Subscribe: Farmscape News
http://www.farmscape.com/f9rss.aspx
Preview: Farmscape News

Farmscape News



This is the syndication feed for Farmscape News



 



Canadian Pork Excellence Pilot Testing to Begin in January

Fri, 09 Dec 2016 00:00:00 GMT

Farmscape for December 9, 2016

Pilot testing of the new Canadian Pork Excellence program is set to begin early in the new year.
The Canadian Pork Council has revamped its on farm food safety and animal care assurance programs, rolling them into one, and is re-branding the program Canadian Pork Excellence.
Beginning in January volunteer farms across Canada will participate in a pilot test of the new program.
Harvey Wagner, the Manager of Producer Services with the Saskatchewan Pork Development Board, says participating farms will work through the program manual, keeping the required records and making necessary adjustments, then in the spring they'll go through a full validation and then both the farms and the validators will provide feedback suggesting changes.

Clip-Harvey Wagner-Saskatchewan Pork Development Board:
There's going to be five farms in Saskatchewan.
It's going to be a wide range of production.
We're having two farrow to finish operations, medium size but they're going to be different in that they're going to have different housing systems for their sows so there'll be a bit of a variation there.
We're going to have a larger farrow wean operation, a good size nursery operation and a wean to finish operation.
We're going to try to cover off some significant different operations in that.
Across Canada there's going to be about 75 farms, more in Ontario and Quebec obviously and a few more in Manitoba.
The idea there is to have a complete range of farms, whether it be farms that have bedded facilities, fully slatted facilities, loose housing stalls, small farms, large farms, any combination we can try and get to see how the program will work on various farms.

Wagner says general implementation of Canadian Pork Excellence will begin around January 2018 and will be phased in as farms complete their normal recertification so, by January 2021, all of the farms will be on the new program.
For Farmscape.Ca, I'm Bruce Cochrane.


       *Farmscape is a presentation of Sask Pork and Manitoba Pork




Simple Environmental Enrichment Offers Improved Behavioral and Physiological Responses

Fri, 09 Dec 2016 00:00:00 GMT

Farmscape for December 9, 2016

A scientist with the University of Saskatchewan says the provision of environmental enrichment has the potential to improve both the health and productivity of the pig.
Canada's revised Pig Code of Practice requires producers to start to consider the provision of environmental enrichment.
Dr. Yolande Seddon, an Assistant Professor in Swine Behavior and Welfare with the University of Saskatchewan, says enrichment is regarded as anything to enhance the environment of the pig which should enhance its behavioral or physiological responses.

Clip-Dr. Yolande Seddon-University of Saskatchewan:
The code lays out that it is acceptable to have social enrichment, so contact with other pigs, to have a nutritional enrichment so be it different presentation of food, different types of food, to have tactile so it could be addition of brushes in the pen, to have additional sensory, so it could be music and also occupational enrichment which is really what we regard as something that the pig might manipulate or root.
We ultimately know from science, that the pig is a social animal, wants the company of other pigs but we need to give it an occupational enrichment because they are highly motivated to explore and manipulate and forage with their mouths.
The benefits are that, if we pay attention to this, we know we can improve the welfare of the pig through effective enrichment because we have lots of scientific evidence to say that we reduce problematic behaviors in the animals.
You can create an animal that has a lessened fear response, less response to novelty.
We can create a less stressed animal, an animal that is better able to cope with challenge, that is positive.
If it is simply the case of doing a simple yet effective targeted enrichment, that is something that we can certainly accommodate.

Dr. Seddon suggests the provision of enrichment for pigs is also supportive of a social license to operate because we know that raising animals in a featureless environment isn't perceived well by the public.
For Farmscape.Ca, I'm Bruce Cochrane.


       *Farmscape is a presentation of Sask Pork and Manitoba Pork




Pork Quality Competition to Highlight Prairie Livestock Expo

Thu, 08 Dec 2016 00:00:00 GMT

Farmscape for December 8, 2016

32 hog carcasses from across Manitoba will be entered in the 2016 Pork Quality Competition which will be held in conjunction with Prairie Livestock Expo next week in Winnipeg.
The Pork Quality Competition will be held in conjunction with Prairie Livestock Expo December 14 in Winnipeg.
32 carcasses have been entered this year from across Manitoba.
Dennis Stevenson, the Pork Quality Competition Coordinator with the Prairie Livestock Expo Organizing Committee, says the top winners will share almost 25 thousand dollars which they will have the opportunity to donate to the charity of their choice and all of the meat will be donated to local food banks for distribution during the Christmas season.

