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LILLY PORK: Alberta, Canada

Producing finishers across the border sometimes comes with a lot of advantages. Canadian pork producer Rod Weenink, from Lacombe, Alberta, found himself a more cost-effective way of doing business by relocating his finisher sites to the United States - with a welfare bonus as a consequence.

Read more about this farm visit in Pig Progress 27.09.

Photo

  • Lilly Pork is a 2,800 sow farm, headquartered in Lacombe, Alberta, which is situated roughly between Calgary and Edmonton.

    Lilly Pork is a 2,800 sow farm, headquartered in Lacombe, Alberta, which is situated roughly between Calgary and Edmonton.

  • Owner Rod Weenink (left) and his wife Lilly (middle) have the farm spread out over two locations. To the right of them is their son-in-law and partner in the farm Shane Tornack, responsible for the day-to-day management of the herd. After weaning, the pigs are transported to Iowa, USA, for finishing.

    Owner Rod Weenink (left) and his wife Lilly (middle) have the farm spread out over two locations. To the right of them is their son-in-law and partner in the farm Shane Tornack, responsible for the day-to-day management of the herd. After weaning, the pigs are transported to Iowa, USA, for finishing.

  • The main facility used to be a place for growers and finishers, until Weenink decided to have his finishers relocated to Iowa, USA. Hence, the gestating sows now enjoy a group housing environment, fed on liquid feed.

    The main facility used to be a place for growers and finishers, until Weenink decided to have his finishers relocated to Iowa, USA. Hence, the gestating sows now enjoy a group housing environment, fed on liquid feed.

  • Weenink says: "I'm probably one of the very few to keep sows in groups on liquid feed." He weans 25 piglets/sow/year.

    Weenink says: "I'm probably one of the very few to keep sows in groups on liquid feed." He weans 25 piglets/sow/year.

  • The mixing tanks for liquid feeding.

    The mixing tanks for liquid feeding.

  • Weenink holds the sows in gestation stalls until positive breeding is confirmed by an ultrasound pregnancy scanner.

    Weenink holds the sows in gestation stalls until positive breeding is confirmed by an ultrasound pregnancy scanner.

  • Keeping the sows in gestation stalls for only a short time puts the farm in compliance with possible future restictions on gestation stalls, Weenink said.

    Keeping the sows in gestation stalls for only a short time puts the farm in compliance with possible future restictions on gestation stalls, Weenink said.

  • On-farm weaning pre-mortality is 11%; weaning happens at 19 days on average.

    On-farm weaning pre-mortality is 11%; weaning happens at 19 days on average.

  • Further down the road, in the nearby Spruceville facility, there is room for an additional 160 farrowing places can be found, as well as piglets ready for their transport to the USA.

    Further down the road, in the nearby Spruceville facility, there is room for an additional 160 farrowing places can be found, as well as piglets ready for their transport to the USA.

  • The 24-hour journey will bring the pigs eventually to ten contract growers near Orange City, Iowa, where they will be finished.

    The 24-hour journey will bring the pigs eventually to ten contract growers near Orange City, Iowa, where they will be finished.

  • Once in the USA, the piglets reach an ADG of 0.43 kg/day (wean-to-growing) and 0.82 kg/day (grow-to finish). In total, more than 60,000 pigs are sold to the US market every year. Despite Country of Origin Labeling, Weenink is being paid the same amount for his pigs as if his pigs were bred in the USA.

    Once in the USA, the piglets reach an ADG of 0.43 kg/day (wean-to-growing) and 0.82 kg/day (grow-to finish). In total, more than 60,000 pigs are sold to the US market every year. Despite Country of Origin Labeling, Weenink is being paid the same amount for his pigs as if his pigs were bred in the USA.

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