News 461 views last update:Apr 15, 2008

Sow cull program problematic say producers

Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada's CAD50m (USD49m) cull breeding swine program is due to get off the ground today, however, some pork producers are convinced that prices offered for sows are far too low to attract much interest.

"I think the value they've placed on the sow isn't high enough to encourage enough people to join," said Salford, Ontario producer John DeBruyn. "It's going to take a little more money to ask people to leave with dignity."

DeBruyn added that the program "sends the right message to the industry and our trading partners that we need to reduce our herd here but the figure should be doubled to ask the producers to step aside for at least three years."

Other commentators believe that the program may be suitable for older producers considering leaving the industry but it does little for others in it for the long run - especially the matter of leaving the barn empty for three years.

Price structure was also of concern to Oxford County Federation of Agriculture President John VanDorp, who stated that many producers might show more interest in the program if they were offered CAD500 (USD442). "But right now, the CAD225 total is barely above what a fair-sized culled sow would go for through normal channels. So why would you want to settle for this and tie up your barn for three years?"

Related website:

• Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

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