Back by popular demand! The Alberta Pork Congress Annual General Meeting will once again be held in conjunction with the Annual Golf Tournament on Thursday September 11th at Trochu Golf & Country Club.
Breakfast will be served at 9 am followed by the AGM at which time elections will take place for new members for the Board of Directors. Once the meeting has concluded this will be the first opportunity to book your booth space for the 2015 Alberta Pork Congress Tradeshow, June 9 – 11th 2015.
For those who choose to stay we’ll play a full round then be treated to a delicious pork dinner. As always there will be prizes on hand for top honours!
Come for just the AGM or the entire day.
Lisa Doyle at 403.244.7821 or email lisa@conventionall.com

Red Deer Swine Technology Workshop
Mark your calendars for the annual Red Deer Swine Technology Workshop, which will take place Wednesday November 5th at the Sheraton in Red Deer.
On line Registration is now open at http://events.SignUp4.net/RDSTW14. The earlybird cost for the one day workshop is $80 and if you purchase four the fifth one is free, valid until Friday October 17th. Registration includes a copy of the proceedings and lunch. For details and information contact Lisa Doyle Workshop coordinator at 403.244.7821 •

Aherne Awards
Do you know of an innovator who should be recognized? Someone who has developed an original solution to answer a pork production challenge? Or found a creative use of a known technology?
The Banff Pork Seminar is proud to offer a chance for you to “strut your stuff” as a technology innovator and show the rest of us how to put it into practice!
The Dr. FX Aherne Prize for Innovative Pork Production recognizes innovators involved in the pork industry who are making a difference by applying new technologies or management techniques.
Innovators can win valuable prizes and free registration to the 2015 Banff Pork Seminar, January 20-22; you’ll be recognized by your peers and the pork industry and have a chance to present your solution at the 2015 Banff Pork Seminar.
Please nominate yourself, or apply on behalf of an innovator that deserves to be recognized. Help us to find these innovators and encourage them to apply for the Dr. FX Aherne Prize for Innovative Pork Production.
Specifically, we are looking for innovators who are capable of taking a new research concept, a technology, or even a management concept and apply it successfully in the production of pork. Innovations may be related to, but are not limited to, one of the following areas: Productivity, Profitability, Working Conditions, Animal Well Being, Reduced Environmental Impact, Pork Quality and Safety.
Anyone who has developed a solution to a pork production challenge may enter. Innovations must be relevant to North American pork production but do not necessarily have to be currently in use in Canada at the time of application.
Application and more information will be available online at www.banffpork.ca. Applications must be received by October 24, 2014. Apply today!
Please contact Conference Coordinator Marliss Wolfe Lafreniere at
pork@ualberta.ca with questions. •

Saskatchewan Industry Pork Symposium
The annual Saskatchewan Industry Pork Symposium will be held in Saskatoon at the Saskatoon Inn November 18 & 19, 2014.
More information will be available in next issue of Prairie Hog Country. •

Prairie Livestock Expo
The show has all three a new name, a new focus and a new location.
Prairie Livestock Expo formally known as Hog & Poultry Days, made the decision to expand the show to include multi species. Prairie Livestock Expo the full one day show will take place Wednesday December 10th from 9 am – 6 pm at the newly renovated and built Victoria Inn Hotel & Convention Centre, Winnipeg MB.
All the industries servicing the livestock sector are invited to participate.
Although the name has changed much will remain the same including the highly anticipated carcass competition. More details will be available for the next issue. •

Banff Pork Seminar
Initial planning is underway for the 2015 Banff Pork Seminar. Mark your calendars January 20-22, 2015.
Registration will start in October •

Manitoba Swine Seminar
The Manitoba Swine Seminar will once again bel held at the Victoria Inn & Conference Centre in Winnipeg.
The dates for 2015 are February 4 and 5th. Stay tuned to the October-November edition for more information. •

Cramer Livestock Expo
Cramer Crop and Livestock Expo is back for its fifth consecutive year and will be held Thursday February 19th in Swift Current, SK at Kinetic Park.
The show continues to grow each year, in addition to the one day trade show will feature the Cramer Cup series – awards presented in various catergories; hog, forage, baking and egg competitions.
For details or information contact Lisa Doyle trade show co ordinator at 403.244.7821 or lisa@conventionall.com

