The province's pork industry gathered in Winnipeg Thursday for Manitoba Pork's Annual General Meeting.

Chair George Matheson says by the end of 2017, Manitoba produced close to eight million pigs, with five million market hogs and close to three million weanlings exported.

Matheson talked about some of the key issues that the organization will focus on this upcoming year.

"Because we had the PED outbreak last year, we're going to continue to focus on making those affected barns negative and also increasing our focus on biosecurity," he said.

george matheson small agm 2018Manitoba Pork Chair George Matheson

One of the measures being addressed, according to Matheson, would be the reinstatement of the Trusted Transporter Program, which would allow trucks to fully wash in Canada after sealing the trailer at the U.S. border.

Matheson praised the recent HyLife expansion in Neepawa, noting the company can now handle two million hogs per year. He noted Maple Leaf still needs more pigs, adding the company could handle about 4.5 million per year, but is only receiving about 3 million.

Another highlight from the past year was the passage of Bill 24, which loosened some of the government red tape surrounding new hog barn construction.

"No longer having to have anaerobic digesters when one builds new or adds on to an existing facility. We're still looking for an increase in the conditional use hearing threshold, hoping to go from a 2,000 feeder space barn to a 4,000 space before a conditional use hearing is needed," said Matheson.

He noted pork prices have slid lately, although he's hoping to see that turn around in the near future.

The trade dispute between China and U.S. also concerned Matheson, however he said deals such as the TPP, CETA, and NAFTA will provide some reassurance moving forward.

There was a good turn out at the meeting, with over 50 per cent of North America pork production being represented.

More Ag News

Governments Support Royal Manitoba Winter Fair

The Canadian and Manitoba governments are providing $20,000 over two years to support the 2019 and 2020 Manitoba Cup Equestrian Competition at the Royal Manitoba Winter Fair. “Our government is proud…

Niverville Woman Travels To Kenya To Learn About Small-Scale Farming

Colleen Dyck of Niverville, Manitoba has been chosen to spend one week on the farm of a female small-scale farmer in Kenya by Canadian Foodgrains Bank. Her flight left this past Sunday. Colleen’s…

Manitoba Pork To Attend African Swine Fever Forum In Ottawa

Canada will be hosting the first ever international forum on African swine fever at the end of April in Ottawa. Jenelle Hamblin is the Manager of Swine Health Programs with Manitoba Pork. "Manitoba…

CASA Releases Farmer Health Insurance Availability Report

The Canadian Agricultural Safety Association (CASA) has released a first-of-its-kind report examining health and disability insurance available to Canadian farmers. The report underscores the…

International Trade Minister Speaks On China Canola Issue

The Chinese canola issue was a key topic of discussion at this week’s Saskatchewan Association of Rural Municipalities (SARM) Annual Convention. International Trade Minister Jim Carr spoke Thursday…

Spring Road Restrictions Begin March 20

Spring road restrictions for southern Manitoba come into effect next week. They'll begin at 6am on Wednesday, March 20th and last until the end of May. The purpose of the road restrictions is to…

Winnipeg-Based Buhler Industries To Build Bigger Tractors For Kubota

Kubota Corporation has announced its decision to utilize the development and production capabilities of Winnipeg-based Buhler Industries for a new series of tractors. This new arrangement will enable…

Forks Market To Host 15th Discover Agriculture In The City Event

The 15th Discover Agriculture in the City event takes place Saturday at the Forks Market in Winnipeg. The event is a chance for Winnipegers to learn more about where their food comes from. Close to…

New Food Guide More Affordable

Canada's new Food Guide places more focus on plant-based eating and eliminated the four food groups that most Canadians have grown up with. A new survey done by Dalhousie University and the…

Farmers Participate In Combine To Customer Program

Farmers from across western Canada were in Winnipeg this week to learn more about how their grain makes it to the end customer. One of the participants in the Combine to Customer program was Kevin…

More Dogs Being Added To Canada's Airports To Help Stop African Swine Fever

On Thursday, Marie-Claude Bibeau, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, announced new funding of up to $31 million to increase the number of detector dogs at Canadian airports to help prevent…

Ag Minister Says Science-Based Approach Being Taken With China

Canada's new Agriculture Minister Marie-Claude Bibeau says the government is taking a science-based approach to solving the issue involving China and Winnipeg-based Richardson International. During a… is Steinbach's only source for community news and information such as weather and classifieds.