Saskatchewan's Plan for Growth15 November 2012
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CANADA - Saskatchewan's agriculture minister says increased livestock production is part of the way that the province will meet the goals outlined in its Plan for Growth, writes Bruce Cochrane.
Low hog prices this past summer combined with record feed costs due to drought which reduced US corn production have resulted in substantial losses within the North American pork sector.
Saskatchewan agriculture minister Lyle Stewart told those on hand last night for Saskatchewan Pork Industry Symposium 2012, the last few years have been particularly difficult for the pork industry but we're seeing hog prices strengthen substantially and he's optimistic by spring this will all be a bad memory.
Lyle Stewart-Saskatchewan Minister of Agriculture:
We've made sure that any applications to existing programs are streamlined for hog producers that they get a priority treatment right now so they can get quick payments out of the existing programs, AgriStability and the Advance Payment Program and so on and we're being flexible with the repayment of existing short term hog loans from 2008, I believe it was.
I think it's going to fill the gap for most producers.
This thing isn't a provincial issue.
It's national and even international, the issues with low prices and high feed prices and so I think we're doing the right thing. I think it's going to get our producers through. It's not been easy.
Nobody is going to claim that it is but they're a resilient bunch and I think by spring they'll be back in hopefully pretty profitable times again.
Mr Stewart notes Saskatchewan exported about 10 billion dollars worth of agricultural products last year and the target under the premier's Plan for Growth is to export 15 billion dollars worth of products by 2020 which will require additional production across the board including the hog industry and some value added.
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