Canadian Pork
Industry Welcomes Aggressive Timetable for Canada-Korea FTA
The Canadian Pork industry welcomed the recent news that the Federal government tabled the text of the Canada-Korea Free Trade Agreement in the House of Commons. Canadian hog producers, pork processors and meat traders and the many other companies in Canada that provide inputs and services to the industry have a very strong interest in Canada aggressively pursuing further progress toward reducing agri-food trade barriers and achieving additional market access through bilateral trade agreements similar to this trade agreement with South Korea.
“The Canadian pork industry is pleased that the Canadian and South Korean governments are working toward an aggressive timetable to bring the agreement into force,” stated Canada Pork Council Chair, Jean-Guy Vincent. “The tabling of the Canadian-Korean FTA text is a clear demonstration of the commitment to bring the agreement into force for January 1, 2015.”
“We are extremely fortunate to have excellent animal health status, a good supply of high quality feed grains, a very low animal population density and a strong reputation all over the world as a supplier of safe high quality pork,” added Jean-Guy Vincent. “Canada is a globally competitive and successful producer and exporter of pork and pork products. The key factor to sustaining our success is the ability to access a wide variety of markets.”
The Canadian pork industry has been a strong advocate for completing a Canada-Korea FTA to prevent further deterioration in Canada’s competitive position in that market against competitors – the United States, the European Union and Chile, all of which have free trade deals in place. The FTA will allow the pork industry the possibility of being on an equal footing with those competitors in what has at times been the industries third or fourth most important export market. Without an FTA with Korea, Canada’s 223 million dollars of pork trade with Korea in 2011 and 129 million dollars of pork trade in 2012 would largely disappear when the FTAs Korea has signed with three other countries are fully implemented. Canada exported approximately 76 million dollars of pork to Korea in 2013.
South Korea has always been a top 5 market and the high value of the items sold there, such as chilled (shoulder) butts and bellies, is significant enough to have a major impact on Canadian hog prices and jobs in both the farming and processing sectors should Canada lose access to the market. An American study evaluated the benefits for the US pork sector of the FTA between US and Korea at US $10 per hog. The benefits for the Canadian pork industry of a Canadian FTA with South Korea should be similar as those in the US. •

CFIA Centralizes Applications
The Canadian Food Inspection Agency has set up a central office to handle applications for registering feeds, veterinary biologics, fertilizers, genetically-modified or “novel” plants and new crop varieties.
It says this should improve consistency among the various registration bureaucracies.
It says nothing about offering applicants faster or better service.
Here’s exactly what the CFIA is saying:
“The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) has established a Pre-market Application Submissions Office (PASO).
“Stakeholders are now required to contact the PASO for processing applications for livestock feeds, Plant Breeder’s Rights, fertilizers, variety registration, plants with novel traits, and veterinary biologics, or to follow up on the status of a previously submitted application.
“Centralizing the submission of applications will result in increased consistency and efficiency in the delivery and administration of pre-market application requests.” •
— By Jim Romahn

Pig Toys Now Mandatory
They call it “environmental enrichment”, but it really means toys for pigs to play with.
And under the new code of practice, they’re required to keep pigs entertained.
There are quite a few options and they have been on demonstration at events where hog farmers gather, such as the Ontario Pork Congress in Stratford in June where the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs had a display.
Heading the list of OMAFRA recommendations is a Teeter Totter invented by an Ontario farmer.
It teeters atop the concrete wall dividing pens and when pigs on one side tug on one of the attached toys, the ones on the other side rise up.
The attached toys can be wood, a Kong dog toy or a piece of PVC pipe.
“Strong steel can sustain vigorous pig play over time,” says Heather Neureuther of OMAFRA.
“Wood is more malleable but Kongs and PVC pipe are easier to clean,” she writes in the ministry’s newsletter for hog farmers.
If the toys are made of wood, it should not be pressure-treated wood that is poisonous and should be free of staples and hardware. It can be broken and then pieces will turn up in manure.
Tri-Star is another made-in-Ontario toy for pigs.
It’s hung from the ceiling, which means it stays clean, and is easy to move from pen to pen.
The plastic arms “are malleable and sustain pigs’ interest over time.”
It can entertain several pigs at a time, so it’s good for large-group pens.
“Chewed off plastic pieces from arms may pose harm to pigs and/or liquid manure pit,” Neureuther said.
“Aggressive finisher hogs can destroy arms quickly, requiring increased labour to replace.”
EasyFix and Porcichew Hanging Toys have all of the positive features of Tri-Star.
Neureuther says “environmental enrichment has beneficial effects on decreasing boredom, as well as potentially decreasing tail and ear biting, leading to the ultimate goal of swine welfare.” •
— By Jim Romahn

