Alberta hog farmers say financial aid not nearly enough

The provincial government has made a number of moves to support farmers in the province. In addition to providing $17 million for the cattle set-aside program, the province is increasing the interim payment under AgriStability from 50 per cent to 75 per cent for the hog sector.

“This will put up to $25 million in the hands of pork producers immediately,” it said in a news release.

The money will come as an advance payment from AgriStability and “will result in the equivalent of $20 per head for pork producers” enrolled in the joint federal-provincial program.

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But with producers facing losses of up to $50 per hog, the government support is not enough, said the chair of the Canadian Pork Council.

“For the past five years we have heard from our government that it wants to help us to grow our sector, yet when our house is burning, they are offering us a glass of water to save it,” said Rick Bergmann, who raises hogs in Manitoba.

Potato farmers enrolled in AgriStability are also eligible for increased advance payments.

There is $70 million to $80 million worth of Alberta potatoes in storage, but the closure of restaurants has pummelled demand for french fries.

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