News last update:6 Aug 2012

Canada's pork future depends on water and feed availability

A Toronto based agri-food consultant suggests the availability of land and water will be among the key factors that will determine Canada's future role in the global pork industry.

“Pig Industry Challenges for the Next 25 Years” will be among the topics discussed this week as part of the 2010 Manitoba Swine Seminar in Winnipeg.
With the exception of China the global pork industry has been shrinking lately as the result of losses fuelled primarily by escalating feed costs.
Ted Bilyea, with Ted Bilyea and Associates, suggests the availability of water and arable land to produce crops will be among the key factors that will determine Canada’s future role in global pork production.
“Western Canada is in a position where it has a hog industry that is essentially using the grain that is down graded by mother nature every year that can’t sold easily into human consumption,” Bilyea says.
“Then the hog is doing its thing it was put on this earth to do which is to recycle and play that role.
“If indeed we are having to import corn or other feed grains to raise hogs and then expect to sell the meat on an export basis we’re kidding ourselves because that mathematics will never work.
“If you look at the world there are many places that it doesn’t make complete sense to be raising animals that consume grain, because that grain has to be imported and that is a very costly procedure and less than sustainable.
“The second one is water and, as you know, animals in the end consume a lot of water through the grain they eat and just raising them.”
Bilyea says, although the Canadian pork industry has had a difficult time recently, it has two key structural advantages, water and land, and several smaller ones but those advantages have been overwhelmed lately by the other short term issues. He’s confident those issues eventually being over come.
Source: Farmscape.ca

Dick Ziggers

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