Clip-Dennis Stevenson-Prairie Livestock Expo:
People who are in the province of Manitoba are eligible to enter.
It could be any producers that are a part of this but really it's mostly locals around the province of Manitoba.
We're seeing producers put in animals that they have looked at on their farms from different genetics and different genetics companies.
They're mostly commercial based animals.
The quality characteristics that we're looking for are things like carcass weight, carcass index, there would be loin size, backfat, marbling.
These are all the characteristics that these guys would be judged on normally when they go to Maple Leaf Foods or HyLife Foods in Manitoba.
It's really a regular part of what they do but it gets highlighted and then, at the end of the day, all of the meat is donated to the local charities and there's some prize money from sponsorships and those prize dollars are then given to local things like some hospitals, some foundations that are near and dear to the hearts of those people who have won the competition.

Stevenson says the competition offers an opportunity for the pork industry to support charities at Christmas time while shedding a light on the quality of the pork produced in Manitoba.
For Farmscape.Ca, I'm Bruce Cochrane.


       *Farmscape is a presentation of Sask Pork and Manitoba Pork




Argentina Expected to Be Key to Canadian Pork Exports to South America

Thu, 08 Dec 2016 00:00:00 GMT

Farmscape for December 8, 2016

Canada Pork International expects Argentina to become a key part of Canadian pork exports to South America.
In 2002 the government of Argentina suspended the eligibility of Canadian pork processors to ship product into that market in retaliation for Canadian restrictions on the import Argentine beef.
Last month the President of Argentina and the Prime Minister of Canada agreed to the restoration of access to Argentina for Canadian pork.
Cesar Urias, the Director of Market Access with Canada Pork International, says a few years ago about half of the pork produced in Canada was consumed domestically and about half was exported but now a days 60 to 65 percent of Canadian pork is exported and Argentina will be an important component of Canadian pork exports to South America.

Clip-Cesar Urias-Canada Pork International:
Probably Canada right now stands as the fourth largest producer and the third largest exporter of Canadian pork and pork products world wide.
Probably, as we move forward in the short, we'll see more volume of Canadian product vis-a-vis what's being consumed domestically to what's being exported increase.
One of our premises here at CPI was to always expand access for Canadian pork.
We've always had the idea that the more that we diversify the more we have options in terms of serving different needs world wide.
In the case of South America there are very few markets we currently don't have access to.
Argentina was probably the major one where we wanted to achieve this goal.
We see the retention of market access to the Argentinean market as something very essential to actually have a better positioning of our products in South America and compete with other major suppliers of product like Brazil and Chile.

Urias expects the Argentinean market to account for between 2,500 and 4,000 metric tonnes of Canadian pork during the first year, worth 16 million to 30 million dollars, depending on demand.
For Farmscape.Ca, I'm Bruce Cochrane.


       *Farmscape is a presentation of Sask Pork and Manitoba Pork




Microbiome Research Offers New Line of Defense Against Animal Disease

Wed, 07 Dec 2016 00:00:00 GMT

Farmscape for December 7, 2016

A scientist with the University of Saskatchewan says, as the pressure to reduce antibiotic use intensifies, the role of the microbiome in promoting animal health will become increasingly important.
The microbiome is a highly diverse consortium of bacteria, viruses, yeasts and  archaea, that inhabit the gastrointestinal tract.
In association with Swine Innovation Porc, scientists are exploring the potential of the microbiome for improving pig health and reducing antibiotic use.
Dr. Andrew Van Kessel, the Head of the Department of Animal and Poultry Science with University of Saskatchewan, says the medical world has begun to view the microbiome as being as important to metabolism as the liver, pancreas or kidneys.

