Pork Producers Call on Government to Back New Hog Stabilization Program

Farmscape for March 28, 2013

Manitoba Pork Council is calling on the Manitoba government to back a provincial program to help pork producers cover critical operating costs when returns fall below the cost of production.
As a result of reduced corn production due to last summers U.S. drought feed costs in Manitoba have approximately doubled resulting in dramatic losses and impacting the ability of pork producers to access credit.
To help cope Manitoba Pork Council is proposing an industry based government backed provincial hog stabilization program.
Manitoba Pork Council Chair Karl Kynoch told those attending the Pork Quality Awards Luncheon held yesterday as part of the 2013 Royal Manitoba Winter Fair in Brandon the program would provide repayable loans to stabilize the producers through downturns in the industry.

Clip-Karl Kynoch-Manitoba Pork Council:
When they're short of funds and running at fairly large negatives this would help them to be able access some cash to be able to continue to pay the employees that are working in the barn and continue to pay the feed bills to make sure that they can keep taking care of the animals and deliver the highest standard of animal welfare.
Basically Manitoba Pork Council, who is a producer association, would go to the bank and we would actually borrow the money.
We're looking at borrowing 75 million dollars just to help producers through some of these low times and stabilize their income but, as Manitoba Pork Council, we don't have assets that we can put up to borrow this type of money so we're looking towards the government to actually cosign the loan.
It's really no different than cosigning a loan for your son for a car.
It's just go a couple of extra zeros in it.
We need the government to cosign that for us so we can then deliver it to producers and, as a producer association, we will take care of the administration, some of the loan loss and also making sure that the producers access it and have a way of repaying it.

Kynoch says a lot of producers are making key decision on whether to continue on or to close operations so he's hoping for an answer from the province by April 10, in time for Manitoba Pork Council's annual general meeting.
For farmscape.Ca, I'm Bruce Cochrane.

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