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Sorting Hogs for the USA

by 5m Editor
3 September 2003, at 12:00am

GUELPH - Since the mid 1990s Ontario has been a significant net exporter of market hogs.

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This fall, export markets will continue to be essential to maintain hog prices in Ontario as increased hog supplies have outpaced growth in processing capacity.

Traditionally Quebec has been the strongest market for Ontario hogs; however, changing market conditions mean that returns are now higher on hogs sold to US processors than for additional hogs sold to Quebec. As a result producers who have been shipping to hogs to Quebec plants may be asked to ship their hogs elsewhere.

Currently, when hogs are shipped to the US on the Pool or Pool Plus programs, producers are paid at 80% of their live weight in Ontario using their 4 quarter average index. By settling hogs in this way, producers are not disadvantaged by having their hogs sent to the US.

Unfortunately, because grading data from the US varies by plant, producers cannot always see if their hogs are being sorted to fit the needs of US packers. Producers can still do their part by shipping pigs that weigh between 245 lbs and 265 lbs live weight in Ontario - these are the same pigs that maximize returns on the Ontario Heavy Grid.

Source: Ontario Pork, September 2003

5m Editor