Clip-Dr. Andrew Van Kessel-University of Saskatchewan:
That's focused our research really on the microbiome and how it functions with respect to the opportunity for a pig to protect itself against an infection and in doing so have good performance in terms of rate of growth and efficiently turn feed into pork that we consume and that's critical with respect to the environment and animal sustainability as well.
Certainly part of the microbiome are pathogens.
We know pathogens get into our gastrointestinal tract, they become members of that microbiome and they cause us obvious problems in terms of health.
Microbiome research is more about understanding the non pathogens and recognizing that within this large consortia of bacteria some members are potentially good.
They have a benefit on the animal, they provide extra nutrients, they help the immune system, they help the animal protect itself against the pathogens and some of those members of that consortia are bad.
They're going to produce products that take nutrients away from the animal and make it less capable of protecting itself against that pathogen.

Dr. Van Kessel says the challenge is to develop management and feeding strategies that promote the good at the expense of the bad.
For Farmscape.Ca, I'm Bruce Cochrane.


       *Farmscape is a presentation of Sask Pork and Manitoba Pork




CETA Offers Opportunity for Canadian Pork to Distinguish Itself in Europe

Wed, 07 Dec 2016 00:00:00 GMT

Farmscape for December 7, 2016

The President of Canada Pork International says the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement with Europe will give Canadian pork the opportunity to distinguish itself in that market.
On October 30 Canada's Prime Minister and top officials of the European Union signed the Canada-European Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement.
Greg Giokas, the President of Canada Pork International, says trade agreements are critical to the success of Canadian pork exports.

Clip-Greg Giokas-Canada Pork International:
As the population of the planet expands and, as we see countries like China that has a very large population where they've experienced poverty and had trouble feeding themselves, food is a big issue so we are uniquely placed in Canada.
We have the land, we have the water, we have the ability, we have the policies, we have governments that consult and develop policies based on feedback from the consumer, the processor, from the entire value chain.
This is very powerful and what it means is that we have a position as a food supplier that is reliable, sustainable food production of high quality and reliability for the consumers in these markets.
To access those markets we need trade agreements.
We can't just sell food, put it on a ship and put it into a market place.
You have to have the access.
There are tariffs, there are phytosanitary restrictions.
There are all kinds of restrictions that you need to meet.
These get negotiated in a trade agreement.
We have a recent agreement with the EU which will provide in total, it's 75 thousand extra tonnes of carcass weight, which we already have five thousand tonnes access.
That adds up to 80 thousand tonnes that we didn't have before.
The 75 thousand tonnes that are new  means that there will be more interest and more ability to put product in larger volume into Europe.

Giokas says Europe is a high value market and Canadian quality will distinguish itself in that market so this is a vey important development.
For Farmscape.Ca, I'm Bruce Cochrane.


       *Farmscape is a presentation of Sask Pork and Manitoba Pork




Changes to Manitoba Provincial Nominee Program Expected to Benefit Pork Industry

Tue, 06 Dec 2016 00:00:00 GMT

Farmscape for December 6, 2016

The Human Resources and Training Coordinator with Manitoba Pork says the Manitoba Provincial Nominee Program has been a valuable source of workers for the province's pork industry, especially in remote areas.
The Manitoba government has announced changes to the Manitoba Provincial Nominee Program designed to improve processing times for immigrants recruited to work in Manitoba and fast-track nominations.
The provincial program allows employers to recruit foreign workers without the need for a labor market assessment, a time consuming requirement of the federal Temporary Foreign Worker Program.
Janice Goldsborough, the Human Resources and Training Coordinator with Manitoba Pork, says, the desire is to hire locally but in areas where there's low unemployment, especially remote areas, it's difficult for pork producers to find workers.

Clip-Janice Goldsborough-Manitoba Pork:
A lot of our independent pork producers have used this program to get workers in faster to fill more of the entry level type positions such as the farm tech workers, the hog farm workers.
Maple Leaf and HyLife, our two larger producers, have also taken advantage of the program to get people, especially HyLife, for their processing plant.
Maple Leaf as well for their plant out in Brandon has used the program to get people in faster.
In terms of the location, it's basically been all over the province.
Again Neepawa for HyLife, Brandon for Maple Leaf and the independents, they've been all over the province but especially in more remote areas where it's harder to find local workers.

Manitoba’s most recent labour market forecast projects 177,800 job openings in the province between now and 2021, with demand spread across multiple sectors and at least 25 per cent of projected openings are expected to be filled by immigrants.
For Farmscape.Ca, I'm Bruce Cochrane.


