Cramer Ag Expo

The 8th annual Cramer Ag Expo will be held in Swift Current at Kinetic Park on Thursday February 22nd, 2018 from 8:30 am – 5 pm. Stop by the sold out trade show featuring 106 booths representing 70 companies.

The highlight of the day is Cramer Cup series including a hog carcass competition. All the meat will be donated to charity, along with carcasses being auctioned for local charites. Winners will be announced at end of day. Jason Care will be the judge for quality competition

For details on the Cramer Cup series contact Doug Cramer at 306.520.3553. Kelly Turcotte tradeshow co-ordinator at 306.737.6262 or email •


APC Industry Award Nominations

Now is the time to send in your nominations for the Alberta Pork Congress Industry Awards.

Lifetime Achievement Award (Honours individuals who have played an integral role in advancing the pork industry in Alberta and celebrates their long-term commitment and unwavering dedication to the industry).

Farm Team Award (Recognizes the farm unit which operates in an exemplary manner through commitment and longevity of the staff with virtues of hard work and cooperation, celebrating dedication of the team toward working together for the success of the farm).

Pork Industry Ambassador Award (Honours individuals or companies whose efforts reflect a commitment above and beyond the accepted expectation of the pork industry in Alberta. It recognizes individuals or companies whose actions have become a valuable asset to the pork industry and acknowledges those whose actions have become models for peer recognition).

For more information or to nominate either a individual – team, please contact the Alberta Pork Congress office at 403.244.7821 or Toll Free 1.800.267.9180 or email Deadline for nominations is February 28th. •


2018 Livestock Care Conference

The Livestock Care Conference is an annual event that brings together industry experts, stakeholders, and producers to discuss the latest trends and issues in the livestock industry in Alberta. ​

This year’s conference will be held in Olds, Alberta on March 14 and 15, 2018 Check out the website for more details •


London Swine Conference

Mark your calendars for the annual London Swine Conference. It will take place March 27 & 28th in London at the Double Tree by Hilton. For the full program and registration information details check out the website Earlybird registration deadline is February 27th. For more information contact Sandra McCann – or by telephone at 1.519.482.3333 •


Manitoba Pork Council AGM

Save the date! Manitoba Pork’s will hold their 2018 Annual General Meeting at The Fairmont Winnipeg on Thursday, April 5, 2018. For details and to register contact the Mantiba Pork office at 204.237.7447 •


World Pork Expo

The annual trade show will be held in Des Moines IA June 6 –8th. Check on line at for details and information. •


Alberta Pork Congress

The 44th annual Alberta Pork Congress will be held in Westerner Park in Red Deer June 13th & 14th. As of press time the trade show booth space is 85% sold, so do not delay book your space today.

Online registration is open at Should you have any questions or to order your BBQ, lunch and banquet tickets please contact the Kate or Kimberly in the office at 403.244.7821 or email or •



The 5th annual Porkapalooza BBQ Festival will once again be hosted and organized by Alberta Pork. Located at Northlands Park in Edmonton June 16th & 17th.

The Porkapalooza BBQ Festival is a community event showcasing the art and culture of BBQ. It is organized by the Porkapalooza BBQ Festival Society with generous financial support from Alberta Pork and other sponsors. At its heart, it is a BBQ competition, but it encompasses all the components of a festival: local food trucks, beer gardens, food demonstration stage, a Kids Zone playground and plenty of entertainment. The BBQ festival charity society in the past has supported local charites Ronald Mcdonald’s House, Youth Empowerment & Support Services and AdaptAbilities. Check out their website for more details for more details. •


Ontario Pork Congress

The annual Ontario Pork Congress will be held in Stratford June 20th & 21st. Details available on their website at •


Alberta Livestock Expo

Save the date the 2nd annual Alberta Livestock Expo will take place in Lethbridge at Exhibition Park October 10th & 11th. Details will be available in future issues. •