Top 10 Developments in Swine Nutrition
In 1975, one sow in the USA produced 720 kg of pork per year, but by 2009 it was 1816 kg per sow, points out Dr. John Patience, from the Department of Animal Science at Iowa State University. In 2009, the US produced 10.4 billion kilos of pork from about 5.8 million sows. “Using 1975 productivity , it would require 14.5 million sows, an increase of 8.7 million, to produce 2009 quantities of pork,” he says. “At an average sow feed cost of $336/sow/year, the added cost of these sows, just for feed would be $2.95 billion per year, adding $26 to the cost of each pig sold.” The industry has been very focussed on doing its job well. Technology has changed our world. Improvements in nutrition have made a major contribution to higher output per sow and improved efficiency in the nursery and grow-finish phase.
Transitioning from ingredient-based formulation to nutrient and energy-based formulation
Transitioning from empirical definition of requirements to factorial definition of requirements, leading to growth modelling
Formulating diets on the basis of amino acids rather than protein, then later on the basis of Apparent Ileal Digestibility (AID) and now Standard Ileal Digestible (SID) lysine
The adoption of more sophisticated energy systems, which is currently Net Energy (NE)
Adoption of the phytase enzyme and formulation of diets on the basis of available phosphorus
The release of the 2012 NRC requirements, with a stronger emphasis on factorial as opposed to empirical approach to defining nutrient requirements
The widespread availability of synthetic amino acids: lysine, methionine, threonine and tryptophan
Marker-assisted technology and hyper-prolific lines
Adoption of increasingly sophisticated record keeping systems, which have driven the decision making process
The increasingly rapid change in emphasis from maximizing productivity to maximizing financial returns. •

Antibiotic Ban Queried
Three United States senators think the ban on antibiotics as growth promotants does not go far enough in limiting their use in the livestock and poultry industries.
Sens. Elizabeth Warren, Dianne Feinstein and Kirsten Gillibrand are asking the Food and Drug Administration for more information, indicating that what they really want is a major reduction in the on-farm use of antibiotics.
In Canada, Ron Doering, the first person to serve as president of the Canadian Food Inspection Agency, has written that the ban will likely do little to reduce antibiotic use because veterinarians will still be able to prescribe them for disease-prevention purposes.
All that will change in the words “growth promotant” to “disease prevention”.
That’s the nub of what the three senators are asking of the Food and Drug Administration.
It grappled with the issue for decades and finally announced a ban days after the major pharmaceutical companies announced they would voluntarily remove growth promotion from their antibiotic-product labels. •
— By Jim Romahn

George Morris Centre Dies
The George Morris Centre is dead.
What’s left of its assets is being donated to the Ontario Agricultural College at the University of Guelph.
The closure, which will be completed before the end of the year, comes after the centre seems to have lost its way.
It was started in 1988 by economist Dr. Larry Martin with money donated from by Ontario beef farmer George Morris.
He and Martin built an independent think tank to conduct research and present thought-provoking papers on agriculture policies.
The centre leaned to the right, promoting free enterprise and competition and questioning the wisdom of supply management and socialist policies.
Then Martin launched it into training programs, mainly for relatively large-scale family farms and for agri-business executives.
And then Martin Gooch came and built a major program around supply chain development and management. That work was spun off into a separate entity last year as were the education programs.
Kevin Grier, who came to the centre from the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture and Food, developed a series of electronic newsletters for special-interest groups, such as those involved in meat packing, beef. pork and poultry production and grocery retailing.
The quality of George Morris Centre research came into question in recent months, particularly papers prepared by senior research analyst Al Mussel on dairy policy and some joint work with Grier on food pricing.
Some of the strongest research in recent years was done by Bob Seguin on general farm policy and by Kate Stiefelmeyer on competitiveness, strategic management, and regulatory and environmental policy. Both left the centre before it folded.
Martin handed over management of the centre to Bob Sequin in 2011. Seguin had been assistant deputy minister for policy development for the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture and Food.
He left the George Morris Centre in January to become director of economic development for the Niagara Region.
The centre ran deficits for a number of years, including close to $400,000 and more than $500,000 during the last two years. •
— By Jim Romahn