       *Farmscape is a presentation of Sask Pork and Manitoba Pork




High Health Gives Western Canada Advantage in Antibiotic Free Pork Production

Tue, 06 Dec 2016 00:00:00 GMT

Farmscape for December 6, 2016

The Veterinary Counsel with the Canadian Pork Council says western Canada's ability to raise high health pigs has given the region an advantage when it comes to "Raised Without Antibiotics" production.
To help the veterinary community understand how raised without antibiotics production is evolving in western Canada, the Canada-West Swine Health Intelligence Network has surveyed swine veterinarians working with pigs in "Raised Without Antibiotics" programs.
Dr. Egan Brockhoff, the Veterinary Counsel with the Canadian Pork Council, says western Canada has the space and geogrphy that has allowed us to create some very high health herds.

Clip-Dr. Egan Brockhoff-Canadian Pork Council:
That's one very large factor that has let the west take the lead in raised without antibiotics production.
Other tools that veterinarians are using are vaccination and specifically autogenous vaccination designed for those specific farms that are participating.
Unfortunately not all viruses and bacteria afford themselves to easy vaccination.
For example Streptococcus suis, which is the number diagnosed bacteria, doesn't respond very well to vaccination.
Rotavirus on the virus side is a very complex virus with multiple strains.
We don't have an autogenous vaccination system in Canada that allows us to create effective autogenous vaccines to those types of viral diseases.
So what we're doing is we're trying to manage the health through eliminating disease, using the vaccines that we can get and in some cases we're using some alternative products like essential oils, acidification of water to manage and try to help us with disease.

Dr. Brockhoff expects antibiotic free production to continue to grow, largely in herds that are very high health so western Canada has a really solid and bright future with growing its raised without antibiotic production.
For Farmscape.Ca, I'm Bruce Cochrane.


       *Farmscape is a presentation of Sask Pork and Manitoba Pork




KAP Applauds Provincial Government Approach to Carbon Pricing

Mon, 05 Dec 2016 00:00:00 GMT

Farmscape for December 5, 2016

The President of Keystone Agricultural Producers is applauding the Premier's of Manitoba's commitment to ensure a provincial carbon pricing system will not hinder economic recovery.
In September the federal government announced that a carbon pricing system must be in place in all provinces by the end of 2018.
Manitoba Premier Brian Pallister has stated a carbon tax must not unduly impact any sector of our economy because our economy needs to be rebuilt and that that any impact must be offset by revenues going back into economic activities that build our province or by directly reducing tax.
KAP President Dan Mazier agrees a carbon pricing system must consider the competitive position of farmers.

Clip-Dan Mazier-Keystone Agricultural Producers:
We have no ability to get that tax back out of the system.
We're price takers and it's what ever the market is offering.
Manitoba exports probably 70 percent of their products and, if we're competing against a nation or another place that doesn't have a carbon tax, that is an extra cost that's being borne by our agriculture community that we couldn't compete against so it basically makes us uncompetitive.
That's what a bad system could do.
All indications are, the way the premier is talking, the way the province is talking, is that they don't want to set up something like that.
If they do bring happen to bring us back in through taxation credits or something like that, that's another way of addressing it.
But, keeping in mind that we do really have to find a way of decarbonizing agriculture too which is a little bit longer type of philosophy.
I think the biggest important things is to get the framework and how we're going to price carbon and how we're going to collect the monies for it and who it's going back to right now.
Get that framework set up properly and then we can start working at programming down the road.

Mazier says the Premier's pledge to include agriculture in the discussions and to not use a carbon tax as a tax grab is especially positive.
For Farmscape.Ca, I'm Bruce Cochrane.


       *Farmscape is a presentation of Sask Pork and Manitoba Pork




Trade Talks with Japan Key in Event TPP Fails

Mon, 05 Dec 2016 00:00:00 GMT

Farmscape for December 5, 2016

The Chair of the Saskatchewan Pork Development Board says, in the event the Trans-Pacific Partnership collapses, it will be important for Canada reinvigorate efforts to achieve a bilateral trade agreement with Japan.
The recent U.S. election has cast a shadow of doubt on the future of the 12 nation Trans-Pacific Partnership free trade agreement.
Florian Possberg, the Chair of the Saskatchewan Pork Development Board, says, if the TPP fails, Canada will need to takes steps to ensure trade with Japan continues.

