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Renewed Interest in Expanding Saskatchewan Hog Finishing Capacity

by 5m Editor
8 April 2016, at 6:00am

CANADA - The chair of the Saskatchewan Pork development Board says improved opportunities for generating income through pork production has stimulated renewed interest in expanding hog finishing capacity in western Canada, writes Bruce Cochrane.

Sask Pork has been working to stimulate interest in building new finishing barns to accommodate a growing demand among the processing plants in Manitoba, Alberta and Saskatchewan for slaughter hogs.

Florian Possberg, the Chair of the Saskatchewan Pork Development Board, recalls when the industry went into bad times around 2007, the result of a combination of high grain prices, a very high Canadian dollar and disease issues such as swine influenza, all new hog barn construction in western Canada basically ground to a halt.

Florian Possberg-Saskatchewan Pork Development Board:

Those things have really turned around and now we see much more potential for profit in our industry here in western Canada again so we are starting to see interest in building new finishing space here.

Number one we have slaughter plants that are really looking for additional supplies.

Number two I think we are seeing more interest from Hutterite colonies and family farms that have the next generation that want to supplement grain production so we're seeing land owners really now looking at the potential for additional income.

And, quite frankly, finishing barns can be mini fertilizer factories.

In the mid-west there's literally thousands of barns going up in the last number of years and the same factors would create a positive interest here as well in western Canada, particularly Saskatchewan.

Possberg says we're starting to see interest in not only filling up existing space that was empty but also in actually building new facilities in western Canada.