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Organic fertiliser may offer added incentives for hog sector expansion

The Chair of Sask Pork says the organisation will be focusing on the value of hog manure as an organic fertiliser as it works to build the province's hog production base.

6 August 2019, at 11:11am

Last week the Saskatchewan Pork Development Board announced Mark Ferguson, the organisation's former manager of industry and policy analysis has been named to replace retiring General Manager Neil Ketilson effective 1 August.

Speaking to Farmscape, Sask Pork Chair Casey Smit says moving forward the organisation will continue to look for ways to build the hog production base in the province.

"Sask Pork just recently went though a strategic planning session to set the vision for the next few years," explains Smit, "one is to continue on the work that has been done in the past which is really to look at opportunities to develop the hog industry.

"That process has been underway; Mark was involved in that as well, so he'll continue on that mission of carrying out that strategic vision.

"We look for opportunities to see how we can get more hog production based in Saskatchewan, with its ample land base and feed supply.

"It's been interesting. There's been a real interest in the value of hog manure.

"At the Ag in Motion event that they had in early July, Sask Pork was able to put some plots up and apply some hog manure to those plots to show what the impact of that manure has on crops.

"We've had interest from other groups about manure and the value of manure but most interest is from the organic community.

"We think there's a real opportunity for partnering with some of the organic producers out there, on establishing barns in their network to give them that opportunity to put manure on as an organic input onto their farms."

Smit acknowledges the biggest challenge facing the pork sector is escalating infrastructure and building costs. He says that challenge is being addressed through a number of avenues including discussions with government on bringing services to greenfield operations.

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