Clip-Florian Possberg-Saskatchewan Pork Development Board:
We really need to maintain our ability to export pork to southeast Asia, particularly Japan.
Japan is our number one value customer and Japan was part of the TPP talks as well as Canada and so, if the TPP has a problem to get to the finish line, we really need to make sure that we have an acceptable agreement with Japan.
Japan imports pork from many countries but the big advantage that we have in Canada and the United States is that they prefer high quality product which is typically fresh chilled product.
It's problematic to get fresh chilled from Europe for example to Japan and even Brazil and so we do have a leg up in the fresh chilled market in Japan.
How Japan and the United States are going to end up if there's no TPP is a big question mark but certainly we need to take care of our own business and make sure we have a real good deal with the Japanese in Canada.

Possberg says, there was a lot of rhetoric during the U.S. election campaign but, at the end of the day, he's confident the United States will realize that they have to maintain significant levels of trade to maintain their economy.
For Farmscape.Ca, I'm Bruce Cochrane.


       *Farmscape is a presentation of Sask Pork and Manitoba Pork




Slowing Chinese Pork Imports Expected to Challenge North American Pork Industry in 2017

Fri, 02 Dec 2016 00:00:00 GMT

Farmscape for December 2, 2016

The President of Global AgriTrends anticipates a substantial slowdown of Chinese of pork imports will create challenges for the North American pork industry in 2017.
Over the last two to three years we've seen good some good profitability globally in the pork sector and that profitability has triggered expansion.
Brett Stuart, the President of Global AgriTrends, says we're seeing a little bit of expansion in Canada in the hog sector, we're seeing expansion in the United States, we've seen some substantial expansion in the EU and, to some degree, we're seeing expansion in Mexico and China so, with that production base growing, the focus turns to demand and where will that pork get eaten.

Clip-Brett Stuart-Global AgriTrends:
We've jus seen a incredible protein event the last year and a half with China.
China is always the buzz.
China is the market of the future and we know the China math of 1.3 billion times anything is a big number.
We saw a scenario where China got tight on pork.
They imported enormous amounts of pork this last year.
In fact I think at the peak they were importing about 190 thousand tonnes a month.
That's over 400 million pounds a month.
We saw that huge China import bubble.
The challenge is now we're starting to see that  bubble burst and so we're seeing a little bit of a slowdown in Chinese demand for pork and that's going to play out in 2017.
As we see their production growth, we don't know how much it is but we know they've made incredible profits.
We'll have to see how much that market slows down.
I'm forecasting Chinese pork imports down by about a third next year.
That will displace pork, it'll make the EU prices fall and probably push a lot of EU pork into some of our key markets.

Stuart says the North American pork industry is going to have to get creative this year as we try to move pork against a slowing Chinese base.
For Farmscape.Ca, I'm Bruce Cochrane.


       *Farmscape is a presentation of Sask Pork and Manitoba Pork




Lower Yen and Peso Expected to Pressure Export Demand for North American Pork

Thu, 01 Dec 2016 00:00:00 GMT

Farmscape for December 1, 2016

H@ms Marketing Services says the lower value of the Japanese yen and Mexican peso, compared to the U.S. dollar, could influence the export demand needed to clear a heavy supply of pork being produced in North America.
Over the past couple of months the supply of slaughter hogs has been running very close to the total U.S. slaughter capacity resulting in downward pressure on live hog markets.
Tyler Fulton, the Director of Risk Management with h@ms Marketing Services, says the hope is that the competition will pick up as live hog supplies move down and we'll see some improvement but that recovery is contingent on good pork sales both domestically and into the export markets.

Clip-Tyler Fulton-h@ms Marketing Services:
I think generally speaking domestic consumers have shown a strong demand for pork but there is just this heavy supply that we need to clear from the market.
We either do that in the domestic market place or in export markets.
One of the of the other features that's happened over the course of the last three weeks or so is the Japanese yen and Mexican peso, the two top markets that represent more than 50 percent of pork exports from the United States, their currencies have come under significant pressure against the U.S. dollar.
That makes U.S. pork more expensive and is probably having a negative impact on the volume of pork exports.
That's not a good scenario when we're trying to clear this really heavy supply of pork that the North American industry is producing right now.
To date we've not seen a real negative effect on wholesale pork prices yet but we could, especially if we start struggling to clear the market of inventory and we see it build up week over week.

