KAP says a new program to help Manitoba livestock producers cover the costs of manure handling infrastructure is good news, particularly for the small medium sized operations.
In 2008, as part of its plan to clean up Lake Winnipeg, the Manitoba government announced it would extend a ban on the winter spreading of livestock manure to all operations by 2013.
Last week the governments of Canada and Manitoba announced a 26.3 million dollar program to assist with the cost of building or repairing manure storage structures and adopting manure treatment systems that will help them protect water.
Doug Martin, a member of Keystone Agricultural Producers district five board and a weanling producers at East Selkirk, notes there has been an exodus of people from the pork industry, fueled in part by government buyouts, and many who left were the small and intermediate sized operators.
Clip-Doug Martin-Keystone Agricultural Producers:
KAP, basically they are really interested in preserving the small and medium size farms.
A lot of the people who took they buyout were smaller or intermediate family farms and KAP feels that we have to have some sort of backing from the government to help us adjust to the new regulations.
It's not far to put it all on the backs of farmers and especially at a time when there's just no money around to do it and right now the industry is not looked on very well by the financial institutions.
So it's reassuring that the government is there to try to help out the producers that are really left in the business and the small and middle size independent business people or hog producers who really were struggling in the last while and didn't take the buyout.
Martin says it's a much smaller industry than it was three to four years ago and suggests it's up to governments to decide whether they want just large corporate barns or whether they also want small and medium size farms in the mix.