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Loose housing is a winning approach, says Canadian pork giant

Open sow housing is better for pigs, people, and profits, says Maple Leaf Foods executive

Many questioned whether it would work, but Maple Leaf Foods says open housing is a superior way to raise sows — and will have that system in all of its barns years before it becomes mandatory. “This is part of our vision to be the most sustainable protein company on Earth — part of that […] Read more


Pork producers need to be on guard for African swine fever

The disease is ravaging herds in China and Europe, and could come here through infected feed ingredients

African swine fever hasn’t been found in North America, but pork producers still have reason to be concerned. “If we get it, we cannot control the spread and the whole population will be destroyed by it,” said Javier Bahamon, quality assurance and production manager with Alberta Pork. “Pretty much the whole population of animals needs […] Read more



Pork producers slammed by tariff war call for government aid

The bottom fell out of the pork market this summer and Alberta producers are suffering huge losses

Canadian pork producers need “immediate help” from government to deal with a price plunge sparked by U.S. President Donald Trump’s tariff wars with China and Mexico. “What we’re seeing right now is really bad,” said Darcy Fitzgerald, executive director of Alberta Pork. “And a lot of it has to do with what’s going on with […] Read more


Price plunge spells disaster for Alberta hog farmers

Demand is strong, Canadian packers are short 70,000 hogs weekly, but prices have plunged

A crash in prices — fuelled by Washington’s tariff war — could spell the end for many of Alberta’s dwindling number of hog operations. The sector has already lost half of its hog farms in the past decade and with producers losing $50 on every animal they ship, more are looking at throwing in the […] Read more



Couple weren’t millionaires — so they found a different way to farm

It’s not for everyone, says Ben Campbell, but direct marketing is a low-cost route to farming

Although Ben Campbell is a third-generation rancher, he didn’t have an operation he could take over. And when he looked at the math for starting his own ranch, it was worse than ugly — he figured he’d need $3 million in assets to generate an income of $50,000. “I didn’t have enough money to do […] Read more




Banff Pork Seminar offers ‘powerhouse program’

The 47th Banff Pork Seminar from Jan. 9 to 11 at the Banff Springs Hotel will once again have a “powerhouse program,” says co-chair, Dr. Ruurd Zijlstra of the University of Alberta. It will feature “innovation, latest technology, challenging thinking on the big issues of the day combined with production information that producers can implement […] Read more


New Alberta rep on Canadian Pork Council

Dan Majeau is the new Alberta rep on the Canadian Pork Council, a federation of nine provincial pork industry associations representing 7,000 farms. Among the council’s priority issues are pushing Ottawa to take a leadership role in completing Trans-Pacific Partnership negotiations. The organization has also been working the Canadian Food Inspection Agency to resolve issues […] Read more



Know an innovator in the pork sector?

Entry deadline for F.X. Aherne Prize is Oct. 31

There’s still time to nominate someone for the 2018 F.X. Aherne Prize for Innovative Pork Production. The award recognizes individuals who have developed either original solutions to pork production challenges or found creative uses for known technology. Innovations big or small, complex or simple in areas such as feeding, breeding, ventilation, disease control/prevention, transportation, animal […] Read more


Biosecurity proves its worth in PEDv fight

Rather than slaughter recovered pigs, authorities move them to clean barns and then closely monitor them

Manitoba hog producers battling porcine epidemic diarrhea virus (PEDv) aren’t out of the woods yet — but the situation has shown that biosecurity measures are effective. “We had not had any positive cases since July 14, but yesterday, one infected premises was confirmed positive based on samples collected from pigs,” Manitoba’s acting chief veterinary officer […] Read more