Manitoba pork producers will be able to improve the health of their herds and boost their bottom lines thanks to an investment from the Government of Canada.
Member of Parliament Merv Tweed (Brandon-Souris), on behalf of Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz, announced today an investment of over $200,000 for two projects with the Manitoba Pork Council.
"Our government is committed to the long-term viability of the hog industry in Manitoba and supports measures that will keep it profitable," said MP Tweed. "This investment will help improve animal health in the sector and grow long-term economic prosperity for our hog producers."
The first investment of over $150,000 will help improve the air quality of swine barns by testing the effectiveness of an electrostatic space charge system (ESCS) to reduce and prevent the airborne transmission of porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome (PRRS), a highly infectious virus that costs the Canadian industry an estimated $130 million per year.
A second investment of over $57,000 will be used to conduct a comparative study of cropping systems to promote use of swine manure on Manitoba farms. The study is expected to help identify sustainable land management practices, which would also reduce waterway pollution and, in turn, help lessen the environmental impact of the province's farming practices.
"These are potentially valuable projects for hog producers in Manitoba. As more farmers move into liquid-solid separation of manure, it is important to increase our understanding of how we can better utilize the resulting products in an environmentally sound manner," said Karl Kynoch, Chair of the Manitoba Pork Council. "As well, we are always looking for ways of improving air quality in barns and to find better disease prevention techniques. We also need to meet the provincial government's regulatory process, and we believe these research projects can assist us in these goals."
These projects are being supported by the Canadian Agricultural Adaptation Program (CAAP), a five-year (2009-14), $163-million initiative that aims to help the Canadian agricultural sector adapt and remain competitive. Eligible CAAP projects could be in the areas of traceability, environment, climate change, capacity development, pests and diseases, and more. In Manitoba, the regional component of CAAP is delivered by the Manitoba Rural Adaptation Council (MRAC).