Canadian producers continue culling hogs

Canadian swine producers continue to reduce herd numbers and empty production barns.

The Canadian Pork Council announced last week that another 43,000 sows will be taken out of production, along with nearly 100,000 weanling pigs weighing 30 kilograms or less and 123,000 feeder pigs between 31 kg and market weight.

The herd reductions were facilitated by the hog farm transition program (HFTP), a federal program that pays hog producers to sell their animals and keep their barns empty for the next three years.

The $75 million HFTP was designed to reduce Canada’s hog inventory and spur the recovery of depressed North American pork markets.

It allows eligible producers to submit exit bids through a series of tenders.

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Registered producers who wish to exit the industry can submit a bid that states how much money they would accept to take pigs out of production for at least 36 months.

Results of the second tender were announced Dec. 14.

Gary Stordy, public relations manager with the CPC, said the council received 469 bids and approved the distribution of roughly $24 million among 115 successful bidders.

The weighted average of the successful bids was $872.91 per animal unit equivalent (AUE).

The lowest successful bid was $370 per AUE and the highest was $1,034.

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With two tenders now complete, approximately $35 million of the program’s $75 million budget has been allocated.

A third tender, scheduled for Jan. 20, 2010, will distribute another $25 million to producers willing to leave the industry.

To qualify for the Jan. 20 tender, producers who are not already registered must submit registration forms no later than Jan. 13.

A fourth and final tender worth $15 million will also be held in 2010 but the exact date has yet to be determined.

So far, producers in Ontario have submitted 92 successful bids, more than any other province.

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Manitoba producers have filed 32 successful bids, followed by Alberta (28), Quebec (19), Atlantic Canada (9), British Columbia (7) and Saskatchewan (5).