Canada hog farmers continue with planned downsizing

Expenses up, exports down

0911 Pi Gchina

Canada’s hog farmers are continuing with planned downsizing in the wake of a Statistics Canada report that the country’s hog numbers have hit their lowest point in a dozen years, according to Reuters. The national herd shrunk 4.5% to 11.63 million from January 1, 2009, to January 1, 2010.

A planned downsizing that includes government incentives to help farmers leave the swine industry should help bring the price of hogs back up, said Andrew Dickson, general manager of the Manitoba Pork Council. He told Reuters that farmers need CAN$140 per pig to recoup their costs and another CAN$20 to manage their debts, but are commanding just CAN$127 a head.

Statistics Canada attributed the national herd’s decline to high grain prices and a drop in exports to the United States. New U.S. regulations requiring meat at retail to be labeled with its country of origin have put a crimp on trade.

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