Fulton says there's still a lot of pork coming down the pipe and improved live hog prices will be contingent on moving that large amount of pork into all channels.
For Farmscape.Ca, I'm Bruce Cochrane.


       *Farmscape is a presentation of Sask Pork and Manitoba Pork




Pork Producers Advised to Be Aware of Approvals and Doses When Administrating Pain Control Drugs to Pigs

Thu, 01 Dec 2016 00:00:00 GMT

Farmscape for December 1, 2016

An Assistant Professor in Swine Behavior and Welfare with the University of Saskatchewan says its important for pork producers to be sure the compounds used to control pain during painful procedures comply with the pork industry's on farm pork quality assurance program.
Under Canada's revised Code of Practice for the Care and Handling of Pigs farmers must provide pain control during painful procedures such as castration and tail docking.
Producers must provide an analgesic to control the post procedure pain to any pigs that are tail docked and to male pigs that are castrated prior to 10 days of age and those castrated after 10 days of age must be given both an analgesic and an anesthetic.
Dr. Yolande Seddon, an Assistant Professor in Swine Behavior and Welfare with the University of Saskatchewan, says it's important to be sure products being used are approved for use in livestock to adhere to the Canadian Quality Assurance policy on drug use.

Clip-Dr. Yolande Seddon-University of Saskatchewan:
We have products such as Metacam, Anafen, Ketoprofen B, Banamine.
You do have the option to work with your vet and potentially use a cattle product, so for that we have an oral Meloxicam suspension.
A know your products, make sure they're approved for use in livestock and ideally approved for use in pigs.
Secondly look at the dosage.
For the Metacam we have it in 20 milligrams per mill and also five milligrams per mill so it's important to take this into consideration because, with any drugs, you have the ability to inject too much and create problems so make sure that you get your doses correct.
For instance the Canadian Pork Council has produced guidelines on how to administer this and what does you need.
For the Metacam 20 milligrams per mill, you actually need to dilute that solution because, when you're giving it to a three day old piglet,  you need such as small amount.

Dr. Seddon notes says the Pig Code of Practice represents our commitment to animal care.
For Farmscape.Ca, I'm Bruce Cochrane.


       *Farmscape is a presentation of Sask Pork and Manitoba Pork




Manitoba Pork Applauds Planned Establishment of Red Tape Reduction Task Force

Wed, 30 Nov 2016 00:00:00 GMT

Farmscape for November 30, 2016

The Chair of Manitoba Pork is applauding the province's commitment to reducing the red tape that discourages agricultural development.
In mid-November the Chair of Manitoba Pork sent a letter to Manitoba Premier Brian Pallister requesting the province consider 22 regulatory amendments that would streamline and accelerate the approval process for building new hog barns in the province.
Under the existing process it takes upwards of nine months to get approval for new barn construction and pork producers would to see that cut in half.
George Matheson says, the complex approval process adds costs to barn construction and reduces the competiveness of Manitoba farmers with those in other jurisdictions.

Clip-George Matheson-Manitoba Pork:
The Premier himself has said that he sees tremendous untapped opportunities in the ag sector in Manitoba and he wants to make sure that government regulations and red tape are not obstructing those prospects.
The Premier has stated that he is establishing a Red Tape Reduction Task Force that will identify regulatory barriers.
If we can reduce the amount of red tape and so therefore reduce the amount of time and cost it will increase our competitiveness with producers in other parts of Canada and in the American states.
We look very much forward to that happening and realizing where unnecessary red tape can be reduced.

Matheson stresses it's important to maintain the support and confidence of the consumers who buy our agricultural products.
He says pork producers support the government's efforts to balance laws and regulations in a way that allows agriculture to remain competitive while protecting the environment at the same time.
For Farmscape.Ca, I'm Bruce Cochrane.