Sask Pork


Sask Pork is pleased to announce its 2017-19 Board of Directors. Board of Directors members are: John Beckton (Brock Stock Farm Ltd.); Curt Kowalchuk (Polar Pork Farms); Jay McGrath (Sinnett Pork Farm Ltd.); Casey Smit (Olymel); Toby Tschetter (Star City Farming); and Grant Wilson (Fast Genetics). At the first meeting of the new Board held recently in Saskatoon, directors elected the 2018 Executive. Casey Smit was elected Chairman, Grant Wilson, Vice-Chair and John Beckton as Audit Chair. •


Trade Mission Successful

Member of the Canadian Pork Council (CPC) Board of Directors and New Brunswick pork producer Hans Kristensen witnessed firsthand the incredible opportunities for the pork industry in China.

Canadian pork producers were represented by Mr. Kristensen during a very successful week-long trade mission to China led by the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, Lawrence MacAulay.

Chinese consumers, on a per capita basis, consume close to three times the amount of pork eaten by Canadians. With a population of 1.4 billion people, China is a vast market opportunity for Canadian pork products. China’s fast-growing middle class is demanding ever-increasing volumes of safe, high-quality food, as well as premium products. Chinese consumers have a favourable view of imported foods and Canada is correctly viewed as a clean and wholesome supplier of safe, high-quality products.

However, Canada is at risk of falling behind as producers in Australia, the European Union and the United States, in particular, have already positioned themselves as important suppliers of pork. Australia’s geographic advantage, new rail lines from the EU, and the USA’s strong focus on trade with China, mean they are becoming increasingly competitive.

Capitalizing on the market opportunity requires greater market access to China, Japan and South East Asian nations. The Government of Canada must focus on securing a free trade agreement with China and move quickly to finalize the Comprehensive and Progressive Trans-Pacific Partnership.

Canadian Pork Council Chair Rick Bergmann is asking the Government of Canada to build on this momentum and make gains before other countries solidify their positions: “Gaining access to China for chilled pork products is one of the key avenues to growing the pork industry by gaining access to the premium retail store shelf.” An increase in pork exports would contribute to Canada achieving its target of $75 billion in exports by 2025 as outlined in Budget 2017. •


Canadian Pork Council Celebrates the Conclusion of CPTPP Trade Negotiations

The Canadian Pork Council (CPC) welcomed the news out of Japan recently that an agreement has been reached on the Comprehensive and Progressive Transpacific Partnership (CPTPP) trade deal by all 11 members.

The Canadian Pork Council wishes to thank Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, International Trade Minister François Champagne, Agriculture and Agri-Food Minister Lawrence MacAulay, the negotiating team and all other Canadian representatives that supported the CPC’s request that this trade deal be concluded as soon as possible and contributed to making it happen.

Pork producers can be comforted in knowing that Canadian pork will have competitive access to key markets such as Japan, and developing markets such as Singapore, Vietnam and Malaysia following the signing of the trade deal in March.

“The CPTPP is of tremendous importance to Canadian pork producers who export over 70% of their products to over 100 countries” says CPC Chair Rick Bergmann. “Because of improved access to key markets, Canadian pork producers can rest easy knowing that their livelihood and that of thousand other Canadians in rural and urban communities who work in the pork industry is supported by this newest trade deal” he adds.

In 2016, Canadian pork exports to nine out of the ten countries that are members of the CPTPP totalled 380,000 tonnes valued at more than $1.4 billion. With this trade deal concluded, Canadian pork products will continue to be made available to more than 461 million potential consumers under conditions favourable to the Canadian pork industry. The increased demand for Canadian pork from these partners will contribute to reaching the $75 billion export goal set out in the 2017 federal budget. •


Piglets Can Starve

Many live-born piglets die because they starve, say researchers Duane E. Reese, Thomas G. Hartsock And W. E. Morgan Morrow.

