This week, the Canadian government initiated its $48 million, sow culling program, designed to reduce the country's swine breeding herd by 10 percent.

Qualifying producers will get $220 (U.S.) for each breeding hog culled after Monday, April 14. The action will have an impact on what Canada has available for export, says Martin Rice, executive director of the Canadian Pork Council.

He said, Canada would produce about 200,000 to 250,000 tons of pork, so the reduction would equate to 500 million pounds that won’t placed on world market.

Ron Plain, agricultural economics professor at the University of Missouri, is skeptical that the culling program will produce a 500 million pound drop in Canadian pork exports, but agrees that Canada’s effort is a step in the right direction. “The reality is that pork producers in most countries of the world-- certainly in the United States and Canada-- are losing money right now,” Plain told the Brownfield network. “Feed prices are very, very high and there’s a lot of pork on the market, so there’s a real need to downsize.”

Cutting the Canadian breeding herd by 10 percent roughly equals a 3 percent reduction in the U.S., Plain notes. Without incentives, he points out "you have sort of a long, slow process in which, in some cases, downsizing occurs when bankers become involved and tell producers 'I’m sorry, you just can’t do this anymore, your money’s all gone',’” Plain notes. “If we can figure out how to downsize the industry a bit quicker it’ll leave producers in much better shape.”

Breeding hogs that qualify for Canada's culling program can’t be sold through commercial channels after Monday.
Participating Canadian producers must agree to depopulate an entire barn and to keep it clear of breeding swine for three years.
On another note, Rice points out, that producers in some areas of the country will be euthanizing feeder pigs.

Source: Brownfield Network