       *Farmscape is a presentation of Sask Pork and Manitoba Pork




Genomics Accelerates Evaluation of Breed Stock in Swine Production

Wed, 30 Nov 2016 00:00:00 GMT

Farmscape for November 30, 2016

A Senior Geneticist with Fast Genetics says the use of Genomics to identify the presence of desirable traits has accelerated the evaluations of breeding stock within the swine industry.
Genomics is the study of the genome of an animal or an organism.
Murray Duggan, a Senior Geneticist with Fast Genetics, explains the genome of pigs have 19 pairs of chromosomes, 18 autosomes, one set of sex chromosomes and strung together approximately 2.8 billion base pairs, and there's little difference in size from the pig to the  humans to cattle.

Clip-Murray Duggan-Fast Genetics:
In pigs we're all about production efficiency, carcass and meat quality basically, so the production efficiency traits in maternal lines, litter size, the ability to raise a large litter of pigs, large weaning weights, a sow that rebreeds quickly and reliably and will continue to do that for six or eight or more parities in a commercial herd.
On the terminal side we're looking for things like rapid growth rate, good feed conversion and a carcass that hangs up and is a carcass and a pork cut that people want to buy, that consumers want to buy.
Blup genetic evaluations, animal model evaluations have been widespread in all of the livestock industries, in pigs since the early 1970s.
Blup has been the method for selecting animals of all species since basically the early 1970s, so 40 or 50 years now those have been the main items.
Genomics is relatively recent so now, in addition to using the performance of the animal plus its relatives as we did with blup, now we're able to actually look at what's going on and which individual snips, which individual single nucleotide polymorphisms are contributing to the differences in performance that we're seeing among animals.

Duggan notes, as soon as get a genotype on an animal, which can happen within a month of birth, we can estimate that animal's future potential as breeding stock.
For Farmscape.Ca, I'm Bruce Cochrane.


       *Farmscape is a presentation of Sask Pork and Manitoba Pork




Rebound in Live Hog Markets Dependent on Continued Steady Pork Demand

Tue, 29 Nov 2016 00:00:00 GMT

Farmscape for November 29, 2016

H@ms Marketing Services says a strengthening of North American live hog prices will be dependent on a continued steady demand for pork.
North American live hog markets have faced steady downward pressure over the past couple of months as the supply of available hogs has approached or exceeded U.S. slaughter capacity.
Tyler Fulton, the Director of Risk Management with h@ms Marketing Services, says hog numbers have far exceeded expectations by the USDA in its last Hogs and Pigs Report and industry traders.

Clip-Tyler Fulton-h@ms Marketing Services:
In the U.S. we think we understand where the hog slaughter capacity is and so we think that we've bumped up against that level on two or three possible weeks at around 2.53 million hogs.
With last week's trade impacted by the U.S. Thanksgiving, it was significantly lower than that but we expect this week and probably one or two more of the weeks between now and Christmas to experience that maximum slaughter capacity and so we're not out of the woods yet in terms of cash market lows.
The hope is, when things start to settle down maybe after the holidays, is that the competition for live hogs will really start to pick up as we move down from being so close to the hog slaughter capacity and we'll get a good recovery.
But that recovery in prices is contingent on good pork sales both domestically and into export markets.
Currently export markets have been struggling to put up decent gains.

Fulton says, to date, the wholesale pork market has preformed quite well.
He says given that pork production has averaged three and a half to four percent higher than year ago levels the benchmark for wholesale pork prices has stayed relatively steady.
For Farmscape.Ca, I'm Bruce Cochrane.


       *Farmscape is a presentation of Sask Pork and Manitoba Pork




Verified Canadian Pork Program Successful in Japan

Tue, 29 Nov 2016 00:00:00 GMT

Farmscape for November 29, 2016

The President of Canada Pork International reports the Verified Canadian Pork logo is now being requested by Japanese retailers who carry Canadian pork.
Verified Canadian Pork is a new marketing program designed to distinguish Canadian pork from the competition both abroad and domestically.
Greg Giokas, the President of Canada Pork International says the VCP logo identifies Canadian pork as a product that offers traceability, adherence to animal welfare standards, that is produced without growth hormones or Ractopamine or things like that and that is high quality.

