Ontario Agriculture

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Here is a report on last night's meeting in Stratford - from AM920 CKNX in Wingham.

There were some dire predictions at a pork industry meeting in Stratford.

Over 500 stakeholders gathered last night to learn more about restructuring, debt mediation and transition strategy options for struggling pork producers.

Perth County Pork Producers Association President, Mike Bosch says he is skeptical of the recently announced Federal loan and the "Hog Farm Transition" programs.

He says he's not sure it's enough money to do anything.

Bosch says there are a lot of pork producers in trouble and he wouldn't be surprised if at least 50 per cent of them run out of money to operate by the end of the calendar year.

He adds the main goal of last night's "Canadian Pork Industry in Crisis - Are You Ready" event in Stratford was to give producers the information and tools they need to help determine their future.

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Given that there is only $75 million (+-) for restructuring, $17 million for research and marketing (which is okay for marketing), and unknown for loans - it will definitely be insufficient.
Farmgate sales for the pork sector in Huron- Perth region in 2006 was over $290 million - representing almost a quarter of the total farmgate sales of ALL the main commodities.
Huron, Perth, and Oxford Cty produce the bulk of pork in Ontario (on a per county basis), and the claim in the industry is $40 per market hog in losses - the three counties will lose in excess of $66 million in the second and third quarters of 2009. I realize the actual hog numbers are most likely lower today than in 2006, but the point is that the losses in this region is, and will be, substantial due to the infrastructure surrounding the pork sector - feed mills, trucking, parts and equipment suppliers, hog assembly yards...
So really - when you spread the $75 million and the $17 million across CANADA - how much of an impact will it really have?
May 16, 2006 census for Nursery & Market hogs on farm
Huron - 639,842; Perth - 598,260; Oxford - 424691

I was not able to make the meeting the other night....not sure what the right path is for pork production in Ontario.
I wish the government could help but it is hard to count on that....markets need to correct but it is looking like that is going to take too long.

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