Western pork boards request drought support

This past summer, Alberta experienced high temperatures and low precipitation, generating drought-like conditions throughout the province. The situation has created problems for many producers who are struggling to secure feed at reasonable prices.

AgriRecovery support related to the drought was extended to livestock grazing producers earlier this month. But this has created a disadvantage for hog producers who are now competing for the same scarce feedstocks and must also make the same hard decisions related to managing the breeding herd over the winter months.

This week, the western Canadian pork boards – B.C. Pork, Alberta Pork, Sask Pork and Manitoba Pork – submitted a joint request to Marie-Claude Bibeau, Minister, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, asking for the federal government to extend the same level of AgriRecovery support to hog producers as was granted to other producers.

In Alberta, AgriRecovery is delivered by the Government Alberta, through the government-owned Agriculture Financial Services Corporation (AFSC). Twice, in July and August, provincial commodity group representatives, including Alberta Pork, met with senior representatives from the provincial government and AFSC to discuss problems created by the drought. Alberta Pork has also made a formal request to Devin Dreeshen, Minister, Alberta Agriculture and Forestry, asking that the provincial government include the hog sector in the AgriRecovery program.

Also in July, Alberta Pork sent a survey to all registered producers, seeking their input on drought-related impacts. More than half of all respondents indicated that they had experienced feed ingredient shortages, especially grain, and nearly all producers reported experiencing higher feed costs and other additional on-farm costs. Thank you to all producers who responded. Your participation has been instrumental in providing evidence for this support request.

Producers who wish to help strengthen the AgriRecovery support request may wish to contact their Member of Legislative Assembly (provincial representative) or Member of Parliament (federal representative) to further discuss the need for support.

Alberta Pork will provide more information on the support request to producers as that information becomes available. We appreciate your patience.

If you would like more information on how to reach your elected representatives, please contact Andrew Heck, Communication Programs Coordinator, Alberta Pork by email at andrew.heck@albertapork.com or by phone at 780-782-5620.

If you have any questions about the AgriRecovery request, please contact Darcy Fitzgerald, Executive Director, Alberta Pork by email at darcy.fitzgerald@albertapork.com or by phone at 780-491-3529, toll-free at 1-877-247-PORK (7675).