PED Claims Eight per cent of U.S. Hogs
Market analyst Steve Meyer estimates that Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea virus has claimed eight per cent of the U.S. hog population since it first appeared there in May, 2013.
There are no estimates for Canadian losses since PED virus first showed up in Middlesex County in late January.
There were 79 more U.S. barns confirmed with the disease last week, increasing the total to 7,603.
The number of weekly outbreaks has declined dramatically from highs in the winter. The virus lasts longer under cold conditions, so it spreads easier from farm to farm, mainly via sick pigs, in manure that is in trucks, on boots or clothing. •
— By Jim Romahn

Supermarket Squeeze Dooms Canadian Food Processors
Canada’s big supermarket chains are using their clout to squeeze suppliers hard and many Canadian companies can’t stand up under competition from giants in the United States.
The answer is for Canadian manufacturers of packaged groceries to increase their volumes so they can lower their prices and the way to increase volumes is to export more to the United States, according to a report by grocery-chain analyst Kevin Grier of the George Morris Center.
He looked at data from Statistic Canada and the United States to find that Canadian companies have increased exports to the U.S., but have lost market share in Canada to U.S. imports.
Canadian exports are often private-label products; U.S. imports are usually manufaturers’ brand name products, Grier says.
Canadian manufacturer exports of consumer packaged food goods to the U.S. increased from 25 to 30 per cent in the four years from 2009 to 2013.
Meanwhile, the U.S. share or the Canadian market increased from 23 to 30 per cent in the 10 years from 2004 to 2013.
Between 2006 and 2014, 143 Canadian food plants closed, 63 new plants opened and 67 announced major investments.
Americans were more likely to close the plants they own in Canada and consolidate operations in the U.S., but Canadian companies were more likely to either consolidate Canadian plants or invest in existing facilities.
As for the big supermarket squeeze, Grier writes that “Canadian retailers are good buyers and they like to maximize their buying options.
“Canadian retailers will use U.S.-sourced product as a tool to leverage against vulnerable Canadian producers, who have fewer selling opportunities than their larger U.S. competitors.”
He writes that “It should also be pointed out that a lot of Canadian capacity in the consumer packaged goods categories is used for private label production, sold either in Canada or the U.S.. Most big brands are U.S. based and supplied in Canada from U.S. production facilities.
“The Canadian consumer is indifferent or unaware of manufacturing source, whether branded or private label,” Grier says.
One of the challenges Canadian manufacturers face is being able to supply enough to meet nation-wide demand in the much bigger U.S. market, Grier says.
This is becoming a greater challenge as the U.S. retailers have “shifted . . . from regional supermarkets . . . into national mass merchandisers, club stores, and dollar stores. Thus Canadian plants, once built for domestic consumption, lack the scale to supply those outlets in any meaningful way. Yet the U.S. manufacturers typically have the scale to supply Canada.”
Grier says “it matters that Canada maintains a robust consumer packaged goods manufacturing sector.
“In order to do so, companies need to grow beyond the traditional Canadian supply for Canadian consumption model. Those days are over.
“Indeed, Canadian retailers cannot and will not buy locally if quality and price do not meet U.S. offerings.
“Nor will Canadian consumers behave that way,” Grier writes. •
— By Jim Romahn

New York Declines Ban on Sow Stalls
New York State legislators have declined to write and pass legislation banning sow gestation crates.
The National Pork Producers Council and the New York Pork Producers on Monday praised the politicians for allowing hog farmers to choose how to house their sows.
But the writing is on the wall as many retailers have announced they want their pork to come only from farms that do not use sow gestation stalls; most have given producers and packers a few years to meet their standards which were pushed on them by the Humane Society of United States.
Canada is moving to evolve out of sow stalls as part of its recently-adopted animal care protocol.
Major pork producers including Smithfield Foods, Hormel Foods, Cargill and in Canada Olymel are shifting away from using gestation stalls under pressure from the Humane Society of the United States and public opinion about their use
The pens are approved, however, by the American Veterinary Medical Association and the American Association of Swine Veterinarians. They are still used by many smaller hog producers. The cost of converting to open sow housing is a hurdle for many.
The NPPC has stood firmly behind this animal husbandry practice, saying the stalls allow for personalized animal care and eliminate pregnancy aggression from other sows.
“New York hog farmers are pleased the legislature realized there are far more critical issues to consider than attacking small family farms in rural New York,” said Ed Keller, president of the New York Pork Producers, in a news release issued by the NPPC.
“Sure, the animal-rights groups had some early successes, but now that legislators are hearing both sides of the issue, they are choosing to allow the farmers to care for their animals the best way they can,” Keller said. •
— By Jim Romahn

