U.S. the markets, to work together with the U.S. also.
We're really expecting to see a very strong turn around in the future here but is that turn around going to be two or three months or is it going to be 12 months?
That's the problem.
In all reality if you look at where grains prices have gone to a new high, meat prices are going to have to follow and if they don't follow we're not going to be producing meat in this country so meat prices will follow.
It's just going to take a little time and this loan package is going to help those producers be able to carry through to that time.
Kynoch notes, because this is a loan program and not a straight cash injection, it is non-trade distorting and is not expected to be countervailable.
For Farmscape.Ca, I'm Bruce Cochrane.
*Farmscape is a presentation of Sask Pork and Manitoba Pork Council