The Canadian government  this week announced a significant sow-cull program designed to reduce the Canadian hog breeding herd by 10 percent beyond the "normal" annual culling. This will effectively remove 150,000 sows from the breeding herd. The initiative will also help bring the industry in line with market realities by reducing annual production by approximately 3 million pigs.

To receive payment for each animal culled, producers must agree to empty at least one barn and to leave it empty for a minimum of three years.

"We applaud the federal government's announcement," says Clare Schlegel, Canadian Pork Council president. "The program will help our Canadian producers through a difficult but necessary restructuring and will also help our integrated North American industry. Anything that reduces supply will be beneficial to producers on either side of the border."

The Canadian industry has long been struggling with the added pressure of a strong Canadian dollar. This, coupled with increased input costs, has resulted in ongoing losses for Canadian producers while the US sector has remained profitable until recently. The Canadian sector has already responded to current market realities as indicated by a 5 precent reduction in Canada's sow herd
during the past three years.

This program, to be delivered by CPC, will assist producers in their efforts to exit the industry or permanently downsize their operations. CPC will provide more details as they become available.

Source: Canadian Pork Council