Indiana Packers Buys Quincy Street Inc.
Indiana Packers Corp., a buyer of Ontario hogs, has purchased one of its loyal customers, Quincy Street Inc. of Holland, Mich.
Quincy Street processes dinner hams, spiral sliced hams, breakfast sausages, deli meats and specialty toppings and cooked boneless pork loins.
“We are excited about the future growth opportunities at Quincy Street,” said Indiana Packers president Russ Yearwood.
“The Quincy Street dedication to producing high-quality pork products and commitment to customer service complement our business strategy and core values.
“We look forward to realizing the advantages brought by Quincy Street for many years to come.”
Ontario hog farmers are looking more to customers such as Indiana Packers since the province’s second-largest slaughter company, Quality Meats Ltd. of Toronto and its Great Lakes Specialty Meats company at Mitchell were bankrupted. •
— By Jim Romahn

Chicago Baseball Fans Can Buy Bacon on a Stick
Fans of the Chicago White Sox baseball team have a new snack available to compete with hot dogs – bacon on a stick.
It’s made of thick Danish bacon seasoned with black pepper.
There are some other new choices as well, such as chicken and waffle, carved corn beef and pork chop sandwiches and mango chicken sausage.
The National Hot Dog and Sausage Council estimates Americans attending baseball games will eat more than 21 million hot dogs and five million sausages this season.
At Phoenix, Arizona Diamondback fans will be able to buy an 18-inch corn dog stuffed with cheddar cheese. It’s called a D-bat dog. •
— By Jim Romahn

Hog Farming Peaked in 2006
Hog farming is in decline after hitting a peak of 15 million pigs in 2006, reports Yan Brisson of Statistics Canada.
He has compiled a detailed and comprehensive report that Statistics Canada has put up for sale this week.
It traces the industry since 1921 when Canada’s population was 8.8 million, there were more than 711,000 farms and 452,935 of them had pigs.
By 2011, the population was up to 33.5 million, but the number of farms was down to 205,730 and only 7,371 of them raised pigs.
Brisson says the Canadian hog population expanded during the 1960s, but hit a pricing crisis and didn’t begin another expansion phase until 1976-81.
That expansion ran into record-high interest rates and the industry stagnated until 1990, Brisson says.
When the North American Free Trade Agreement took effect, Canadian hog production increased from 1996 to 2006.
Swine flu, U.S. trade action and a cost-price squeeze knocked the hog population back to 12.7 million and the count of hog farmers declined by 36 per cent in the five years between 2006 and 2011. •
— By Jim Romahn

Micro-Bac’ Drives Two-For-One Benefits For Canadian Livestock Feed
Eliminating odour. Boosting gut health. These two benefits are among the most important for sustainable and efficient livestock feeding systems today. Now both are available to Canadian livestock industries in one convenient product from Canadian Bio-Systems Inc. (CBS Inc.)
Mico-Bac is a powerful, all-natural, environmentally safe feed enhancing product proven to eliminate ammonia and other noxious gases, while also improving intestinal health for superior performance. The product, newly registered in 2014, is targeted for use in Western Canada with swine and poultry. •

Ontario Pork Offers New PED Resources
The Ontario Pork marketing board has posted new information on measures the industry should be taking to prevent the spread of Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea virus.
There are special information pieces for packing plants, truckers, deadstock removal providers, assembly yards and visitors to farms.
There is a brochure outlining how chutes can be designed to reduce disease risks and another for biosecurity.
They are posted at www.ontariopork.on.ca . •

In the June-July 2014 edition of Prairie Hog Country the list of top producers for Genesus Genetics was printed. There was a error on the list provided to Prairie Hog Country. Midway Colony was incorrectly listed with 27.60 PSY the correct number achieved by Midway Colony was 30.77 PSY.
Genesus apologizes to Midway Colony for providing incorrect number. •