The weak ones are the first to die because they can’t fight for their mother’s milk and they get cold. The answer is a bit of milk during the first hours of life. Whether it pays depends on anticipated profit from that piglet. Generally it won’t pay in herds with better than 90 per cent survival rates when hog prices are low and if hired help is required to feed the piglets. “Commercial milk replacers have proven effective after the piglets receive an adequate dose of colostrum,” the authors write. “Use a stomach tube or a syringe to give the supplemental milk to the piglets,” they advise.

Iron deficiency anemia can develop within seven to 10 days, so give piglets a shot. An oral dose can work, but is less effective because not all of it will be absorbed. Creep feeding is recommended beginning at about 10 days of age for piglets weaned at three weeks of age and later. Sow milk yield typically plateaus at about 12 to16 days of lactation indicating that sufficient nutrients will not be available thereafter to sustain maximal piglet growth, the authors write. Reese is at the University of Nebraska, Hartsock is retired from the University of Maryland and Morgan Morrow is at North Carolina State University. •

— By Jim Romahn


Standards Required for Migrant Worker Housing

Farmers who hire and house temporary foreign workers will have to meet national standards for the housing they provide. The federal government has announced that the housing must meet adequate, suitable and affordable housing as defined by the Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation.” Farmers will have to prove the housing has been inspected within the eight-month period before workers arrive at the farm. That’s both for housing on the farm and off the farm, such as in a motel. •

— By Jim Romahn


Technology Promises End to Boar Castration

Two companies think they can breed boars that don’t need to be castrated. They don’t develop beyond puberty. Recombinetics, a pioneer in gene editing solutions for animal agriculture and human health, have formed a partnership to research the technology. They aim to breed pigs with good health, well-being and quality meat. “This partnership will help evaluate, develop and commercialize the castration-free swine trait with the goal to get the technology into the hands of pork producers globally,” the companies said. Castration is routinely used on male piglets to avoid “boar taint”. Scientists at Recombinetics developed a precision breeding method resulting in male piglets that remain in a pre-pubertal state, a press release said. • — By Jim Romahn


Meat Production Heads Higher

Global meat production continues to increase and pork is gaining on poultry, says a report from the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). It predicts global pork production will have reached 118.2 million tonnes in 2017, up by one million from the agency’s 2016 forecast.

It says beef production will end 2017 at 69.5 million tonnes, up by 1.7 percent from 2016, and Ovine (sheep and goat) meat will inch up to 14.5 million metric tonnes from 14.4 million tonnes last year.

Driving much of the global output expansion will be the United States, Brazil, the Russian Federation, Mexico and India, as well as Argentina, Turkey and Thailand. China’s meat production will remain stable after two years of farm consolidation and as expansions in other meats compensate for a marked decline in poultry meat, primarily due to highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI), the FAO says.

In terms of trade, beef is projected to post the fastest expansion, to 9.1 million tonnes, a 2.2 percent increase from 8.9 million tonnes in 2016. Poultry will grow to 13.1 million metric tons, up by two per cent over the previous year. Pork will dip to 8.2 million tonnes in 2017 from 8.3 million metric tons in 2016, and ovine meat will stay the same at 900,000 tonnes.

The U,S., Thailand, India, Argentina, Ukraine and Brazil are all anticipated to step up meat exports in 2017, while the EU, Australia, New Zealand, Paraguay and Chile may see theirs fall. The spread of the HPAI is expected to affect the direction and pace of poultry meat production and trade across different regions. On the buy side, Japan, Angola, Cuba and Mexico, as well as the Republic of Korea, Iraq, Chile, the United Arab Emirates and Vietnam are expected to step up imports.

Meat imports by Canada, China, the EU, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and South Africa may decline, in some cases a reflection of larger domestic supplies and, in others, of declining demand due to relatively high international prices. •

— By Jim Romahn


Mexico Cleared to Sell Pork to U.S.