Clip-Greg Giokas-Canada Pork International:
The importance of that and I'll just speak about Japan because this is the market where we're getting the highest value but it's equally true for consumers everywhere.
It distinguishes Canadian product on the basis of quality and quality that is reliable, trusted and documented.
The Japanese don't just like this or appreciate it, they expect it and demand it.
When they're looking at product they need to know and want to know, actually consumers will ask these questions.
They would like to know, how can you say that it's different.
What we're experience now with this program, within the four months that we've rolled it out in Japan, is that they're requesting the label to put on the retail shelves because they believe that it will make money for them selling to their consumers a product that has identification with Canada and is verified through documentation for the quality and the traceability and all of the attributes that are associated with high quality product in the Japanese market.
The VCP, Verified Canadian Pork logo and program, distinguishes us from the competition in a very positive that gains us a premium and also consumer relationships that are durable.

Giokas says Canada can't compete as a commodity.
He says there are single plants in Europe and the United States that produce as much as Canada produces.
For Farmscape.Ca, I'm Bruce Cochrane.


       *Farmscape is a presentation of Sask Pork and Manitoba Pork




Interest in Converting to Group Sow Housing Accelerates

Mon, 28 Nov 2016 00:00:00 GMT

Farmscape for November 28, 2016

A scientist with the Prairie Swine Centre says, as Canadian Pig Code of Practice 2024 deadline for converting to group sow housing approaches, the level of interest in making the change is accelerating.
As part of the National Sow Housing Conversion Project, being conducted in partnership with Swine Innovation Porc, scientists are assisting Canadian pork producers in converting to group sow housing.
Sow Housing systems was the topic of a panel discussion during Saskatchewan Pork Industry Symposium 2016 in Saskatoon earlier this month.
Dr. Jenifer Brown, a Research Scientist Ethology with the Prairie Swine Centre, says interest is increasing.

Clip-Dr. Jenifer Brown-Prairie Swine Centre:
A couple of years ago it was focused largely in Quebec because they were looking at their export markets and how to compete with the Europeans and so looking more actively towards groups.
I was to some presentations in Ontario this year and the first wave of renovations has gone on in Ontario so a lot of strong interest in group housing.
I'd say overall less interest in the west but certainly we do have some sows already in group housing but we are seeing that interest grow.
I think partly in western Canada we've got some larger sow herds so it's a bigger investment.
We've got some older barn infrastructure so better to maybe hold back and build new.
So we have seen the wave going across the country.
With smaller barns I think we're seeing more renovations and overall in large herds maybe some new builds.
Maple Leaf is very active in Manitoba.
I know they've converted nine barns at least by now.
So we are seeing it take off basically across the country now.

For more on the National Sow Housing Conversion Project visit groupsowhousing,com.
For Farmscape.Ca, I'm Bruce Cochrane.


       *Farmscape is a presentation of Sask Pork and Manitoba Pork




Farmers Encouraged to Connect Directly with Consumers

Mon, 28 Nov 2016 00:00:00 GMT

Farmscape for November 28, 2016

A Facilitator with Farm and Food Care Saskatchewan warns, by failing to tell the correct story of how they produce food, farmers run the risk of having others tell an incorrect version of how food is produced.
Farm and Food Care Saskatchewan is encouraging farmers to become more involved in communicating the story of food production to the non-farming public.
Cherilyn Nagel, a Facilitator with Farm and Food Care Saskatchewan, says Canadians want to know more about the food they eat but they don't have a connection with the farmers who produce that food.

Clip-Cherilyn Nagel-Farm and Food Care Saskatchewan:
Farmers continue to be a trusted profession.
That's the good news.
When consumers think about farmers they still know that they are trustworthy and they're noble.
The problem is they don't know any farmers anymore.
Canadians are two generations removed from the farm.
So even though they trust farmers they don't trust the industry.
So they're seeking out answers to questions from sources that may not be reliable.
For example they're going on the internet and asking people who are not involved in food production to answer questions about food production.
I believe we've already seen some of the consequences of not building that relationship.
We are eroding our public trust and each time we do that consumers step up and they ask for more regulations, they ask for more requirements around that and those requirements are not necessarily getting us to more sustainable practices.
The consequences is that the privileges we have today as farmers and ranchers can be taken away and replaced with other practices that are nonscientific, they are not as sustainable, they are not as environmentally friendly and they don't actually get us to reach the goal which is producing  high quality safe food for Canadians.

Nagel encourages those who are growing the food to connect with those consumers who have questions and speak up about how that food is produced.
For farmscape.Ca. Ca, I'm Bruce Cochrane.


       *Farmscape is a presentation of Sask Pork and Manitoba Pork