Mexico has freed itself from Classical Swine Fever, so has been cleared to resume exporting pork to the United States. The United States Department of Agriculture announced its final rule Friday, opening the door to imports from all of Mexico’s states. Given the importance of the U.S.-Mexico trade relationship, USDA’s Foreign Agriculture Service funded improvements to Mexico’s control program. A subsequent review by the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) determined that Mexico was free of CSF. Mexico is also the second-largest market for U.S. pork exports, taking $1.4 billion worth in the first 11 months of last year. •

— By Jim Romahn


Topigs Norsvin Rewards Top Producers

Topigs Norsvin Canada handed out awards at two awards banquets Winnipeg, Manitoba and Stratford, Ontario in November 2017. Due to the growth of business, a change was made to the awards categories. In 2017 two regions were created as Canada East & Canada West.

The Eastern region includes Ontario, Quebec & the Maritimes while the Western region includes Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta, British Columbia & Montana. This year’s data from participants included 73 farms with 72,944 sows from Canada and Montana with herd sizes averaging 999 sows per farm.

This year the average for the best 10 herds (14%) exceeded 31 pigs weaned/mated female/year. Of the 73 farms, 70 farms are weaning more than 25 pigs/sow/year. Western Region Winners are: The summary of the 2017 production award winners and runner-up winners are listed by category.

Herds <500 sows:

Farrowing rate: Winner, Albion Ridge Colony, AB 95.03% Runner up, VDK Farms AB 94.83 Pigs Born Alive/litter: Winner, Gold Ridge Farming, AB 14.01 Runner up, New Haven Colony South, MB 13.98 Pigs Weaned/Sow/Year: Winner, Cool Spring Colony, MB 31.85 Runner up Horizon Colony, MB 29.45

Herds 501-1200 sows:

Farrowing rate: Winner, Evergreen Colony, MB 94.7% Runner up, Huron Colony, AB 94.1% Pigs Born Alive/litter: Winner, Evergreen Colony, MB 14.81 Runner up, Starlite Colony, MB 14.49 Pigs Weaned/Sow/Year: Winner, Evergreen Colony, MB 33.01 Runner up Blumengart Colony, MB 31.38

Herds >1200 sows:

Farrowing rate: Winner, Sunnybrook Swine Site 1, MB 93.2% Runner up, Sunnybrook Swine Site 2, MB 92.6% Pigs Born Alive/litter: Winner, Morris Piglets South, MB 13.82 Runner up, Morris Piglets North MB 13.64 Pigs Weaned/Sow/Year: Winner, Sunnybrook Swine Site 1, MB 30.04 Runner up Silver Pine Site 1, MB 29.27 This year the 26+ Club Award was presented to 62 farms totaling 68,000 sows! Congratulations to all the winners. •


Mackay Equipment Expands

Grant & Eldon Expand Team & Product Line Kelley Glass, former Walbern Saskatoon, brings with her 17+ years experience in product experience. As Walbern has retired, Kelley brings with her the supplier and customer portfolio. This adds to the lifetime experience of the Mackay company in serving the Western Canadian Hog and Poultry industries. With locations in Saskatoon, Lethbridge and Iowa. •


Glutamine Helps Pigs

L-glutamine helps pigs fight off diseases in addition to its known benefits as a growth promotant, says a team of U.S. federal agriculture department scientists. They fed some pigs rations that included antibiotics which are known to curb diseases and increase growth rates and found that pigs fed a supplement of L-glutamine performed equally well. A third group fed neither antibiotics nor L-glutamine did not perform as well. Throughout the 14-day dietary treatment phase, feed intake was greater overall in pigs fed glutamine compared to either of the other groups, while pigs fed antibiotics performed better than those given neither supplement. Body weights for the glutamine and antibiotic groups were similar, with both being heavier than those in the non-supplement groups, reports the team which works in the United States Department of Agriculture’s Agriculture Research Service. The results were recently published in the Journal of Animal Science. •

— By Jim Romahn



Round 7 of the NAFTA renegotiation is set for late February in Mexico before heading back to Washington in March for what is currently scheduled as the final round of negotiations. •